« PreviousContinue »
into the soul by the Spirit of God. Rom. vii. 6, But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit.
Q. 20. When do we deliver up ourselves unto this new obedience ?
A. We deliver up ourselves unto this new obedience, 1. When we have full resolutions and purposes of it. Psalm cxix. 106, I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. Acts xi. 23, And exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave to the Lord. 2. When we are diligent in our endeavours after it, that we may constantly walk in the ways of new obedience without offence either to God or man. Luke i. 6, And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Acts xxiv. 16, And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men.
Q. 21. Do all that truly repent, fully perform new obedience?
A. None that truly repent, do here in this life perform new obedience fully, without any failure or defect, but they diligently endeavour to do it; and wherein they fall short, it is their grief and trouble.' Psalm xxxviii. 17, For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
Q. 88. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicatech to us the benefits of redemption?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the word, sacraments and prayer ; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
Q. 1. What doth comprehend all the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption ?
A. The ordinances of the Lord do comprehend all the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption. '
Q. 2. What is meant by the ordinances of the Lord ?
A. By the ordinances of the Lord is meant those means of grace and salvation, which are of the Lord's institution, which he haih appointed and commanded in his word, and no other. Matth. xxviii. 20, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. I Cor. xi. 1, 2, 23, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that you
keep the ordinances as I delivered them unto you. For · I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.
Q. 3. May we not make use of any ordinances which are of men's appointment only, in order to salvation ?
A. We ought not to make use of any ordinances which are of men's appointinent only, in order unto salvation, because this is will-worship, which is both vain and offensive ; and we cannot groundedly expect the blessing of the Lord upon, or to receive any true benefit of any ordinances, but by those alone which are of his own appointment only. Col. ii. 20, 22, 23, Why are ye sub. ject to ordinances, after the commandments and doctrines of men ? which things have a shew of wisdom in will. worship, &c. Matth. xv. 9, But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men..
Q. 4. Why are the ordinances called the ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption ?
A. The ordinances are called the ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of re. demption, because the Lord hath not wholly limited and bound up himself unto his ordinances : for he can in an extraordinary way bring some out of a state of nature into a state of grace;ias Paul, who was converted by a light and a voice from heaven : But tire ordinances are the most usual way, and means of conversion and salvation, without the use of which, we cannot, upon good ground, expect that any benefit of reciemption should be cominunicated to us.
Q. 5. What are the chief ordinances of the Lord's appointment ?
A. The chief ordinances of the Lord's appointment, are, the word, sacraments, and prayer. Acts ii. 42, And
they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Q. 6. To whom are the ordinances made effectual for salvation ? : A. The ordinances are made effectual for salvation to. 11 the elect only. Acts ii. 46, 47, And they continued with one accord in the temple, and breaking of bread, praising God. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.
Q. 89. How is the word made effectual to salvation ?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but espe• cially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
Q. 1. What is the ordinance or appointment of the Lord, in reference unto the word, that it may be effectual unto salvation ? · A. The ordinance or appointment of the Lord, in reference unto the word, that it may be effectual unto salvation, is, 1. That we read the word. Deut. xvii. 19, He shall read therein all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law, and these statutes to do them. John V. 39, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me. 2. That we hear the word preached. Isa. lv. 3, Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live. 1 Cor. j. 21, It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
0:2, How is the word made effectual unto salvation ?
A. The word is made effectual unto salvation, First, In reference unto sinners and ungodly, as the word is a mean, 1. To convince them of sin, and to affect them with remorse for it. 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25, But if all propliecy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest ; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God, and report
that God is in you of a truth. Heb. iv. 12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Acts ii. 37, Now when they heard this they were pricked in their hearts. 2. To convert them from sin, and join them unto Christ and his people. Psal. xix. 7, The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Acts ii. 41, Then they, that gladly received his word, were baptized; and there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts iv. 4, Howbeit, many of them which heard the word, believed ; and the number of the men was about five thousanda 2dly, In reference unto those that are converted, the word is effectual unto salvation, as it is a mean of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation. Acts xx. 32, And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13, And he gave some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ : till we all come in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature, of the folness of Christ.
Q.3. How doth the word build up the saints in holiness?
A. 1. The word doth build up the saints in holiness, as it is a mean to work them into a greater conformity unto the image of God, and to cause an increase of every grace in thema' 2 Cor. iii. 18, We all with open face, bea holding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory. 1 Pet. ii. 2, As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow therehy. 2. As it doth reprove, corTect, instruct in righteousness, and thereby perfect them more and more, and fit them for. good works. 2 Tim. ii. 16, 17, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God
may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work. 3. As it is a mean of pulling down strong holds in the soul, and more and more subduing all thoughts and affections unto the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. x. 4, 5, For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.. 4. As it is a mean to strengthen the saints against the temptations of the devil, and the corruptions of their own hearts. Eph. vi. 13, 17, Take to you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil daya Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Matth. iv. 10, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, &c. Psal. cxix. 9, Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 5. As it is a mean to establish the saints in the truths and ways of God, and to strengthen them against error and seduce tion. Rom. xvi. 25, Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, &c. Eph. iv. 14, That we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
Q. 4. How doth the word build up the saints in comfort ? : - A. The word doth build up the saints in comfort, 1. As it doth reveal and hold forth the chiefest grounds of comfort, such as the promises of pardon, and eternal life. Isaiah xl. 1, 2, Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her sins are pardoned. I John ïi. 25, This is the promo ise that he hath promised, even eternal life. 2. As it is the means of conveying to the soul the most sweet and unutterable joy of the Holy Ghost. 1 Thess. i. 6, And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affiction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.