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Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standards WSC #20 (3 of 4 weeks)

Doctrinal Standards WSC #20 (3 of 4 weeks)

  • Q. Did God leave all mankind to die in sin and misery?
  • A. From all eternity and merely because it pleased Him God chose some to have everlasting life. These He freed from sin and misery by a covenant of grace and brought them to salvation by a redeemer.

Memory Verses

  • “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3, ESV).

Study Passage: Romans 4

Support Passages: Genesis 12:1-4; John 3:36, 8:56; Acts 7; Romans 3:21-31; Galatians 3:1-14; Hebrews 11:1-12; James 2:21-24

Bible Story: Genesis 22:1-14

Insight and Application

  • The distinction between the Law and the Gospel is something that is found throughout scripture but is a major reoccurring theme in Paul’s epistles. The term law can mean a couple different things in scripture but most of the time is referring to the Old Testament scriptures. When we refer to the Gospel we mean that Salvation and acceptance before God is based solely on gift and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.
  • In the book of Romans and many of Paul’s other letters he is trying to communicate with the people that if you try and earn acceptance and salvation from God through keeping the Law (Old Testament commands) your efforts will come up short. The Law or the commands of God were never intended to bring about salvation because no one could ever keep them perfectly.
  • In Romans chapter 4, Paul explains that Abraham who existed before the Law of God was even given was accepted before God because of the faith he had. Paul never once taught that a Jewish Christian should not keep the Law nor did He ever teach that the Law of God was bad. He taught that if you try and earn your way to God by keeping the Law you are destined to be cursed. If you break the smallest part of the Law you have transgressed the Law and are pronounced a sinner resulting in death. Throughout all of Paul’s missionary journeys he continually preached that salvation is received through faith by the grace of God.

Discussion Questions

  • The Bible teaches and the catechism explains that salvation is received through faith. What does this mean?
  • The catechism says that God has freed us from sin through a covenant of grace. What is the meaning of the word grace?
  • How has God shown His grace?
  • The catechism says salvation is provided by a redeemer. What does redeem mean and how does it fit the description of Jesus?
  • If we are saved by grace through faith are we required to follow God’s commands? Why?
  • Is the Law of God bad or faulty? Explain.
  • What could the Law of God not do?

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"Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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