Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #36 (1 of 3 weeks)

Doctrinal Standard #36 (1 of 3 weeks)

  • Q. What benefits in this life go with or come from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
  • A. The benefits that in this life go with or come from justification, adoption, and sanctification are: the assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, and growing and persevering in grace to the end of our lives.

Memory Verses

  • “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2–3, ESV).


  • Study Passage: 1 John 5
  • Support Passages: 1 John 1:6-9; 2:3-29; 3:3-24; 4:6-13
  • Bible Story: Luke 15


  • God’s work of justification, adoption, and sanctification in the lives of believers provides the assurance that He will never leave nor forsake His promises. God is the author of sanctification. Believers are saved because of what Jesus has done and it is not up to the believer. God has bought His people with the blood of Christ, adopted them into His family, and is sanctifying their lives through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is with this understanding that believers can have assurance that God’s love will also remain and never change.
  • In order to understand the assurance of God’s love and the peace of conscience that the catechism speaks of, it is important to remember God’s sovereign plan in the lives of believers. Ephesians 1:4–5 teaches us, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Understanding God sovereign plan provides a believer with greater assurance in God’s love that will never fail or forsake those who call upon Him for salvation.
  • Understanding God’s sovereign plan of salvation (justification), adoption, and sanctification gives greater insight to the parables that Jesus told in Luke 15. Each of the three parables provides an illustration on the assurance of God’s love and the peace that comes from that. Each of the three parables illustrates how God’s will never relent in gathering those who are His nor will he forsake His children who seem to walk away for a time.

Discussion Questions

  • What does assurance mean?
  • What does peace of conscience mean?
  • How do Christians have an assurance of God’s love?
  • Read Luke 15. One of the parables is often referred to as the “The Parable of The Prodigal Son.” Even though most of the story describes the son’s behavior, why is this story really about the Father?
  • What does this teach us about God’s love?
  • What do the other two parables in Luke 15 teach us about God’s love?
  • How does knowing God’s love give us a “peace of conscience”?



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that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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