Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #40 & 41

Doctrinal Standard #40 & 41 (3 of 4 weeks)

  • Q. What rules did God first reveal for man to obey?
  • A. The rules He first revealed were the moral law.
  • Q. Where is the moral law summarized?
  • A. The moral law is summarized in the Ten Commandments.

Memory Verses

  • “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104, ESV).


  • Study Passage: Psalm 119
  • Support Passages: Psalms 1, 19, 111, 112; Matthew 10:28
  • Bible Story: Acts 5:12-42


  • There are three common uses of God’s law. One of those is the normative use; this means that God’s law is used in the life of believers who have been saved by faith apart from the law. God’s law is good and righteous. It defines and points out sin that is not pleasing to God. It is one of the means by which the Holy Spirit convicts and guides believers into becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. Psalms 119 provides a beautiful description of God’s commands and how they play an important part in the life of those who love God. It is important that we remember that while we are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ alone God expects us to be holy as he is holy. Scripture calls this process sanctification.
  • “The word sanctification (Gk. Hagiasmos) means ‘to set apart’. The same root word is found in the English words saint, holy, and holiness. Sanctification and its related terms are used in a variety of ways in both the Old Testament and New Testament. With respect to the New Testament believer, however, there are primarily three aspects of sanctification.
  • (1)   Positional sanctification. This is the believer’s position or standing before God, based on the death of Christ. In positional sanctification the believer is accounted holy before God; he is declared a saint. Paul frequently began his letters by addressing the believers as saints (Rom. 1:7). It is noteworthy that so carnal a group as the church at Corinth is addressed as ‘those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus’ (1 Cor. 1:2). This positional sanctification is achieved through the once-for-all death of Christ (Heb. 10:10, 14, 29).
  • (2)   Experiential Sanctification. Although the believer’s positional sanctification is secure, his experiential sanctification may fluctuate because it relates to his daily life and experience. Paul’s prayer is that believers should be sanctified entirely in their experience (1 Thess. 5:23); Peter commands believers to be sanctified or holy (1 Peter 1:16). This experiential sanctification grows as the believer dedicates his life to God (Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2) and is nourished by the word of God (Ps. 119:9-16). Clearly, additional factors enter into experiential sanctification.
  • (3)   Ultimate Sanctification. This aspect of sanctification is future and anticipates the final transformation of the believer into the likeness of Christ. At that time all believers will be presented to the Lord without any blemish (Eph. 5:26-27)” (Pg. 329-330). [1]

Discussion Questions

  • Read Psalm 119. How is God’s law described?
  • Do you feel the same way about God’s law? Explain
  • Why are we to obey God’s law?
  • What are the things the Psalmist says he does with God’s law?
  • Listed are some of the verbs the Psalmist wrote about God’s law: Learn, keep, seek, stored, delight, meditate. What do these mean and how do you apply them?

[1] Enns, Paul (1994). The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, Illinois, USA; Moody Press.

Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #29

Doctrinal Standard #29

  • Q. How are we made to take part in the redemption Christ bought?
  • A. We take part in the redemption Christ bought when the Holy Spirit effectively applies it to us.

Memory Verses

  • “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, ESV).


  • Study Passage: Hebrews 5:11-6:12
    • Support Passages: Matthew 7:15-23, 13:1-23,; Romans 2:17-3:8, 11:1-10; I Corinthians 2:1-16; II Timothy 2:14-21; Titus 3:4-7
  • Bible Story: Acts 5:1-11


  • The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 provides a thorough and well-balanced explanation between the effectiveness of God’s salvation in the lives of believers and the responsibility to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
  • LBC 18.1 “Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions that [in an unspiritual way they take it for granted] they are in the favour of God and in a state of salvation, such a hope on their part will perish [die away]. Yet those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, and who endeavour to walk in all good conscience before Him, may be certainly assured in this life that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And such a hope shall never make them ashamed. [It will never disappoint them or let them down, for God will bless them, hear their prayers, and finally take them to glory.]”
  • LBC 18.2 “This assurance is not merely a conjectural persuasion nor even a probable persuasion [something supposed to be true on slender grounds] based upon a fallible hope. It is an infallible assurance of faith founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel. [It is based on a historical act of the Savior of the world.] It is also founded upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit [marks or evidence of grace] in connection with definite promises made in the Scriptures, and also on the testimony [evidence] of the Spirit of adoption who witnesses with our spirits that we are the children of God [a felt, spiritual assurance], and who uses the experience of assurance to keep our hearts both humble and holy.”
  • LBC 18.3 “This infallible assurance is not so joined to the essence of faith that it is an automatic and inevitable experience. A true believer may wait long and fight with many difficulties before he becomes a partaker of it. Yet, being enabled by the spirit to know the things which are freely given to him by God, he may, without any extraordinary revelation attain this assurance by using the means of grace in the right way. Therefore it is the duty of every one to give the utmost diligence to make his calling and election sure, so that his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness for carrying out the duties of obedience. These duties are the natural fruits of assurance, for it is far from inclining men to slackness.”
  • LBC 18.4 “True believers may have the assurance of their salvation in various ways shaken, diminished, or intermitted [suspended for a time]. This may be because of their negligence in preserving it, or by their falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit, or by some sudden or forceful temptation, or by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and causing even those who fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light. Yet, [whatever the cause or duration of the impairment of assurance] believers are never left without the seed of God [essential spiritual identity] and life of faith [that hold on eternal values], that love of Christ and the brethren that sincerity of heart and that conscience about their spiritual duty. Out of these things, by the operation of the Spirit, their assurance can in due time be revived, and in the meantime the presence of these graces preserves them from utter despair.” [1]

Discussion Questions

  • Who is the author of our salvation?
  • How does the Holy Spirit help us with our salvation?
  • How can we know if we are saved?
  • Philippians 2:12 says, “therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” What does this mean?
  • Why should we be both confident yet cautious with our salvation?

[1] Masters, Peter (1982). The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 – Notes by Peter Masters. Ashland, Ohio, USA; BookMasters, Inc.

"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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