PROFESSION OF FAITHI. The Ten Commandments
Of far greater importance than having nice clothing, owning many material possessions, being extremely popular socially, or even enjoying good health and having a handsome and physically attractive body, is the fact that we know the way to heaven and life with God through all eternity.
Sad to say, many people even in our society do not have peace with God and do not know the way to salvation. In short, they do not know the primary teaching of the Bible. They do not know the most important of all truths. They do not know the way to life everlasting.
When asked, "What is the main message of the Bible?" the majority of the people (wrongly) respond by saying that its main message is that we live a good life and get to heaven by:
a) Keeping the 10 Commandments
b) Following the Golden Rule
c) Imitating the example of Christ
1. This answer is not only incorrect, but it is diametrically opposite to what the Bible teaches. Now, for our purpose here this evening, would one of you Confirmands tell us what is the main message and teaching of the Bible?
Answer: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV)
2. Why did God really give us the Bible?
Answer: "and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (II Tim. 3:15-17)
3. What are the two great doctrines of the Bible?
Answer: The Law and Gospel are the two great doctrines of the Bible.
4. What do we mean by "Law" and what do we mean by "Gospel"?
Answer: The Law is that doctrine of the Bible in which God tells us how we are to be and what we are to do and not to do.
(Scripture) "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (Lev. 19:2)
Answer: The Gospel is that doctrine of the Bible in which God tells us the good news of our salvation in Jesus Christ.
(Scripture) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
5. What is the difference between the Law and the Gospel?
a) The Law teaches us what we are to do and not to do; the Gospel teaches what God has done, and still does, for our salvation.
b) The Law shows us our sin and the wrath of God; the Gospel shows us our Savior and the grace of God.
6. Are we saved by the Law or the Gospel?
Answer: "By deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. The Gospel saves us, for:
"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." (I John 4:9)
7. What are the 10 Commandments?
Answer: The 10 Commandments are the Law of God.
8. Where are they located in the Bible?
Answer: They are located in Deuteronomy 5 and Exodus 20.
9. What word summarizes the fulfillment of the Commandments?
Answer: "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Rom. 13:10)
10. What is the First Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: "You shall have no other Gods."
What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.
11. How do you know there is a God?
a) The existence of the world
b) The testimony of my conscience
c) Especially from the Holy Scriptures in which God clearly reveals Himself to us.
12. Who is the only True God?
Answer: The only True God is the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
13. What is the Second Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.
14. What is the Third Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.
15. What is the Fourth Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: Honor your father and your mother.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.
16. In your own words, whom are "Parents" according the Fourth Commandment?
Answer (suggested): Everyone God places over us in the home, state, school and place of work.
17. What is the Fifth Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: You shall not murder.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need.
18. What three things does God forbid in the Fifth Commandment?
a) God forbids us to take our own life (suicide) or us to take the life of another person (murder).
b) God forbids us to hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, that is, to do or say anything, which may destroy, shorten, or embitter his life.
c) God forbids us to bear anger or hatred in our hearts against our neighbor.
"Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."(I John 3:15)
19. What is the Sixth Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean? : We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.
20. What does God forbid here?
Answer: He forbids the breaking of the marriage vow by unfaithfulness or desertion.
He permits the innocent party to suffer a divorce when the other party is guilty of sexual immorality. He also forbids all unchaste and unclean thoughts, desires, words and deeds.
21. What is the Seventh Commandment?
Answer: You shall not steal.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor's money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income.
22. What is the Eight Commandment and its meaning?
Answer: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.
23. This commandment refers especially to gossiping. What is gossip? Does gossip refer only to lying?
Answer: Gossip is anything we say, whether true or untrue, that is meant to injure or ruin the reputation of a person about whom we are talking.
24. What is forbidden in the Ninth and Tenth Commandments together?
Answer: The sin of coveting is forbidden in the Ninth and Tenth Commandments.
25. What does the word "covet" mean?
Answer: Coveting is a sinful desire for anything that belongs to my neighbor.
26. How does God want us to keep His Commandments?
Answer: God wants us to keep His Commandments perfectly in thoughts, desires, words & actions.
27. Are we able to do this?
Answer: Since the fall into sin, natural man cannot keep the Law of God. The Bible says:
"For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin." (Eccl. 7:20)
28. What then is the purpose of the Ten Commandments - the Law of God?
Answer, The Law has a 3-fold purpose:
First, the Law checks the coarse outbursts of sin and thereby helps to keep order in the world. (A curb)
Second, the Law shows us our sins (A mirror)
Third, The Law teaches us Christians which works we must do to lead a God-pleasing life. (A rule or guide)
29. What is sin?
Answer: "Sin is the transgression of the Law."
30. How many kinds of sin are there?
Answer: There are two kinds of sin: original sin and actual sin.
31. Describe both.
Answer: Original sin (inherited sin) is the total corruption of our whole human nature. Actual sin is every act against a command of God in thoughts, desires, words and deeds.
32. Can we be saved by keeping the Commandments?
Answer: The Bible says that "By deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin."
II. Apostles' Creed
33. This then leads us to the One to whom we must turn for salvation. And this One is the Triune God, our maker, redeemer and sanctifier. What is the First Article of the Apostles' Creed in which He is described and introduced to us?
Answer: "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth."
34. What do we mean by "heaven and earth"?
Answer: By heaven and earth I mean all creatures visible and invisible.
35. How did God create everything?
Answer: God created everything by the power of His Word, not by evolution.
36. How was everything that God made?
Answer: "And God beheld everything that He had made, and behold it was very good."
37. Who is the crown of God's creation?
Answer: The foremost visible creature is man, because in the beginning God Himself formed his body, gave him a mind that can reason, made him ruler over the earth, and created him in His image.
38. What was this image?
Answer: This image consisted in that man knew God and was perfectly happy in such knowledge and that man was perfectly holy and blessed.
39. Does man still have that image?
Answer: Man lost the image when he fell into sin. In believers, a beginning of its renewal is made. Only in heaven, however, will this image be fully restored.
40. This brings us to the Second Article in which we deal with our Savior, Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born, his parents were instructed to call him by what name? Why?
Answer: "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:12)
41. Who is Jesus Christ?
Answer: Jesus Christ is true God, Begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary.
42. Why was it necessary for Him to become man?
Answer, It was necessary that:
a) He might take our place under the Law, and that
b) He might be able to suffer and die in our stead.
43. Why was it necessary for Him to be God?
Answer, It was necessary for our Savior to be true God that:
a) His fulfilling of the Law might be sufficient for all men, that
b) His life and death might be a sufficient ransom for our redemption, and that
c) He might be able to overcome death and the devil for us.
44. What do the Scriptures teach of Christ's return?
Answer: The Scriptures teach that Christ will return visibly, in glory, suddenly and to judge.
45. To be ready for that, or my death before, I need the Holy Spirit to bring and keep me in the true faith. What is the task of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: The Holy Spirit brings me to faith in Christ. "No man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Ghost."
46. Is "faith" my work, my decision, my choice?
Answer: No. Faith is God's work in us. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
47. Does the Holy Spirit desire to work in all people?
Answer: The Holy Spirit desires to bring all people to salvation by the Gospel.
"As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live." (Ezek. 33:11)
"The Lord...is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (II Pet. 3:9)
"God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
(I Tim. 2:4)
48. Why then, are not all people saved?
Answer: Not all are saved, because many in unbelief stubbornly resist the Word and Spirit of God and are thus lost through their own fault.
49. What is the holy Christian Church?
Answer: The holy Christian Church is the whole number of believers in Christ, for all believers and only believers, are members of this Church.
50. Which denomination is the correct one?
Answer: That denomination is correct which has, teaches and confesses the entire doctrine of the Word of God and administers the Sacraments according to Christ's institution.
III. The Lord's Prayer
51. What is prayer?
Answer: Prayer is a heart to heart talk with God.
52. How should we pray?
Answer, We should pray:
a) In the name of Jesus, that is, with faith in Him as our redeemer; and
b) With confidence, that is, with firm trust that for Jesus' sake our prayer will be answered.
53. When should we pray?
Answer: We should pray at all times, especially in time of trouble.
54. Why should we pray?
Answer: God's command and promise, our own and our neighbor's need, and gratitude for blessing received should move us to pray.
55. Where should we pray?
Answer: We should pray everywhere, especially in private, that is, when we are alone, in the family circle, and in public worship.
56. And the most perfect of prayers is the "Our Father". What are some hindrances that may cause God not to respond to our prayers?
a) Unconfessed sin in our lives,
c) Holding a grudge against someone
d) and Stinginess in our actions toward others, may hinder God from responding to our prayers.
IV. Sacraments and Baptism
57. How many Sacraments are there:
Answer: There are only two, the Lord's Supper and Holy Baptism.
58. How do you define a Sacrament?
Answer: By a Sacrament we mean a sacred act-
a) Instituted by God Himself,
b) In which there are certain visible means connected with His Word; and
c) By which God offers, gives and seals unto us the forgiveness of sins.
59. What is Baptism?
Answer: "Baptism is not simple water only, but it is water included in God's command and connected with God's Word. Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
60. Who is to be baptized?
Answer: All nations, that is, all human beings, young and old, are to be baptized.
61. Why should we baptize infants?
Answer: Infants, too, are to be baptized because they are included in the words "all nations"; and because they, too, can believe.
62. Can anyone be saved without baptism?
Answer: It is unbelief only that damns; and though saving faith cannot exist in the heart of one who refuses to be baptized, it can exist when for some reason Baptism cannot be obtained.
63. What is indicated by Baptism?
"It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever."
Where is this written? St. Paul writes in Romans Chapter six: "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Rom. 6:4)
V. Holy Communion
64. By what names is the Sacrament of the Altar known?
Answer: The Sacrament of the Altar is known also as the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, Holy Communion, the Breaking of Bread and the Eucharist.
65. Who instituted it?
Answer: Our Lord Jesus Christ, the truthful, all-wise, and almighty God-man, has instituted this Sacrament.
66. What are the visible elements?
Answer: The visible means are bread, prepared of flour; and wine, the fruit of the vine.
67. What is given "in, with and under" the bread and the wine?
Answer: In, with and under the bread Christ gives us His true body; in, with and under the wine He gives us His true blood.
68. So then, how many things do we receive in the Sacrament?
Answer: We receive four: the bread and the wine in a natural manner, and the body and blood in a supernatural (or sacramental) manner.
69. What is the main reason for our going to Holy Communion?
Answer: We approach the Lord's Table - chiefly to receive forgiveness of our sins and thus to be strengthened in our faith in Christ, and to obtain strength for a holier life.
70. What should we do before we take Holy Communion?
Answer, We should examine ourselves to see:
a) Whether we truly repent of our sins
b) Whether we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior
c) Whether we have the good and earnest purpose with the aid of God the Holy Spirit, henceforth to amend our sinful lives.
71. Whom do we admit to the Lord's Supper?
Answer: We admit those who have received sufficient instruction and have given public account of their faith.
72. What custom do we, therefore, observe?
Answer: We observe the custom of Confirmation.
73. What is Confirmation?
Answer: Confirmation is a ceremony by which a baptized person renews his baptismal vow, publicly confesses his faith, and is received into communicant membership by the congregation.
Special Thanks to Derek Turner for scanning and formatting these questions!
March 29, 2001
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