Part 2


In what way does God save men from their sins by Christ? (52)

He forgives them for Christ's sake, and by the power of his teaching. He turns men away from their sins, and leads them to righteousness.

Why for Christ's sake, does God forgive? (53)

Because of what had been accomplished in him.

What has been accomplished in Christ? (54)

Sin had been condemned in his death on the cross, and the righteousness of God has been declared and exhibited to all the world in the shedding of his blood.

How could sin be condemned in Christ who was sinless? and how could the righteousness of God be declared in the blood shedding of a righteous man? (55)

Because being born of Adam's condemned race, and partaking of their condemned nature, Christ was made subject, equally with them to the consequences of Adam's transgression. Therefore his public execution was a public exhibition of what was due to a man from God. It pleased God to require this before inviting men to reconciliation through the man in whom this vindication should take place.

Where did Jesus differ in this matter from other men? (56)

Where Jesus in this matter differed from other men was, in the spotlessness of his personal character, on account of which the Father was well pleased. Jesus required no forgiveness. It was this that opened the way for his resurrection. For had he been a sinner as other men, death must have held the power over him that it had over them. But God raised him from the dead after sin had been condemned in his crucifixion, and being raised from the dead, "death hath no more dominion over him." "He ever liveth to make intercession for us, and is able to save to the uttermost all those who come unto God by him." In this way he has become the righteousness of God to us.

What are we to understand by the statement of Paul quoted in proof of the answer to Question (55) that Jesus died that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil? Who is the devil? (57)

The devil, or Satan, is the Bible name for sin in its various forms among men. Christ took away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Sin is the death-power. There is no such being as the personal immortal devil of popular religious belief. The belief in such a being is due to the misunderstanding of certain figures and symbols in the Bible. The Bible devil has many shapes; but all these have their origin in the insubordination of flesh and blood to divine law. He presents himself in our own feelings, and in the persons of those who would draw us into wrong ways. In his largest shape, he exists in the present political constitution of things upon the earth.


Is it possible for us to be saved apart from this work of Christ? (58)

No: God has provided no other way of salvation for man than Jesus Christ.

In what way are we brought into connection with the work of salvation accomplished in Christ? (59)

By faith in it. Our faith is counted for righteousness.

Is faith by itself enough to secure for us the benefit of the work of Christ? (60)

No: there must he obedience, or "works" also.

What "works" are those who believe commanded to do? (61)

There are many things they have been commanded to do. First, they are commanded to be baptized.

What is baptism? (62)

Burial in water.

What does baptism do for us? (63)

It is the act that God has appointed, by which a believer puts on Christ and receives the remission of his sins.


What other commandments has Christ delivered for our observance? (64)

He has commanded us to assemble ourselves together on every first day of the week to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of him.

Are there other commandments that we must obey? (65)

Yes; many. Some of these commandments tell us what we are to do, and others tell us what we are not to do.

What are a few of the things we are to do? (66)

(1) We are to love God and Christ; (2) to do to men as we would that they should do to us; (3) to love one another; (4) to sympathize with men in their joys and sorrows; (5) to love even our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us, and praying for those who badly use us; (6) we are to be ready to every good work, to give to those who ask, to relieve the afflicted; (7) to be faithful even to bad masters; (8) to pray always and in every thing give thanks; (9) to speak the truth always; (10) to be blameless and harmless; (11) to be humble, brave, joyful, courteous and manly; (12) to follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, pure, just, lovely and of good report.

Can you enumerate some of the things we are not to do? (67)

(1) We are not to be masterful and lordly; (2) we are not to return evil for evil; (3) we are not to avenge ourselves, but rather give place to wrath, and suffer ourselves to be defrauded; (4) we are not to do our alms before men, or let our left hand know what our right hand doeth; (5) we are not to labour to be rich or to love the world; (6) we are not to return cursing for cursing, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing; (7) we are not to grudge, judge, complain, or condemn; (8) we are not to give way to anger, wrath, bitterness, or evil speaking; (9) we are not to conform to the world or to be ambitious after higher things; (10) we are not to be slack in paying our debts; (11) we are not to backbite or speak of other men's sins until we have spoken to themselves first; (12) we are not to be guilty of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vainglory, envy, jesting or foolish talking.

Will the gospel save us if we are disobedient to those commandments? (68)

No: our belief of the Gospel and baptism will only be to our condemnation if we live in disobedience to the commandments of Christ. Only those who do his commandments will at last be among the blessed.

Is there forgiveness for those who, having submitted to the Gospel, may fail in rendering a perfect obedience to the commandments of Christ? (69)

Yes: if there were not, no flesh could be saved. But forgiveness is conditional on our confessing and forsaking our sins; and also on our being forgiving to others; and forgiveness is only granted at the intercession of Christ. If we are unforgiving, or if he refuses to intercede, there is no hope for us.


You have said that our faith is counted to us for righteousness when we obey the truth in baptism. What is faith? (70)

lt is the act of mind by which we believe or have confidence in professions or promises that may be made.

What is it that we are invited to believe or place confidence in before our baptism? (71)

In the Gospel.

What is the Gospel? (72)

The word "gospel" means good news or glad tidings; and the glad tidings announced by Christ and the Apostles are the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.

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