The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 39. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.39. What does God require of man?
A. God requires man to obey His revealed will.
1. Why do believers have duties toward God?
(1) God is the Creator and Preserver of all men, but believers belong to Him also by right of redemption and have added reason for obedience. (2) God has made it very plain in His Word that the duties of the believers are the responsibilities that go with the privileges. In our catechism we have studied the privileges, now we come to the responsibilities.
2. What is the revealed will of God?
The revealed will of God is found in the scripture of the Old and New Testaments.
3. Could not the Holy Spirit lead a believer to act apart from the Scriptures?
Any leading by the Holy Spirit will be consistent with the Word of God. A Bible teacher put it this way: There are three main characteristics of the leading of the Holy Spirit: (1) It is controlling, not compelling. (2) It is continuous, it always "Puts to death."
(3) It is mediate, always by and with the Word, "Into the truth."
4. Should believers obey God rather than men?
There is a responsibility on the part of believers to "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority institued among men", (1 Peter 2:13) but if the duty required of us by man would cause us to disobey God (according to His revealed will) we must obey God. (Acts 5:29).
5. Does God require of the believer what is impossible for the individual believer?
No, God only requires of the believer what he will give the believer - the strength, wisdom, courage and power to perform. (Ezekiel 36:27; 1 Corinthians 10:13).