30 January 2005
Acts 20:21, Mark 1:15 & John 3:18
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 85. What doth God require of us, that we may escape His wrath and curse, due to us for sin?
A. To escape the wrath and curse of God, due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.85. What does God require from us to escape His anger and curse, which we deserve for our sin?
A. To escape God’s anger and curse, which we deserve for our sin, God requires from us faith in Jesus Christ and repentance unto life along with diligent involvement in all the external ways Christ uses to bring us the benefits of redemption.
1. Is it possible for us to escape the wrath of God by anything we can do of ourselves?
No, it is impossible for the Bible says, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
2. How can we say then that God requires certain things of us?
We can say this because although God appoints that these duties are necessary, He in turn enables us to perform them. That is, it is God that works in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12,13).
3. Why does God require “faith in Jesus Christ” of the sinner?
He requires faith in Jesus Christ because there is no other way to salvation. We are taught this very plainly in Acts 4:12.
4. Why does God require “repentance unto life” of the sinner?
He requires repentance unto life because it is the fruit of believing in Him.
5. Why does God require the “diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption” of the sinner?
He requires the diligent use of these outward means because the neglect of those means would be, in essence, proof of no faith or repentance having taken place in us. These are the ways in which the benefits of redemption are communicated to us.
6. Are you saying then that these three things God requires of us are an important part of salvation?
Yes, they are a part of salvation and evidences of it (2 Thess. 2:13).