Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 3

Q. 3. What do the scriptures principally teach?

A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

The Bible has several purposes as we are told in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work,” but the Catechism speaks of two primary ones.

First of all, it teaches us what we are “to believe about God.” It is important to remember that the Bible is not man’s ideas about God, but God’s self-revelation of Himself to man. These words are as the above Scripture says, “God-breathed.” If we desire to know what God is like we need to look no further than His written Word.

Secondly, it tells us of “what duty God requires of man.” In other words, it tells us of God’s Law. It tells how we are to live as God’s creation. God has given us a summary of this Law in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 6. This summary has historically been called The Ten Commandments. Jesus, then, gave us a further summary of The Ten Commandments in Matthew 22:37-40 when He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

“Lord, thank you for the fact that when we could not keep your Law, you sent your only begotten Son to keep it on our behalf. Thank you for the righteousness of Christ.”


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