North Valley’s Catechism: Questions 88-97

Question 88: Is any man able to keep perfectly the commandments of God?

Answer: Since the fall, no mere man is able in this life to keep perfectly the commandments of God, but daily falls short of inward and outward perfection.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:20; Genesis 6:5, 8:21; 1 John 1:8; James 3:2,3:8; Romans 3:23, 7:15; Philippians 3:12.

Question 89: What then is the purpose of the law since the fall?

Answer: Since the fall, the purpose of the law is to reveal the perfect righteousness of God, that His people may know the path of faith that leads to life, and that the ungodly may be convicted of their sin, restrained from evil, and brought to Christ for salvation.

Scripture: Psalm 19:7-11; Romans 3:20, 3:31, 7:7, 8:13, 9:32, 12:2; Titus 2:12-14; Galatians 3:22-24; 1 Timothy 1:8; Luke 10:25-28.

Question 90: Are all transgressions of the law equally bad?

Answer: Some sins in themselves and by reason of several aggravations are worse in the sight of God than others.

Scripture: Ezekiel 8:13; John 19:11; 1 John 5:16.

Question 91: What does every sin deserve?

Answer: Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, both in this life and in that which is to come.

Scripture: Ephesians 5:6; Galatians 3:10; Proverbs 3:33; Psalm 11:6; Revelation 21:8.

Question 92: What does God require from us, that we may escape His wrath and curse due to us for sin?

Answer: To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requires from us faith in Jesus Christ and repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the external and ordinary ways by which Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption.

Scripture: Acts 20:21,16:30-31,17:30.

Question 93: What is faith in Jesus Christ?

Answer: Faith in Jesus Christ is saving grace, by which we receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation, trusting Him to forgive our sins and guide us to eternal joy, on the basis of His divine power and atoning death.

Scripture: Hebrews 10:39; John 1:12, 6:35; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 2:15-16, 2:20; Matthew 14:31.

Question 94: What is repentance unto life?

Answer: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, by which a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin and understanding of the mercy of God in Christ, does, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it to God with full intention of and endeavoring after new obedience.

Scripture: Acts 2:37; Joel 2:13; Jeremiah 31:18-19; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11; Romans 6:18.

Question 95: What are the external and ordinary ways by which Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?

Answer: The external and ordinary ways by which Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption are His ordinances, especially the Word (reading and hearing the Bible), Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Prayer; all of which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.

Scripture: Romans 10:17; James 1:18; 1 Corinthians 3:5; Acts 14:1, 2:41- 42.

Question 96: How is the Word made effective for salvation?

Answer: The Holy Spirit of God makes the reading, and especially the preaching, of the Word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith unto salvation.

Scripture: Psalm 19:7, 119:11, 119:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Peter 2:1-2; Romans 1:16.

Question 97: How is the Word to be read and heard that it may become effective for salvation?

Answer: That the Word may become effective for salvation, we must attend to it with diligence, preparation, and prayer, receive it in faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.

Scripture: Proverbs 8:34; 1 Peter 2:1-2; 1 Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:10; Psalm 119:11; James 1:21, 1:25.