Since late January, I have taught our confirmation class, and the curriculum has been supplemented by the Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC), the teaching tool that summarizes the Westminster Confession of Faith. I am always amazed at how well the WSC condenses important Reformed doctrine into bits that are easy to remember. If you are unfamiliar with this wonderful document, click here.
The WSC covers the creation, who God is, the Trinity, the OT Law, sin, grace, who Jesus is, why he died, how he rose, etc. It is very comprehensive. Here is a great example of both the simplicity and clarity of the catechism:
Quest. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
Ans. 86. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.
In this one sentence answer, the writers of the Confession connect faith to grace, and how it works to save us through Christ. This very topic takes up thousands and thousands of pages in seminary libraries! And there it is, aptly explained for any who will read this great statement of our faith. Have you ever wondered how to explain what a sacrament is? Here you go:
Quest. 92. What is a sacrament?
Ans. 92. A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.
All too often we push theological study aside, when it can be very exciting! Click here to let the Westminster Shorter Catechism remind you of what it means to be part of the Reformed tradition!