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Jesu, Juva

Archive for the ‘Catechism’ Category

In the way

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Last November I posted a quote from John Loftness on parenting with faith in God and his promises for our children. But faith always has legs; “therefore how we act,” as Loftness says. I have three small children. What difference does it make that I know God is at work in them, that he has been at work from the very beginning?

  • We teach them [1], [2] to name Jesus as “our Lord” and to confess that “he died for our sins and pleads with God for us.”
  • When we pray, we teach them to name God as “our Father” and to look to him for provision and forgiveness. And we rejoice in his forgiveness and provision! God is far more lavish even than Mommy and Daddy in his mercy and blessing.
  • We teach and expect them to sing to our savior and king, at home and at church.
  • We teach and expect them to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. With every bit of good fruit we see, we rejoice and encourage them that this is God at work in them.
  • We teach and expect them to obey cheerfully. Repentance for sin and rejoicing in God’s forgiveness and acceptance are also a key part of this.
  • Whether or not they participate in the Lord’s supper, we teach them to thank Jesus for cleansing them from sin with his blood, and for making them a part of God’s family.

Not that we have already obtained this!

Are we training our children to be little hypocrites? Absolutely not! Rather:

  • Scripture gives us great confidence that the Holy Spirit is already at work in our children, and our task is one of fanning into flame.
  • The Christian life is lifelong repentance and faith. While regeneration is absolutely necessary, it is likely in the case of our children that pinpointing it will be futile. The gardener diligently tends his garden before he can even see the sprouts; and as they grow, he tenderly cares for, trains and prunes them, without knowing whether they will survive, so that they may survive. In the same way, we train our children to walk in daily repentance, faith and obedience.
  • Similarly, there is a reason that Proverbs 22:6 does not instruct us to lead our children to the way, but rather train them in the way. Christian nurture is not preparation for a future driver’s exam; it is a continuous going deeper. We love our savior and king; there is absolutely no question that he is our trustworthy savior and the king of the world; and faith, repentance and obedience are simply what it looks like to love him.

Written by Scott Moonen

January 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

A gospel catechism

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Our church practices credobaptism, and I’ve assembled this catechism to help ready my children for a pastoral interview. We’re also learning the apostle’s creed, below. Some influences are my pastors Phil Sasser and Daniel Baker, and also Chris Schlect and the Westminster-based catechism for young children. I’d be grateful for suggested improvements.

Catechism

Sin

What is your sin?
Disobeying God’s word (1 John 3:4)
What is the penalty for your sin?
Death (Romans 6:23)

Gospel

What is the gospel?
Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead; just as God promised. (1 Cor 15)

Father

Why does God love you?
He made me His child.
How do you know that God loves you?
He gave his son Jesus for me.

Jesus

Who is Jesus?
He is God’s son, my maker, savior and king. He is my life and my treasure.
How is Jesus your Savior?
Jesus died in my place, so I am forgiven and adopted.
Where is Jesus now?
He rose from the dead and sits at our Father’s right hand.
How is Jesus your King?
He leads, provides, cares for and protects me.

Holy Spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit?
He is my helper.
How does he help you?
He gives me life, peace, comfort, and strength to become more like Jesus.

Response

What is faith?
Resting on Jesus for my salvation (Psalm 62:5-8)
Why do you love God?
He is great and good, and he loves me.
What is repentance?
To be sorry for my sin, to hate it as God does, and to keep turning from it
Why do you obey God?
Because I love him

Church, now and then

Who are God’s people?
They make up his church.
What does his church do?
We display God’s greatness and beauty, and serve and care for one another.
What will become of God’s people?
God will keep us to the end.
What happens at the end?
Jesus will restore his creation and live with his people.

Baptism

What is baptism?
Baptism is God’s marking out a person as his own.
What does your baptism signify?
I am cleansed from my sin by Jesus’s blood, and united to him in his death and resurrection.
Why do you want to be baptized?
Because I belong to Jesus

Apostles’ creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 14, 2009 at 6:05 am

A Suffering Catechism

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Does God know when you are hurting or disappointed?

Yes, God knows and sees everything.

Does God understand your pain and disappointment?

Yes, as a man Jesus experienced every kind of pain and disappointment.

Why does God bring pain and disappointment into our lives?

God loves us and he is drawing us to trust him more and more. God gives us many good and happy gifts but he wants to remind us that Jesus is more wonderful and good than anything else.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 7, 2006 at 6:27 am

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A Creation Catechism

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Who made [that]?

God made [that].

Why did God make [that]?

God made [that] to display his beauty and his glory.

Why does it work the way it does?

God is in authority over all things and he has decreed it.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 6, 2006 at 3:54 am

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Trust

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Who do you trust in?

I trust in God!

God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For what do you trust in God our Father?

God is my Father. He loves me, watches over me, cares for me, and provides for me. Thank you, Father!

For what do you trust in Jesus the Son?

Jesus is my Savior. He died to take away my sin, give me his righteousness, and make me part of God’s family. Now he intercedes for me. Thank you, Jesus!

For what do you trust in the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit gives me life by uniting me with Jesus; helps me to trust and obey God; and helps me to grow to be more like Jesus. Thank you, Holy Spirit!

How do you trust in God?

By resting in him for my salvation and for all my needs.

Why does God love you?

He made me his child.

How do you know that God loves you?

He gave his son Jesus for me.

Why do you love God?

Because he first loved me.

Why do you obey God?

Because I love him.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 5, 2006 at 12:01 pm

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A Family Worship Catechism

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Why do we read God’s word?

We love to read God’s word because it is life and truth.

What does God’s word teach us?

God’s word teaches us about himself, how good and merciful he is; it teaches us that we are sinners who need a savior; and it teaches us how we are to live, trusting in God.

How do we read God’s word?

The Holy Spirit helps us to understand God’s word and to trust and obey it. Holy Spirit, please help me!

Written by Scott Moonen

June 4, 2006 at 11:56 am

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A Lord’s Day Catechism

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What is today?

Today is the Lord’s day.

Why is this day special?

God gives us a day of rest as a gift; to remind us that Jesus is victorious risen Lord of all creation; and to give us hope that some day we will enjoy rest with him forever.

What do we do on the Lord’s day?

On the Lord’s day we love to worship God together as his people.

Why is it so good to worship God together?

Long ago, people feared to draw near to God. But because of Jesus’s death, we now enjoy God’s nearness at all times, and especially when his people gather together.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 3, 2006 at 11:41 am

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