Chapter 1 of An Orthodox Catechism, coming soon from RBAP

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Chapter 1

General Introduction and

The First Part: Of Man’s Misery



A Catechism containing the sum of Christian Religion



Q. 1. What is your only comfort in life and death?


A. That both in soul and body (a), whether I live or die (b), I am not my own, but belong wholly unto my most faithful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (c). By His most precious blood fully satisfying for all my sins (d), He has delivered me from all the power of the devil (e), and so preserves me (f), that without the will of my heavenly Father not so much as a hair may fall from my head (g). Yes, all things must serve for my safety (h) and by His Spirit, also He assures me of everlasting life (i), and makes me ready and prepared (j), that from now on I may live to Him.

(a) 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Thess. 5:10.

(b) Rom. 14:8.

(c) 1 Cor. 3:23.

(d) 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; 2:2.

(e) 1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14-15.

(f) John 6:39.

(g) Matt. 10:30; Luke 21:18.

(h) Rom. 8:28.

(i) 2 Cor. 1:12; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14.

(j) Rom. 8:24-25.



Q. 2. How many things are necessary for you to know that, enjoying this comfort, you may live and die happily?


A. Three. The first, what is the greatness of my sin and misery (a). The second, how I am delivered from all sin and misery (b). The third, what thanks I owe to God for this delivery (c).

(a) Luke 24:47; Rom. 3:23.

(b) Rom. 8:15; 1 Cor.6:11; Titus 3:3-8.

(c) Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:11-13; Eph. 5:10; Titus 2:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:9; 3:10-12.




Of Man’s Misery



Q. 3. From what source do you know your misery?


A. From the law of God (a).

(a) Rom. 3:20; 5:20; 7:5, 13.



Q. 4. What does the law of God require of us?


A. That which Christ summarily teaches us, Matthew 22:37-40. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (a). This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.

(a) Luke 10:27.



Q. 5. Are you able to keep all these things perfectly?


A. No (a). By nature I am prone to the hatred of God and of my neighbors (b).

(a) Rom. 3:10, 23; 1 John 1:8.

(b) Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:3; Titus 3:3.



Q. 6. Did God then make man so wicked and perverse?


A. Not so (a). He made him good, and in His own image (b), endowing him with true righteousness and holiness (c), that he might rightly know God his Creator, and heartily love Him, and live with Him blessed forever, and that to laud and magnify Him (d).

(a) Gen. 1:31.

(b) Gen. 1:26-27.

(c) Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.

(d) 2 Cor. 3:18.



Q. 7. From what source does the wickedness of man’s nature arise?


A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve (a). For this reason our nature is so corrupt and we are all conceived and born in sin (b).

(a) Rom. 5:12, 18-19.

(b) Gen. 5:3; Psa. 51:5.



Q. 8. Are we so corrupt that we are not at all able to do well and are prone to all vice?


A. Indeed we are, except we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit (a).

(a) Gen. 6:5; Job 14:4; 15:16; Isa. 53:6; John 3:5.



Q. 9. Does not God, then, do injury to man who in the law requires that of him which he is not able to perform?


A. No. God made man such a one as he might perform it (a), but man, by the impulsion of the devil (b) and his own stubbornness bereaved himself and all his posterity of those divine graces (c).

(a) Eccl. 7:29.

(b) Gen. 3.

(c) Rom. 5:12-21.



Q. 10. Does God leave this stubbornness and falling away of man unpunished?


A. No. He is angry in a most dreadful manner (a), for the sins wherein we are born and which we ourselves commit. In a most just judgment, He punishes them with present and everlasting punishments as He pronounces: “Cursed is he that does not confirm all the words of this law to do them” (b).

(a) Rom. 5:12.

(b) Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10.



Q. 11. Is not God therefore merciful?


A.  Yes, very much so! He is merciful (a), but He is also just (b), wherefore His justice requires that the same which is committed against the divine majesty of God should also be recompensed with extreme, that is, everlasting punishment both in body and soul.

(a) Exod. 34:6; Psa. 5:4-6.

(b) Exod. 20:5.