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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of Rest in the Grave.

Q. 1. Why must believers come to the grave?
A. Because where sin has been, death by the law must follow; Romans 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 8:10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life, because of righteousness.

Q. 2. What is the first privilege of their bodies there?
A. It is the privilege of their bodies to be there in union with Christ; 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.

Q. 3. What is their second privilege?
A. Their graves are places of rest; not prisons, but beds of rest; Isaiah 57:2. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

Q. 4. What is the first evil they rest from?
A. All the toils, and troubles, and afflictions, of this life; Revelation 14:13. They may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Q. 5. What is the second evil they rest from?
A. They rest from all persecutions from men; Job 3:17. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.

Q. 6. What is the third evil they rest from?
A. They rest from sin, never to feel temptation or inclination to sin; Hebrews 12:23. And to the spirits of just men made perfect.

Q. 7. How long shall the bodies rest in the grave?
A. Not for ever, but till the day of the resurrection; Job 19:26. And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.

Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That union with Christ redounds to the singular advantage of the body, as well as the soul; Romans 8:11. But if the Spirit ofí him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Q. 9. What is the second inference?
A. That death dissolves not the union betwixt Christ and the souls or bodies of his; Matthew 22:32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Q. 10. What is the third inference?
A. That seeing our bodies are to have so long and so sweet rest in the grave, we should not spare them in Godís service now; 2 Peter 1:13-14. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance: Knowing that shortly

I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

Q. 11. What is the fourth inference?
A. That Christians should neither too much fear their own, nor sorrow for others death; Romans 8:38,39. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

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