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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of the full enjoyment of God.

Q. 1. What doth perfect blessedness suppose and imply?
A. It supposes the total freedom of believers from all the moral evil of sin; Ephesians 5:27. That he might p resent you to himself a glorious church, not having spot nor wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. And from all the penal evils of suffering; Revelation 21: 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.

Q. 2. What else is implied in perfect blessedness?
A. It implies the full and perfect enjoyment of God; 1 Corinthians 15:28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Q. 3. What is it for God to be all in all?
A. It implies three things in it. First, That all the saints shall be filled and satisfied from God alone. Secondly, That there shall be no need of other things out of which they were wont to fetch comfort. Thirdly, That all other things, as heaven, angels, saints, shall be loved and enjoyed in God.

Q. 4. In what respect shall they enjoy God in heaven?
A. They shall have the glorious and immediate presence of God with them; Rev. 21:5. God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Q. 5. In what other respects shall they enjoy God?
A. They shall see him as he is; 1 John 3:2. We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Q. 6. What will such a vision of God produce?
A. It will produce perfect conformity in them to God; 1 John 3:2. When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And perfect joy will result from hence; Psalm. 16:11. In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Q. 7. Do not the saints enjoy God here?
A. Yes, they do; but not so as they shall en joy him in heaven; 1 Corinthians 13:12. Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Q. 8. What are the special differences between the saints communion with God here, and that in heaven?
A. Their communion with God here is clogged with sin; Romans 7:21. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. Here it is not constant; Psalm 22:1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Nor is it satisfying; but in heaven it will be pure, constant, and satisfying.

Q. 9. How long shall they here enjoy God?
A. Not for days, years, ages, but for ever and ever; 1 Thessalonians 4:17. And so shall we be ever with the Lord.

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the world is not the place of the saints rest and satisfaction; Hebrews 4:9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 2 Corinthians 5:2, 6. For in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon with our house, which is from heaven: therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.

Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. That death is a singular benefit to the saints; and though it be an enemy to nature, yet it is the medium to glory; 2 Corinthians 5:4. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Q. 12. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. The necessity of faith and regeneration in this world. None shall be raised up in glory, acknowledged, acquitted, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God, but believers; Romans 8:30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Hebrews 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

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