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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 39.What is the duty which God requires of man?
A. The duty which God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will.

1. Does God require duty of men? Yes: Now, O Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, Deut. 10:12. Of every man? Yes: he that hath ears to hear, let him hear, Matt. 13:9. Has he authority to require duty? Yes: If I be a master, where is my fear, Mal. 1:6. Is it fit he should rule us? Yes: for we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture, Ps. 100:3. Is it fit we should obey him? Yes: for the borrower is servant to the lender, and the fool is servant to the wise in heart, Prov. 22:7. 11:29. Ought we therefore to inquire what our duty is? Yes: teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, Ps. 119:33.

2. Has God made known his will concerning our duty? Yes: He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel, Ps. 147:19. Are we to obey it? Yes: Thou shall obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments, Deut. 27:10. Is that obedience the condition of our acceptance? Yes: Obey my voice, and I will he your God, Jer. 7:23. Is obedience to God reasonable? Yes: it is our reasonable service, Rom. 12:1. Is it easy? Yes: for his commandments are not grievous, 1 John 5:3. And will it he acceptable? Yes: for to obey is better than sacrifice, 1 Sam. 15:22.

3. Must our obedience to God be sincere? Yes: Fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity, and in truth, Josh. 24:14. Must it be universal? Yes: Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments, Ps. 119:6. Must it be with delight? Yes: I delight in the law of God after the inward man, Rom. 7:22. Must it be constant? Yes: Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long, Prov. 23:17. Must God's commands take place of men's? Yes: We ought to obey God rather than men, Acts 5:29. and 4:19.

4. Should we therefore labour to know the will of God? Yes: Understand what the will of the Lord is, Eph. 5:17. Are we to study his secret will? No: for secret things belong not to us. But his revealed will? Yes: for things revealed belong to us, and to our children, that we may do all the words of this law, Deut. 29:29. Is obedience to God's revealed will the whole duty of man? Yes: let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, Eccl. 12:13.

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