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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
of the Westminster Assembly
Explained and Proved
from Scripture

by
Thomas Vincent


III. Ques. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Ans. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

Q. 1. What is it to believe?
A. To believe, is to assent or give credit to truths, because of the authority of another.

Q. 2. What is it to believe what the Scriptures teach?
A. To believe that which the Scriptures teach, is to assent or give credit to the truth thereof, because of the authority of God, whose word the Scriptures are-this is divine faith.

Q. 3. What are implied in the things concerning God which the Scriptures teach?
A. In the things concerning God which the Scriptures teach, are implied all points of faith, as it is divine.

Q. 4. Are Christians to believe nothing as a point of faith, but what the Scriptures teach?
A. No; because no other book in the world is of divine authority but the Scriptures, and therefore not absolutely infallible.

Q. 5. What is meant by the duty which God requireth of man?
A. By the duty which God requireth of man, we are to understand that which is God's due, or that which we owe to God, and are bound to do, as we are creatures, and subjects, and children.

Q. 6. Are we bound to nothing in point of practice, but what is required in the Scriptures?
A. No; because the laws and commandments of God in the Scriptures are so exceeding large and extensive, that they reach both the inward and outward man, and whole conversation, so that nothing is lawful for us to do, except it be directly or consequentially prescribed in the Word.

Q. 7. How do the Scriptures teach matters of faith and practice?
A. The Scriptures teach the matters of faith and practice, by revealing these things externally; but it is the Spirit of God only, in the Scriptures, which can teach them internally and effectually unto salvation.

Q. 8. Why are the Scriptures said principally to teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man?
A. Because though all things taught in the Scriptures are alike true, having the stamp of divine authority upon them, yet all things in the Scriptures are not alike necessary and useful. Those things which man is bound to believe and do, as necessary to salvation, are the things which the Scriptures do principally teach.

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