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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

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

by
Thomas Vincent


XXXVI. Ques. What are the beneftts which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
Ans.
The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.

Q. 1. How many sorts of benefits are there which do belong to those who are justified, adopted, and sanctified?
A. There are three sorts of benefits which do belong unto those wbo are justified, adopted, and sanctified, namely 1. Benefits in this life. 2. Benefits at death. 3. Benefits at the resurrection.

Q. 2. What are the benefits which belong to justified, adopted, and sanctified persons in this life?
A. The benefits which belong to justified persons in this life are five. 1. Assurance of God's love. 2. Peace of conscience. 3. Joy in the Holy Ghost. 4. Increase of grace. 5. Perseverance in grace to the end. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Rom. 5:1, 2, 5. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6.

Q. 3. What are the benefits that do accompany and flow from the sight and sense of justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits which do accompany and flow from the sight and sense of justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost.

Q. 4. May not unjustified and unsanctified persons attain any of these benefits?
A. Unjustified persons may some of them have a presumptuous confidence of God's love, but not real assurance; they may have a carnal security, and false peace; but no true spiritual peace; they may have a carnal joy, or ungrounded spiritual joy, but no sound spiritual and heavenly joy of the Holy Ghost; these benefits are given only unto such as are truly justified, adopted, and sanctified.

Q. 5. Whence is it that all that are justified, adopted, and sanctified, do not attain these benefits?
A. Because all have not a sight and sense of their justification, adoption, and sanctification, but are under doubts, and therefore fear that God doth hate them, and not love them; therefore they have troubles of conscience instead of peace, and sorrow in spirit instead of the joys of the Holy Ghost.

Q. 6. How may a child of God get a sure evidence of his justification and adoption?
A. A child of God may get a sure evidence of his justification and adoption by his sanctification.

Q. 7. What is a sure evidence of sanctification?
A. A sure evidence of sanctification is increase of grace.

Q. 8. What are the benefits which accompany and flow from the being of justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits which accompany and flow from the being of justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.

Q. 9. Do all truly justified, adopted, and sanctified persons increase in grace?
A. 1. All truly justified, adopted, and sanctified persons do not at all times actually increase in grace, for some of them may at some times be under declining and decays of grace. 2. They are always of a growing disposition, and desirous to grow in grace; and at some time or other they do grow, when they do not perceive themselves to grow, but fear that they do decline.

Q. 10. Do all truly justified, adopted, and sanctified persons persevere in grace to the end?
A. All truly justified, adopted, and sanctified persons do persevere in grace to the end, and shall assuredly attain the heavenly inheritance.

Q. 11. How do you prove this?
A. 1. From God's everlasting, unchangeable love, and his faithfulness in his promises of perseverance, as well as of heaven, which he hath made unto them. 2. From their union and relation to Christ, and his undertaking for them. 3. From the constant abode and indwelling of the Spirit of God in them. 4. From the nature of grace; which is an abiding seed, which can never be totally extirpated.

Q. 12. May not any believer, by falling into sin, fall from grace?
A. Some believers may, through the remainder of corruption in them, and the violence of Satan's tempting of them, fall into sin foully, and so fall from some degree and measures of grace; but they will never fall totally nor finally from grace. And when we see any fall totally and finally from the profession which they formerly made, we may know they were never in that sincerity which they professed themselves to be. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." 1 John 2:19.

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