- Shorter answers are in bold and designed to be memorized
- NCC – New City Catechism – Parents may find the New City Catechism app helpful for memorization of certain questions and answers
The Big Picture
- What is the chief purpose of humanity?
To glorify God and enjoy him forever (1 Cor 10:31; Ps 73:25–26).
2. What is our only hope in life and death? NCC 1
That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ (Rom 14:7-9; 1 Cor 6:19-20; 1 Thess 5:9-10).
- What does it mean to belong to God?
To belong to God is to be forgiven of sin, adopted into God’s eternal family, and united to Christ by faith alone through God’s grace alone (Eph 1:5-10; Gal 2:20-21; John 1:12).
- Can we belong to God apart from Christ?
No one comes to the Father, except through Christ alone (John 14:6).
- How do we know there is a God?
All creation proclaims there must be a Creator, and all humanity has a sense of morality and eternity imprinted within them by the Creator; but the Word of God alone fully reveals the one true God and tells us how we can belong to him (Rom 1:19-20; Ps 19; Eccl 3:11).
The Word of God
- What is the Word of God?
The Bible is the Word of God and our sufficient guide to teach, correct, and train for all of life (2 Pet 1:3; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
- What does the Bible teach?
The Bible reveals the one true God, explains what is wrong with the world, and tells how we can be right with and belong to God forever. The whole Bible is centered on the gospel message, making us wise for salvation (2 Tim 3:14-15; Eccl 12:13).
- What is the significance of calling Jesus the Word?
Jesus perfectly reveals God in the flesh, and through Christ alone we are made right with God and can belong to God forever (John 1:1,14; Luke 24:27).
- Who wrote the Bible?
Men inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible using the language and style with which they were most familiar (2 Pet 1:20-21).
- What does it mean that the Bible is inspired?
It means the Holy Spirit moved the writers of Scripture to write all that God desired, making it God-breathed. Every word in the original documents is exactly as God intended it to be (John 14:26; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21).
- Since men were involved in writing the Bible, is it without error?
Yes, since the Bible is inspired, it is inerrant and wholly true, reflecting the truthful nature of God (Heb 6:17-18; John 17:17; 1 Thess 2:13).
- To what extent is the Bible authoritative in our lives?
We are to believe and obey God’s Word in everything it addresses, as if God Himself spoke directly to us (1 Thess 2:13; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:14; 2 Pet 3:15-16).
- Do we need the Bible in order to belong to God?
Yes, the Bible is necessary to know God’s gospel, to grow in holiness, and to discern how to glorify and enjoy God both in this life and for all eternity (Rom 10:17; Matt 4:4; 1 Pet 2:2-3).
- Is the Bible still relevant today?
Yes, the Scriptures are clear and remain relevant for Christians today, revealing truth about God and ourselves. Therefore, the Bible should be translated carefully into every language (Deut 29:29; Col 3:16; Heb 4:12).
- How many books are there in the Bible?
There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament, for a total of 66 books. Jesus affirmed the divine authority of the Old Testament and promised the inspiration of the New Testament (Luke 24:44; John 16:13-14; 2 Pet 3:15-16).
- What are the books of the Old Testament?
The books of Moses are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
The historical books are: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
The poetical books are: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
The major prophets are: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel.
The twelve minor prophets are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
- What are the books of the New Testament?
The gospels are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
The story of the early church is: Acts.
Paul’s letters are: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.
The general letters are: Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, Jude.
The book of prophecy is: Revelation.
- Should anyone add to or take from the Bible?
No, not a single word. No person, prophet, or angel has authority to add to, or take from, the Scriptures (Deut 4:2; Prov 30:6; Rev 22:18-19).
- Can we trust that the Bible has remained unchanged?
Yes, the Word of God promises it will remain forever. Further, we have an abundance of ancient documents that demonstrate God’s preservation of the Bible in the original languages with few significant variations (Isa 40:6-8; Matt 5:18).
- How should we interpret the Bible?
We must always aim for the author’s intent, taking into account the grammar, literary context, and flow of redemptive history for each passage. Additionally, Scripture helps interpret Scripture since God is the author of it all and cannot contradict himself (2 Pet 1:20-21; Acts 15:14-18).
- Can we trust the Genesis account of the beginning?
Yes, Genesis 1-11, like the rest of the Bible, presents historical facts and should be trusted completely, just as Jesus did (Matt 19:4-5; 24:37-39).
- What is God? NCC 2
God is the creator, sustainer, and ruler of everyone and everything. He is eternal Spirit, infinite and unchangeable in his power and perfections, and goodness and glory (Ps 24:1, Ps 90:2; John 4:24; 1 Tim 1:17; Jas 1:17).
- Is there more than one God? SC 5
No, there is only one God and he alone is to be worshiped and feared. He tells us that his name is Yahweh (Jer 10:10; Deut 6:4; Exod 3:14-15).
- Who is the one true God?
The one true God eternally exists in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, the same in essence, and equal in power and glory (1 John 5:7; Matt 28:19).
- If there is only one God, why name three persons?
God’s Word reveals the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Without three persons, God is not God, nor is he eternally self-sufficient (1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1:3; Acts 5:3-4).
- Is God dependent on creation for anything?
No, because God is Triune, he is totally independent and sufficient within himself to possess and enjoy the full complement of his attributes, including relational attributes, such as love. And yet God is glorified by and derives joy from his creatures (Acts 17:24-25; 1 Cor 2:11; John 17:5, 24; 1 John 4:8, 13-16).
- Does each person in the Trinity differ in their roles?
Yes, each person of the Trinity carries out the one work of God distinctly and is uniquely involved in creating, sustaining, and saving creation. And yet the three operate inseparably in all divine works: the Father originates through the Son by the Spirit (Gen 1:1-2; John 15:26; 2 Cor 13:14; Col 1:3-20).
- How does the Nicene Creed help us understand the Trinity?
It clarifies the eternal relations of the Father, Son, and Spirit in this way:
“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And we believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all time; God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who is worshiped and glorified together with the Father and Son, and who spoke by the prophets.” (Gal 4:4-6; Heb 1:1-3)
- Can God be fully known?
No, even though God graciously reveals himself to us, our limited minds cannot fully know the greatness of his persons and perfections (Job 36:26; Ps 145:3; Isa 55:8-9).
- If we cannot fully know God, why should we try to know him at all?
Because our highest boast is that we know the inexhaustible God; the more we know God the more we are able to glorify and enjoy him (Jer 9:23-24; Col 1:10; Ps 139:17-18; Phil 3:10).
- Does God change his mind or make mistakes?
No, God is an eternal and perfect being and has no variation or shadow due to change, and yet God responds to our prayers and encourages us in the midst of our trials (Jas 1:17; Ps 102:26-27; Isa 46:9-10).
- Where is God?
God is omnipresent, and is everywhere equally, not contained by physical space. And yet his presence can have different functions, such as to bless in heaven and punish in hell (Ps 139:7-10; Amos 9:1-4; Deut 10:14).
- What does God know?
God is omniscient and therefore knows all that is, was, will be, and could be. He knows the secrets of our hearts and nothing escapes his notice (1 John 3:20; Heb 4:13; Isa 46:9-10).
- What does it mean that God is holy?
God is perfectly pure, sinless in every way, transcendent and set apart, highly exalted above all creation (Isa 6:3; Hab 1:13; Lev 16:2).
- Is God always just to punish evil?
Yes, God’s wrath is justly poured out against all sin. He is always righteous and therefore his judgments are always just. He alone is the standard and arbiter of absolute justice (Deut 32:4; Isa 10:1-4; 45:19).
- But isn’t God merciful, withholding his wrath?
Yes, he has mercy on whom he wills, is slow to anger, and abounds in steadfast love. His mercy is a common grace gift to humanity as he allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, patiently withholding his wrath until the due time (Exod 33:19; 34:6; Matt 5:45; 1 Cor 4:5).
- Does God have a primary attribute?
No, at all times God is all of his attributes; no one attribute ranks before another. Therefore, he is perfectly just and angry while simultaneously merciful and loving. His hatred of sin and love for humanity unite most vividly at the cross of Jesus Christ (Exod 34:6-7; Isa 53:4-6; Rom 3:23-26).
- How did God create all things?
God created all things out of nothing, by speaking them into existence. He created the entire universe and everything within the universe, both physical and spiritual, in six consecutive days. In the beginning, all of his creation was very good and untainted by sin (Gen 1; Col 1:16-17; Heb 11:3).
- Does God reign over his creation?
Yes, the entirety of creation is upheld by his power, from the weather to the worst of sinners. Nothing and no one can act outside of his sovereign control (Ps 24:1; Heb 1:3).
- Why call God sovereign?
Because he is king over all, with limitless power and authority to reign over his creation, he is able to do whatever he desires according to his holy and perfect will (Ps 103:19; Matt 19:26).
- What is the providence of God?
God is present and active in all creation. He is working personally and powerfully to guide all creation to fulfill all his purposes for his glory and the good of his children (Gen 50:20; Prov 19:21; Matt 10:29-31; John 9:1-3; Rom 8:28).
- How does knowing God’s sovereignty and providence encourage us?
It encourages us to be patient in adversity and thankful in prosperity, resting our highest hope in God our Father. We can be sure that there is nothing which can take us out of his faithful love, for he is the only Lord of all (Job 1:21; Rom 5:3-5; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Rom 8:38-39).
Created Things – Humanity – Sin
- What makes humanity special?
God created us in his own image with the capacity to know, glorify and enjoy him forever. We alone are like God and we alone can represent God (Gen 1:26-27; Isa 43:7).
- Is our gender part of God’s good creation?
Yes, God created us, his image bearers, as male and female. This means that all men and all women have dignity and significance before God and before one another. It also means we are to treat all people with respect and love, avoiding any sense of superiority and inferiority (Gen 1:27; Gal 3:27-29).
- What is marriage?
Marriage is God’s ongoing gift to humanity, always defined as the union of one man and one woman. Any attempt to subvert this definition, separate sexual intimacy from marriage, or reject God’s gift of gender rebels against God’s good design (Gen 2:18, 23-24; Rom 1:26-28).
- How should we think of singleness?
Singleness is a season of life for all human beings and is to be lived in purity. To some people God grants the gift of singleness so they may follow him with undivided attention and service (1 Cor 7:6-9, 32-35).
- What is God’s purpose for humanity?
Beginning with Adam and Eve, God wants us to fill the earth, work, worship, and enjoy him. He also wants us to be conformed to the image of his Son (Gen 1:28; 2:15; 2 Cor 3:18).
- Are our physical bodies important to God?
Yes, God created us as the good and blessed union of soul and body, and to harm the body or dismiss the physical realities of eternal life is to ignore God’s good purpose and hope for all creation (Gen 3:22; 9:5; Rom 8:23).
- Is hatred or murder of another ever acceptable?
No, so all acts that take away human life, either in the womb –– abortion, or at the end of life ––euthanasia, are strictly forbidden. So too is any hatred of our fellow man for any reason, especially related to differences in ethnicity, culture, age, or gender (Ps 139:13-16; Exod 21:22-25; Heb 9:27).
- What other creatures did God create to serve him?
God created angels to continually serve him. But some angels, led by Satan, rebelled against God. (Ezek 28:12-18; Jude 6; Rev 12:4).
- If we are made in God’s image, why is there sin and death?
Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden by eating the forbidden fruit, succumbing to Satan’s temptation. Instead of holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable, were cast out of the garden, and eventually died (Gen 3:14-24; Jas 1:14-15).
- What are the effects of this first sin on us?
We are all born in sin and guilt, spiritually dead, inheritors of a sinful nature and therefore unable to glorify and enjoy God (Rom 3:23; 5:12-19; Eph 2:1-3; Ps 51:5).
- How can we glorify and enjoy God? NCC 6
By loving him, trusting him, and obeying his commands and law (Deut 11:8-9; Col 3:9-11; 1 John 5:3).
- What does the law of God require?
Perfect and perpetual obedience: that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 5:48; 22:37-40; Rom 13:8-10).
- What is the summary of the law stated in the 10 commandments, and how are they divided?
One: You shall have no other gods before me
Two: You shall not make any idols
Three: You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God
Four: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy
Five: Honor your father and your mother
Six: You shall not murder
Seven: You shall not commit adultery
Eight: You shall not steal
Nine: You shall not lie
Ten: You shall not covet
Generally speaking, the first four instruct us how to love God, the last six, how to love one another (Exod 20:3-17; Deut 10:12,13,19).
- As we relate to God, does God primarily regard our religious acts or the heart behind our worship?
God is righteously angry when we honor him with our lips while our hearts are far from him (Isa 29:13; Matt 15:8).
- As we relate to one another, does God only regard right actions, or also the heart behind those actions?
God is always most concerned with the heart. So, he warns us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and therefore the root of all evil. Jesus clearly stated that murder stems from a heart of anger, and adultery from a heart of lust (Jer 17:9; Matt 5:21-22, 27-28).
- Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly? NCC 13
Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly. Instead, we are prone to hating God and our neighbors (Rom 3:10, 23; 1 John 1:8, 10).
- Since no one can keep the law, what is its purpose? NCC 15
That we may know the holy nature of God, and the sinful nature of our hearts, and thus our need of a Savior. The law reveals God’s good standard of perfection that promotes human flourishing (Rom 3:20; Gal 3:24; Rom 7:7).
- What is sin?
Sin is not thinking or saying, not being or doing what God requires in his law. The root of all sin is the truth of God not sought, the holiness of God not reverenced, the promises of God not trusted,the wrath of God not feared, and the person of God not loved. (1 John 3:4; Heb 11:6; Rom 14:23).
- What is idolatry? NCC 17
Idolatry is trusting in, or worshipping, created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security (Rom 1:21, 25; Col 3:5).
- Will God allow our sin and idolatry to go unpunished?
No, God is righteously angry, and his holiness demands that no sin go unpunished. Therefore, his pure justice determines that the wages of sin is both death and eternal condemnation in hell (Rom 6:23; Eph 5:5-6).
- Are we able to satisfy God’s justice by our good works?
Not at all. No matter how many good works we do, we increase our sin and debt to God every day. Even the good we do is as filthy rags before our Holy God (Matt 6:12; Isa 64:6; Eph 2:8-9).
- How can we escape punishment and belong to God? NCC 19
God himself, as a loving Father, graciously reconciles us to himself, and delivers us from the power and penalty of sin by a Redeemer (Isa 53:10-11; Rom 5:21).
God the Father
- Who is God the Father?
He is God, coeternal with the Son and the Holy Spirit. As the first person of the Trinity, all creation comes from him and exists to bring him glory (1 Cor 8:6; Eph 4:6; John 3:16; 14:16).
- How does God the Father love us?
He loved us before the foundation of the world and showed us his love most fully by giving the Son as Redeemer and sending the Spirit to seal our adoption as sons and daughters (Eph 1:4-6; John 17:24-26; Gal 4:4-6).
God the Son
- Who is the Redeemer? NCC 20
The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. He alone purchased us with his blood and brought us back to God (1 Tim 2:5-6; 1 Cor 6:19-20).
- What sort of Redeemer is needed to bring us back to God? NCC 21
One who is truly human and also truly God, coeternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is like us in every respect, yet without sin, and at the same time never gave up his divinity, always upholding the universe by the Word of his power (Col 2:9; Heb 4:15; 1:3).
- Why must the Redeemer be truly human?
First, to obey God’s law which we could never obey. Second, to physically die, suffering the punishment for sin which we could never endure. Thus, he is fully able to sympathize with our weakness and comfort us in our moments of need (Heb 2:14, 17; 4:15).
- Why must the Redeemer be truly God?
First, to endure God’s wrath poured out for the sins of humanity. Second, to restore righteousness and eternal life which we lost at the Fall. Thus, he is fully able to save the redeemed (1 Pet 3:18; 1 John 2:1-2; Acts 2:24; 1 John 4:9-10).
- How did God the Son become man?
He was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so as to be of two natures, yet not inherit the sin of Adam. This is called the incarnation. He grew naturally, and was perfectly dependent on the Spirit, and humbly obedient to the Father (Luke 1:31-35; 2:52; 4:1; Heb 10:5).
- What was God’s design for the incarnation?
Christ endured the humiliation and weakness of humanity and willingly died in our place to purchase our redemption and give glory to God (John 10:17-18; Phil 2:5-11).
- Why do we call God the Son, Jesus Christ?
God commanded Joseph and Mary to call him Jesus, which means “God saves.” Christ is a title meaning “anointed one,” or “Messiah” (Matt 1:21; John 4:25; Isa 61:1-2).
- What three offices does Jesus fulfill?
Both in his incarnation and exaltation Jesus perfectly fulfills the three Old Testament offices of Prophet, Priest, and King (Acts 3:22; Heb 5:6; Ps 2:6).
- How is Jesus the perfect Prophet?
He reveals God, fulfills all the prophecies about the Messiah, and teaches us his will. Without him we would be ignorant of God and his saving love (John 1:18; 1 Pet 1:10-12; 2 Cor 4:3-6).
- How is Jesus the perfect Priest?
He offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, reconciles us to God, and continually mediates between us and God. Without him we would remain guilty of sin and separated from God (Heb 2:17; 9:24; 1 Tim 2:5-6).
- How is Jesus the perfect King?
He rules over all creation and accomplishes his perfect plans, guiding and protecting the redeemed. Without him we would be helpless and left to follow our shifting passions (Rom 8:28; Eph 1:19-21; Rev 1:5-6; Rom 1:24-26).
- Why was Jesus’ life and sacrifice perfect and effective for salvation?
Because God made him who knew no sin to be counted as sin for us, and then credited us with his righteousness. His death fully satisfied God’s just wrath, and thereby delivers us from the power and penalty of sin. This is called “penal substitutionary atonement” (2 Cor 5:21; Col 1:21-22).
- What else does Christ’s death redeem? NCC 26
Christ’s death is the first fruits of the redemption and renewal of every part of fallen creation. The whole creation groans in eager anticipation of the final glory of Christ’s perfect reign (Col 1:19-20; Rom 8:20-23).
- Is the death of Christ sufficient to cover the sins of all people?
Yes, the death of Christ is sufficient to cover every sin ever committed, but only intended to be effective for the elect (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2-3; John 10:11; Eph 1:4-7).
- Did Jesus stay dead?
No, on the third day Jesus rose bodily from the grave, according to the Scriptures, and was seen by eyewitnesses, including over five hundred at once. He ascended into heaven and promises to return again to judge the living and the dead (1 Cor 15:4-6; Acts 1:9-11; 2 Tim 4:1).
God the Holy Spirit
- Who did Jesus promise to send to the redeemed?
God the Holy Spirit permanently dwells within us, comforts us, and intercedes for us, even when we don’t know how to pray. His ministry in this age began at Pentecost, when he came from the Father sent by the Son (Rom 8:9, 26-27; John 14:15-17; Acts 2:33).
- Did the Holy Spirit also dwell in Jesus Christ?
Yes, the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus without measure, and he perfectly depended upon the Spirit to live a holy life, perform miracles, and receive God’s strength (Luke 4:1; John 3:34; Mark 3:28-30).
- What do we believe about the Holy Spirit? NCC 36
That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son. He is a distinct person, yet equal in nature, power, and glory and should be worshipped with the Father and the Son (Gen 1:2; Acts 5:3-4).
- What role does the Holy Spirit play in securing our Redemption?
The Holy Spirit regenerates our hearts, draws us to Christ, convicts us of sin, grants us faith to believe, and unites us to Christ (Ezek 36:26; Eph 1:13-14; 2:8; 1 Cor 12:13).
- How does the Holy Spirit continue to help us? NCC 37
The Holy Spirit assures us of our salvation, guides us, sanctifies us, enables us to pray, and helps us understand God’s Word (Rom 8:9, 12-17, 26-30; 1 Cor 2:12-13; 2 Cor 3:18).
- What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The redeemed will walk in the ways of the Spirit, gradually growing in righteousness and exhibiting this fruit (Gal 5:22-25; Eph 5:18-20).
- What are spiritual gifts?
Spiritual gifts are specific abilities given to the redeemed for the purpose of building up the church, spreading the gospel, and ministering to one another (1 Cor 12:7, 14:12; Eph 4:7-13; Rom 12:4-8).
- Are the miraculous gifts still in operation in the church today?
Cessationism: No, the miraculous gifts, such as the speaking in tongues, prophetic revelation, and healing, ceased with the end of the apostolic age. In the New Testament, these gifts are associated with the ministry of the apostles, and there is little to no evidence of the continuation of these gifts in most of church history. However, even though the miraculous gifts have ceased to operate normatively in the church, God is able to perform miracles whenever he so desires (2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4; Eph 2:20; 1 Cor 13:8-10).
Election and Calling
- Is salvation first a work of God or a free choice of man?
Salvation is first a work of God, entirely a work of grace, “even as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Eph 1:4; Rom 9:15-16)
- Is there any grace that God shows commonly to all humanity?
Yes, in God’s common grace to all humanity he reveals himself, restrains evil, and provides for our daily needs (Psa 145:9; Rom 1:19; 2:14-15; 13:1; Gen 4:20-22; Matt 5:45).
- Are all people saved who experience God’s common grace?
No, only those elected and effectively called by God are saved. The rest are hardened and left in sin and death. Even so, God desires all men to come to a saving knowledge of him (Acts 13:48; Rom 11:7-8; 1 Tim 2:4).
- What is God’s effective call?
God’s call always begins with the preaching of the gospel which becomes effective as a work of the Holy Spirit that regenerates our hearts, convicts us of our sin, enlightens our minds to know and cherish Christ, and draws us to respond in repentance and faith (John 6:44; Rom 8:29).
- Does the preaching of the gospel always produce gospel fruit?
No, the very same preaching of the gospel will prove effective for some and folly for others, based on God’s electing grace (Isa 6:8-12 Rom 10:14-15; 2 Cor 2:15-16).
- What is regeneration?
Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit, by which he removes our dead heart and gives us a living heart, and thus, we are born again. The Holy Spirit, at the moment of regeneration, permanently indwells every believer, uniting them to Christ (Titus 3:5; John 3:5-8; Ezek 36:26-27; Rom 8:9; Eph 1:13).
- Does hearing the Word of God always precede regeneration?
Yes, the Word of God is the means by which the Holy Spirit regenerates sinful people. The Holy Spirit makes the reading, and especially the preaching of the Word, an effective means of converting, convincing, and comforting (Ps 19:8; Rom 1:15-16; 2 Tim 3:15).
- Does faith come before regeneration?
No, it is only the new heart, moved by the Spirit, that can respond in repentance and faith (John 3:8; 2 Cor 5:17).
- What is the proof of regeneration?
A repentant faith, which results in a whole life devoted to turning from sin and giving glory to God in all that we do. (Ezek 11:19-20; Col 3:17).
- How does God baptize and seal us by the Spirit?
In connection with the work of the Spirit in regeneration, Christ baptizes us by the Spirit into his body and the Father seals us with the Spirit so that we can belong to God. Therefore, we are permanently declared righteous and adopted into his eternal family (Eph 1:13-14; 1 Cor 12:12-13; 2 Cor 1:21-22).
- What is a summary of the gospel message?
Four main ideas summarize the gospel message that we all must know and believe to be converted. First, God is the one true, holy, and Triune God, who requires perfect obedience to his law for our good and as an expression of his love. Second, every person has fallen short of this law and deserves eternal punishment in hell. Third, God sent his Son to live the perfect life we could not live, die on the cross in our place, and rise again on the third day, thereby paying the penalty for all our sin. Fourth, in response, we must repent of sin and believe this gospel (Rom 1:19-20, 24-25; Rom 3:23; Rom 5:8; Rom 10:9).
- What is repentance?
Repentance is recognizing sin as sin, grieving and hating it, then turning from sin, dying to self,renewing the mind, and following Christ and all his ways (Luke 9:23; Eph 4:22-24).
- What does it mean to die to self and follow Christ?
We must aim to avoid all sin and idolatry and live for the glory of God; to seek true joy in Christ rather than in what we think will make us happy (Rom 14:17; 12:1-2; Gal 2:20).
- What is saving faith? NCC 30
Saving faith knows and affirms gospel truth revealed in God’s Word and trusts in the person and work of Christ, resting on him alone for salvation (Rom 6:8-9; Phil 3:8-9).
- Can we separate repentance and saving faith?
No, repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of God’s grace, because saving faith is always a repentant faith. We cannot truly believe without turning from sin, and we cannot truly turn from sin without believing (Mark 1:15; Luke 9:23).
- Since salvation is by God’s grace alone, is our faith also a gift?
Yes, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift.”Like regeneration, repentant faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:8 CSB; Titus 3:4-6; 2 Tim 2:25).
- Can we purposefully pursue a sinful lifestyle and expect to be saved?
No, a repentant faith always hates sin and seeks to live for Christ, and die to self (2 Cor 5:15; 1 John 3:5-6).
- Does conversion happen in a moment, or slowly over time?
Conversion happens in a moment, when the Father draws us to the Son by the regenerating work of the Spirit as we repent and believe for the first time. However, God may prepare our hearts over time and thus we might not know the precise moment of conversion, only that our repentant faith is genuine (John 6:44; Acts 2:38; 1 John 5:1).
- What is the summary of our faith presented in the Apostles’ Creed?
We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into the realm of the dead. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy and universal church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting (Jude 3).
Justification and Sanctification
- What is the difference between justification and sanctification? NCC 32
Justification is our declared righteousness before God, our settled standing at the point of conversion. Sanctification is our gradual growing in righteousness that continues until our death or the Lord’s return (Rom 5:8-9; 6:22; Heb 10:14).
- How is it that we are justified before God?
By grace, God proclaims our sins forgiven and credits Christ’s righteousness to us. This happens the moment we repent and believe through our union with Christ (Rom 3:24-26; 2 Cor 5:19-21).
- What are the benefits of our union with Christ?
Because we are one with Christ, we are a new creation united with him in his death and resurrection; all the blessings of salvation are ours in Christ and we are united with one another in Christ’s body, the church (John 17:20-23; Eph 1:3; Gal 3:28).
- What are the benefits of God’s adoption?
In spite of our sinful rebellion, we have the full rights and privileges of children of God, fellow heirs with Jesus Christ. Therefore, our inheritance is eternal, imperishable, and exceedingly valuable (Rom 8:16-17; 1 Pet 1:3-4; Eph 1:5-6).
- Should we seek to be justified through good works? NCC 33
No, everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ alone. To attempt to earn God’s favor through good works is to deny the sufficiency of Christ’s work of redemption (Gal 2:16, 21; Eph 2:8-9).
- Are good works a necessary part of the Christian life?
Yes, Christ not only justifies us, but sanctifies us. He created us “for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Considering all the benefits that are ours in Christ, our lives ought to show love and gratitude to him (Eph 2:10; Rom 12:1-2).
- What is the best evidence that our salvation is genuine?
1 John gives us three evidences of genuine salvation: a repentant faith, a consistent obedience, and a love for other Christians. James says, “Faith without works is dead,” and so we see that the best evidence of our salvation is sanctification. Every genuine Christian will grow in holiness and produce fruit (1 John 5:1-5; Jas 2:17; 1 Thess 4:3; Luke 8:15).
- How does God use sanctification to bless us in this life?
As the Holy Spirit sanctifies, he protects us from the damaging effects of sin, comforts us when we are discouraged, and helps us live for God’s glory (Prov 4:18; 1 Cor 10:13, 31; 2 Cor 1:3-4).
- How secure is our salvation?
Completely secure, for our assurance rests on the faithful nature of God and the finished work of Christ. For God says, “nothing… can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39; John 10:28-29).
- How do we know that our faith will persevere to the end?
God promises that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6; Heb 13:5; 1 Pet 1:5)
- What is the final hope of our salvation?
To partake in the blessed resurrection, when we will be given a glorified body and dwell in the presence of God forever, free from sin in the new heavens and the new earth (John 3:16; Rom 5:2; 8:30; Rev 20:6).
The Local Church
- What is a church?
A church is a Spirit-regenerated, new covenant community of individuals united to Christ by faith, committed to one another, and Biblically organized into one local body. Baptism as a believer inaugurates membership into that body, and the Lord’s Supper perpetuates that union (Heb 12:22-24; 1 Cor 12:12-13a, 10:17).
- How does the universal church relate to the local church?
The universal church includes every Spirit-regenerated, new covenant believer from the inception of the church until Christ returns. Local churches are gatherings of the universal church (Eph 5:25-27; 1 Cor 10:32).
- When did the church begin?
At the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came in power regenerating three-thousand souls through the preaching of Peter. Before that point, the Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell anyone, nor did the disciples come together regularly to worship Christ. On the same day the universal church began, a local church was formed in Jerusalem (Acts 2:37-47).
- Can we belong to the universal church but not a local church?
It is possible to be regenerated and yet unable to join a local church; however, this is extremely rare. The normal Christian life is in constant connection to a local church as an integrated member of the body of Christ (Rom 12:4-8; Heb 10:24-25).
- What does a local church do?
A local church gathers regularly to worship around the preaching and reading of the Word of God, the celebration of the ordinances, the edification of one another, and the pursuit of holiness. A church scatters to evangelize the lost, engages in acts of mercy, and in all ways aims to glorify God (1 Tim 4:13; Matt 28:19; Eph 3:21).
- Must a church gather only on Sundays?
No, it is not commanded in the Bible, but Christians regularly met on Sundays for corporate worship, calling this first day of the week “the Lord’s Day,” to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Therefore, it is common and prudent for churches to continue this tradition (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2; Rev 1:10).
- Should Sabbath regulations apply to the Lord’s Day?
No, we are free in Christ to enjoy a variety of activities on Sunday, so long as we do not forsake corporate worship and aim to enjoy regular periods of rest from our normal activities (Mark 2:27-28; Gal 4:9-10; Heb 10:25).
- What is the primary goal of the preaching ministry of the church?
To preach the Word, making the main point of the text the main point of the sermon, and applying it to the Christian life. Although the gospel should be evident in all sermons, preaching is not primarily for the unbeliever, but for the building up of the redeemed (2 Tim 4:2-4; Neh 8:8).
- Should churches ever separate from other churches or Christian organizations?
Yes, churches should only cooperate for the sake of gospel ministry with other churches and organizations that clearly hold to the gospel message. However, cooperation and interdependence are important biblical values meaning separation is always a tragic consequence of apostasy or heresy (2 Tim 3:1-5; 2 John 7-11).
- Should local churches be self-governed?
Yes, each local church should be autonomous, free from external authority or control. However, churches can and should cooperate with other churches and organizations to further the impact of gospel ministry (Titus 1:5; Phil 4:14-18).
- What leaders did Christ give to the church?
He first gave Apostles through whom we received the New Testament. Today, he gives the church two offices: pastor-elders and deacons. All church members are called to recognize and affirm their leaders as well as guard the purity of the gospel message and gospel witness through church discipline (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Tim 3:1, 13; 1 Cor 5:4-5; Heb 13:7, 17).
- Who can become pastor-elders?
Biblically qualified men proven to be above reproach, and capable of teaching, leading, shepherding, and protecting the doctrine of the church in the love of Christ (1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Pet 5:1-3).
- Who can become deacons?
Biblically qualified Christians proven to be above reproach, and capable of organizing ministry, administrating, serving, and protecting the unity of the church in the love of Christ (1 Tim 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-7).
- Is church membership biblical?
Yes, in the book of Acts the early church kept rolls, lists, and numbers of those who joined the church. Further, church leaders are called to watch over their flock, and individuals are called to submit to leaders and guard one another, which is only possible in the context of clearly defined church membership (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Tim 5:9; Heb 12:14-15; 13:17).
- What is church discipline?
Church discipline is a process of accountability for our good, laid out by Christ in Matthew 18. If church members continue in sin, they are lovingly confronted: first, by individuals; second, by two or three; and third, by the whole church. If they refuse to listen to the church, they are to be removed from membership. Discipline always has the goal of restoration and results in protecting the purity and witness of the church (Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5).
- What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
The affirmation of the gospel message and church discipline, by which heaven is opened to the regenerate and shut for the unbeliever. The keys are held by the entire membership of the church who affirm the gospel and exercise church discipline (Matt 16:19; 18:18).
- How is the kingdom of heaven open and shut by church discipline?
If professing Christians remain in sin following the discipline process, they are, by the same church, kept from the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper and removed from membership. As far as we can tell, unless they are restored, they remain in apostasy and will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:17-18; 1 Cor 5:4-5; 11).
- How many ordinances did God give the church, and why?
There are two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are given by God, instituted by Christ, rendered effective by the Holy Spirit, and clear symbols of gospel truth. As visible signs reflecting God’s saving work, they unite Christians together as a local body in gospel harmony –– just as we are one with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection, we are one with one another (Acts 2:38, 41; Luke 22:19-20).
- What is baptism?
Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Christ by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and a believer’s act of publicly committing to Christ and his church, thereby distinguishing them from the world (Rom 6:3-5; Matt 28:19).
- Does baptism with water wash away sin?
No, baptism only represents regeneration like a picture; the washing of water representing the purifying work of the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7; 1 Pet 3:18, 21).
- Who should be baptized?
Every regenerated believer in Christ should be baptized because Christ commanded us to declare our faith through this ordinance. However, since baptism inaugurates church membership, only those prepared to join the church should be baptized (Matt 28:19; Acts 2:38; 10:48).
- Should infants of Christian families ever be baptized?
No, infants are unable to confess the gospel message, thus they cannot be members of the church like their parents (Luke 3:7-8; Acts 18:8).
- How can we determine if our baptism is valid?
If our baptism occurred after our conversion, and if it was associated with the preaching of the true gospel (Acts 8:12; Rom 6:4).
- What is the Lord’s Supper or Communion?
The Lord’s Supper is a church’s celebration of union with Christ as the many commune together in one body, by partaking of the bread and the cup, remembering his death –– his body and blood, broken and shed, as a perfect substitute for every sin –– and anticipating his return (1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:23-26).
- Does the Lord’s Supper add anything to Christ’s atoning work? NCC 47
No, Christ died once for all our sins. The Lord’s Supper celebrates and remembers Christ’s atoning work as a picture that encourages us to look to all that he has done for us (Rom 4:24-25; Heb 9:25-28; Matt 26:26-28).
- Who should partake of the Lord’s Supper?
Only baptized believers who do not possess a divisive and unrepentant spirit, and who remain in good standing with their local church. Those who do not take the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner eat and drink judgment to themselves (Matt 5:23-24; 1 Cor 12:13; 11:27-30).
- How should we prepare to take the Lord’s Supper?
With these five looks: look up to thank God for the gift of Christ, look within in repentant self-examination, look back at the cross-work of Christ, look ahead to Christ’s return, and look around to celebrate our union with one another, just as we are one with Christ (1 Cor 11:26-33).
- Where and when should we take the Lord’s Supper?
When a church gathers corporately, we take the Lord’s Supper as a symbol of union with one another and with Christ (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:33).
- Should we take communion at non-gospel preaching churches?
No, for in those settings there is no true union with Christ to celebrate (1 Cor 5:6-11; 2 Cor 6:15).
The Christian Life
- What is prayer?
Prayer is pouring out the desires of our hearts to God. We pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for things agreeable to God’s will, trusting him to guide and answer (Ps 62:8; John 16:23; 1 John 5:14).
- What are the five main types of prayer?
Praise, confession of sin, petition, thanksgiving, and lament (1 Tim 2:1; Ps 13).
- Why is prayer necessary?
We must pray to commune with God: recognizing him alone as God, expressing our dependence, and orienting our hearts towards him at every moment (Phil 4:6; 1 Thess 5:16-18).
- What should we pray?
The whole Word of God directs us in what we should pray as we learn to take words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulate them through our hearts and minds back to God (Eph 3:14-16; John 6:63).
- How can we learn to pray?
One example to consider: read the Bible, stop after each verse, meditate, and pray. In particular, Jesus teaches us to pray by giving us the Lord’s Prayer (Ps 1:2; 119:9-16).
- What is the Lord’s Prayer?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matt 6:9-13)
- Must we always use this form of prayer?
No, each phrase can act as a topic that guides and directs our prayers as we pour out the desires of our hearts to God (Matt 6:7-8).
- How is the Word of God to be read and heard?
With diligence, preparation, and prayer, relying upon the Holy Spirit to illumine God’s words to our minds and help us apply his truth to our lives (Ps 119:18; 2 Tim 2:15; Eph 1:17-18).
- What are five ways to approach the Bible?
We should read the Bible, listen to the Bible read and taught, study the Bible diligently, memorizekey verses, and meditate regularly on God’s words. As we know it is good to eat a balanced diet, so too are we to have a balanced approach to the Word of God (Acts 17:11; Ps 1:2-3; 40:8).
- Has God commanded us to proclaim the gospel to all people?
Yes, God commands his people to proclaim the gospel to everyone, even unto the ends of the earth,so that some will be saved. Sharing the gospel with unbelievers is something we can do in this life that we cannot do in the next (Matt 28:19; Rom 10:13-15; 1 Tim 2:1-4).
- How should we feel about those who have not trusted in Jesus?
Our hearts should mourn and grow with compassion towards all unbelievers, and thus be motivated to share the gospel (Rom 9:1-3; Jonah 4:1-4, 10-11).
- How are we to do the work of evangelism?
By showing our Redeemer through our redeemed life, praying for the effective movement of the Holy Spirit, and compassionately using God’s Word to communicate God’s gospel (Col 4:3-6; Heb 4:12).
- What is the goal of evangelism?
To explain the gospel clearly and trust the Holy Spirit to regenerate hearts in order to make lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ. Then we aim to gather those disciples into self-sustaining churches (Acts 4:12, 29; Col 1:28-29).
- What is the relationship between evangelism and missions work?
Missions work includes evangelism that leads to establish and strengthen local churches in a geographic, linguistic, or cultural setting different than our own. Missions work is necessary to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 14:21-26).
- What is discipleship?
Intentionally investing your life into others with the goal of growing together in Christian knowledge, affections, and applications, so that you can present each other mature in Christ (Titus 2:1-8; Col 1:28-29).
- Is discipleship for all Christians?
Yes, the New Testament frequently commands every Christian to love and care for one another,faithfully helping one another to live holy lives (1 John 4:7-8; Heb 10:24; Eph 4:25).
- How is discipleship done?
By regularly spending time with other Christians, engaging in purposeful conversations that teach and correct, doing ministry together, and modeling Christlikeness (Acts 20:18-20; Deut 6:4-9; 1 Cor 11:1).
- Who should we disciple?
We should prioritize the discipleship of our family first, then members of our local church, and finally faithful Christians from other churches (Gal 6:10; 1 Tim 5:8; Titus 2:3-5).
- How can we worship God?
By glorifying and enjoying him in everything we do, offering our lives as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God (Rom 12:1-2; 1 Cor 10:31).
- Is attending a church service important to our worship?
Yes, we are commanded to regularly meet together for corporate worship, and some aspects of worship cannot be done apart from the gathering of the local church, such as the participation in the ordinances, and submitting to leadership (Heb 10:25; 13:15-17; Acts 20:7).
- What are the essential elements of corporate worship?
Those elements that the New Testament explicitly commends, namely: prayer, reading the Word, preaching the Word, singing, giving of offerings, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Although there should be uniformity in the elements included in corporate worship, various forms of each element are permitted (1 Cor 14:26, 40; 1 Tim 2:1-2; 1 Tim 4:13; Col 3:16).
- Why is singing an important element of worship?
As we sing, God delights in our praise and prayer, we learn truths about God put to music and memory, and we teach those truths to one another. Therefore, songs for corporate worship must be carefully chosen to reflect Biblical truth about God (Col 3:16; Ps 30:4).
- Why is giving an important element of worship?
As we give of our finances, we recognize that all we have is from God, entrusted to us as a stewardship; how we spend our money reflects the priorities of our hearts. Therefore, we should contribute cheerfully, regularly, and sacrificially for the advancement of gospel ministry (Luke 12:15-21; 2 Cor 9:6-7; Ps 37:21).
- Why is serving an important aspect of worship?
As we serve, we give of our time, talents, and abilities for the strengthening of Christ’s bodyrather than for our own good. Therefore, our serving must be varied according to the individual gifts each possess (1 Pet 4:10-11; Rom 12:5-8; 1 Cor 15:58).
- Where do we go when we die?
Our bodies return to dust, and our soul remains conscious in an intermediate state. If we belong to God, we go directly into the blessed presence of Christ with the redeemed; if we die in sin and unbelief, we go directly to hell with the damned. (2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; Luke 16:19-31; Heb 12:22-24).
- Is it possible to be saved after death or purified form sin in purgatory?
No, it is appointed for us to die once and then face judgment, and there is no such place as purgatory (Heb 9:27; Luke 16:19-31; Matt 8:11-12).
- Will our physical bodies ever live again?
Yes, all humanity will physically live again for eternity; both the redeemed and the damned will be resurrected (Dan 12:2; John 11:25-26; 1 Cor 15:42-44).
- Will all humanity be raised at the same time?
No. Blessed are the redeemed who partake in the first resurrection, when Christ returns to reign. Cursed are the damned who partake in the second resurrection and come before Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:5-6, 11-13).
- What is hell and why is it to be feared?
Hell is the place of eternal, conscious torment for those not united to Christ by faith. It is described as an unquenchable fire, full of weeping and gnashing of teeth, where the dead will be joined by Satan and all the fallen angels (Matt 25:30, 41; Rev 14:9-11).
- What is heaven and why is it our greatest source of hope?
Heaven is the place of eternal, conscious blessing for those united to Christ by faith. It is described as a new creation, a return to Edenic like blessings, with no sin, death, or disease, where in perfect bodies we will live with and enjoy God forever (Isa 65:17-25; Rev 21:1-5).
- Will the new heaven and new earth be like the first?
Yes, part of Christ’s work of redemption is to redeem every part of fallen creation and reverse the curse of Genesis 3. Therefore, creation waits eagerly to be renewed and will be like the first creation, without the effects of sin (Gen 3:17-19; Acts 3:21; Rom 8:18-23).
- Will we have things to do in the new earth?
Yes, there will still be distinct societies and nations in the new earth, and just as societies function here on earth, we too will have certain jobs and tasks to perform for the good of the whole. Similarly, there will be leisure and personal relationships to enjoy for all eternity (Rev 5:9-10; Rev 21:24-26; 22:3; Lu 6:20-23).
- Will everyone have equal roles in the new earth?
No, distinct roles and responsibilities are not a result of the curse but God’s created order. So, when we receive crowns and are judged according to our works, we can expect that there will be diversity in the new earth, but it will never incite envy, greed, or sin of any kind (1 Cor 9:24-25; 2 Cor 5:10; Matt 6:20).
- Will we be able to know our closest friends and family from this life in the new earth?
Yes, God created us to thrive in relationships, and we will be comforted knowing that we will see, know, and relate to our loved ones again. Our resurrected bodies and even personalities will still be distinct and recognizable, like Christ who rose before us (1 Thess 2:19-20; 4:16-18; 1 Cor 15:48-49).
- Where is Christ now?
After Christ’s work of redemption was finished, he rose physically from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Col 3:1; Heb 10:12).
- What is Christ doing in heaven?
He upholds the universe, prepares a place for us, and intercedes for us, granting us access to the Father (Heb 1:3; John 14:3; Rom 8:34).
- When and how does Jesus say he will return?
Jesus will return personally, physically, obviously, and suddenly at a day and an hour known only to God. He will return as he ascended (Matt 24:36; 1 Thess 5:2; Acts 1:11-12; Zech 14:4; Luke 17:24).
- Why are Christians “caught up” to meet Jesus in the air at his return?
Dispensational: To deliver us from the wrath to come before the great seven-year tribulation; also called the rapture, it is pretribulational. At this point the universal church is no more, and thus the great restraining presence of the Holy Spirit is set aside before the Day of the Lord (1 Thess 1:10; 4:16-18; Rev 3:10; 2 Thess 2:6-10).
- Is there a coming tribulation period and antichrist?
Yes, the Scriptures anticipate a great and terrible day of God’s wrath and judgment on the earth. Similarly, even though many antichrists are already in the world, a final antichrist is prophesied (Isa 34:8; Matt 24:21; Rev 6-19; 1 John 2:18; 2 Thess 2:3-4).
- What is the millennial kingdom?
Premillennial: It is the literal, physical, and bodily reign of Christ in Jerusalem over the whole world lasting for one-thousand years. Jesus ushers in the kingdom at his second coming where he destroys God’s enemies, binds Satan, and sets up his reign. It is distinct from the new creation which comes after the millennium and is necessary to fulfill God’s promises to national Israel (Rev 19–20; Isa 2:2-4; 65:19-20).
- When will the final judgment take place?
At the Great White Throne, before the introduction of the new heavens and the new earth (Rev 20:11-15; Rom 2:5-8).
- In light of all these future events, what is our great hope?
That death has lost its sting, that our Lord and Savior is certainly coming again soon, and that we will perfectly glorify and enjoy God forever in his new creation. So, we say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (1 Cor 15:53-55; Rev 21:6-7; 22:20).