Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A #32-36

May 2, 2017

Dear Friends,


We continue our journey through the Westminster Shorter Catechism with Q & A #32-36:


32. What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?

They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them.

33. What is justification?

Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

34. What is adoption?

Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.

35. What is sanctification?

Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness.

36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

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.


This all sounds familiar doesn’t it?  Without any planning on my part the questions of the catechism speak directly to some of the themes we’ve been highlighting in the current sermon series on salvation.  In just the last few weeks, we’ve preached on justification, adoption and sanctification.  Some might say that this is just a coincidence, that of course, the catechism would turn to these matters.  I’m not going to argue, but I think God has something in mind when things come together like this.  In this case, my sense is that the Lord wants us to believe in His beautiful gift of salvation.


Questions and answers 33-35 should cover territory that rings a bell.  We’ve talked about these things in worship and read about them in the book The Language of Salvation.  Q and A 36 speak of the benefits of justification, adoption and sanctification.  The benefits described there are a great summary of the hope I have for us as a congregation as we focus on salvation.  My hope, as we ponder, accept and live into the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ, is that we would be moved in the depth of our being to rest in the assurance of what the Lord has promised us.  God has done it; he has won our salvation; therefore, we can be at peace with Him and with one another.  Such peace causes joy to well up within us.  It forces us to extend the grace we’ve received to others.  The promises of salvation and knowledge thereof are a cornerstone allowing us to persevere and continue on in faith.  As the hymn Solid Rock proclaims, My hope is built on nothing less/ Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;/ I dare not trust the sweetest frame,/ But wholly lean on Jesus’ name./ On Christ the solid rock I stand – All other ground is sinking sand/ All other ground is sinking sand.


On the Solid Rock with You,




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