C. H. Spurgeon's
With Scripture Proofs
C. H. Spurgeon
Heir of the Puritans
The original on-line version of this Catechism can be found at
The Fellowship Hall, the Internet
presence of Grace Chapel, Spokane, WA (USA). The permission
of Tim Hulce to mirror this document
for the benefit of UK-based Internet users is gratefully acknowledged.
I am persuaded that the use of a good Catechism in all our families
will be a great safeguard against the increasing errors of the times, and
therefore I have compiled this little manual from the Westminster Assembly's
and Baptist Catechisms, for the use of my own church and congregation. Those
who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense;
but the words should be carefully learned by heart, for they will be understood
better as years pass.
May the Lord bless my dear friends and their families evermore, is
the prayer of their loving Pastor.
C. H. Spurgeon
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
The London Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Westminster Shorter Catechism
had fallen into disuse among the Particular Baptists in England. The causes
for this shift in historical moorings from the Westminster family of confessions
and catechisms are many and varied. The primary cause for their disuse was
an emerging High or Hyper Calvinism that looked to the Standards for historical
legitimacy while augmenting its theology with writers who held to a loose
subscriptionist position as regards the 1689 Confession. Spurgeon sought
to recover and reclaim the middle ground, or biblical path, between a man-centered
Arminianism on the one side and a deistic Hyper-Calvinism on the other.
The Prince of Preachers believed this catechism walked in that narrow way.
Spurgeon saw that this document was placed back in print somewhere about
October 14, 1855. In that year Spurgeon turned 21 years young. On that day
Spurgeon preached to a large audience at the New Park Street Church from
Psalm 90:1, "The text that morning was, Lord, thou hast been our dwelling
place in all generations". The sermon is found as number 46 in those
volumes. When the sermon was prepared for the press it contained an announcement
of the impending publication.
1 Q What is the chief end of man?
A Man's chief end is to glorify God, (1Co 10:31) and to enjoy him for ever
2 Q What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?
A The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments (Eph 2:20 2Ti 3:16) is the only rule to direct us how we may
glorify God and enjoy him (1Jo 1:3).
3 Q What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God,
and what duty God requires of man (2Ti 1:13 Ec 12:13).
4 Q What is God?
A God is Spirit (Joh 4:24), infinite (Job 11:7), eternal (Ps 90:2 1Ti 1:17),
and unchangeable (Jas 1:17), in his being, (Ex 3:14), wisdom, power (Ps
147:5), holiness (Re 4:8), justice, goodness and truth (Ex 34:6,7).
5 Q Are there more Gods than one?
A There is but one only (De 6:4), the living and true God (Jer 10:10).
6 Q How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power
and glory (1Jo 5:7 Mt 28:19).
7 Q What are the decrees of God?
A The decrees of God are his eternal purpose according to the counsel of
his own will, whereby for his own glory he has foreordained whatever comes
to pass (Eph 1:11,12).
8 Q How does God execute his decrees?
A God executes his decrees in the works of creation (Re 4:11), and providence
9 Q What is the work of creation?
A The work of creation is God's making all things (Ge 1:1) of nothing, by
the Word of his power (Heb 11:3), in six normal consecutive days (Ex 20:11),
and all very good (Ge 1:31).
10 Q How did God create man?
A God created man, male and female, after his own image (Ge 1:27), in knowledge,
righteousness, and holiness (Col 3:10 Eph 4:24) with dominion over the creatures
11 Q What are God's works of providence?
A God's works of providence are his most holy (Ps 145:17), wise (Isa 28:29),
and powerful (Heb 1:3) preserving and governing all his creatures, and all
their actions (Ps 103:19 Mt 10:29).
12 Q What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the
state wherein he was created?
A When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him,
upon condition of perfect obedience (Ga 3:12), forbidding him to eat of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death (Ge 2:17).
13 Q Did our first parents continue in the state wherein they were created?
A Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from
the state wherein they were created, by sinning against God (Ec 7:29) by
eating the forbidden fruit (Ge 3:6-8).
14 Q What is sin?
A Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of the law of God (1Jo
15 Q Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?
A The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself but for his posterity,
all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and
fell with him in his first transgression (1Co 15:22 Ro 5:12).
16 Q Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery (Ro 5:18).
17 Q Wherein consists the sinfulness of that state whereinto man fell?
A The sinfulness of that state whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt
of Adam's first sin (Ro 5:19), the want of original righteousness (Ro 3:10),
and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original
sin (Eph 2:1 Ps 51:5), together with all actual transgressions which proceed
from it (Mt 15:19).
18 Q What is the misery of that state whereinto man fell?
A All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God (Ge 3:8,24), are under
his wrath and curse (Eph 2:3 Ga 3:10), and so made liable to all the miseries
in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever (Ro 6:23
19 Q Did God leave all mankind to perish in the state of sin and misery?
A God having, out of his good pleasure from all eternity, elected some to
everlasting life (2Th 2:13) did enter into a covenant of grace to deliver
them out of the state of sin and misery, and to bring them into a state
of salvation by a Redeemer (Ro 5:21).
20 Q Who is the Redeemer of God's elect?
A The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ (1Ti 2:5), who
being the eternal Son of God, became man (Joh 1:14) and so was and continues
to be God and man, in two distinct natures and one person for ever (1Ti
3:16 Col 2:9).
21 Q How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A Christ, the son of God, became man by taking to himself a true body (Heb
2:14) and a reasonable soul (Mt 26:38 Heb 4:15), being conceived by the
power of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary, and born of her (Lu 1:31,35)
yet without sin (Heb 7:26).
22 Q What offices does Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A Christ as our Redeemer executes the offices of a prophet (Ac 3:22), of
a priest (Heb 5:6), and of a king (Ps 2:6), both in his state of humiliation
23 Q How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A Christ executes the office of a prophet, in revealing to us (Joh 1:18),
by his Word (Joh 20:31), and Spirit (Joh 14:26), the will of God for our
24 Q How does Christ execute the office of a priest?
A Christ executes the office of a priest, in his once offering up himself
a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice (Heb 9:28), and to reconcile us to
God (Heb 2:17) and in making continual intercession for us (Heb 7:25).
25 Q How does Christ execute the office of a king?
A Christ executes the office of a king in subduing us to himself (Ps 110:3),
in ruling and defending us (Mt 2:6 1Co 15:25) and in restraining and conquering
all his and our enemies.
26 Q Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?
A Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition
(Lu 2:7) made under the law (Ga 4:4), undergoing the miseries of this life
(Isa 53:3), the wrath of God (Mt 27:46), and the cursed death of the cross
(Php 2:8); in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for
a time (Mt 12:40).
27 Q Wherein consists Christ's exaltation?
A Christ's exaltation consists in his rising again from the dead on the
third day (1Co 15:4), in ascending up into heaven, and sitting at the right
hand of God the Father (Mr 16:19), and in coming to judge the world at the
last day (Ac 17:31).
28 Q How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
A We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual
application of it to us (Joh 1:12) by his Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5,6).
29 Q How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working
faith in us (Eph 2:8) and by it uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling
30 Q What is effectual calling?
A Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit (2Ti 1:9) whereby, convincing
us of our sin and misery (Ac 2:37), enlightening our minds in the knowledge
of Christ (Ac 26:18), and renewing our wills (Eze 36:26), he does persuade
and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the gospel
31 Q What benefits do they who are effectually called, partake of in
A They who are effectually called, do in this life partake of justification,
(Ro 8:30), adoption (Eph 1:5), sanctification, and the various benefits
which in this life do either accompany, or flow from them (1Co 1:30).
32 Q What is justification?
A Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardons all our
sins (Ro 3:24 Eph 1:7), and accepts us as righteous in his sight (2Co 5:21)
only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us (Ro 5:19), and received
by faith alone (Ga 2:16 Php 3:9).
33 Q What is adoption?
A Adoption is an act of God's free grace (1Jo 3:1) whereby we are received
into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God
(Joh 1:12 Ro 8:17).
34 Q What is sanctification?
A Sanctification is the work of God's Spirit (2Th 2:13) whereby we are renewed
in the whole man after the image of God (Eph 4:24) and are enabled more
and more to die to sin, and live to righteousness (Ro 6:11).
35 Q What are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or
flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification
(Ro 5:1,2,5), are assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the
Holy Spirit (Ro 14:17), increase of grace, perseverance in it to the end
(Pr 4:18 1Jo 5:13 1Pe 1:5).
36 Q What benefits do believers receive from Christ at their death?
A The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness (Heb
12:23) and do immediately pass into glory (Php 1:23 2Co 5:8 Lu 23:43), and
their bodies, being still united to Christ (1Th 4:14) do rest in their graves
(Isa 57:2) till the resurrection (Job 19:26).
37 Q What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory (1Co 15:43), shall
be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment (Mt 10:32),
and made perfectly blessed both in soul and body in the full enjoying of
God (1Jo 3:2) to all eternity (1Th 4:17).
38 Q What shall be done to the wicked at their death?
A The souls of the wicked shall at their death be cast into the torments
of hell (Lu 16:22-24), and their bodies lie in their graves till the resurrection
and judgment of the great day (Ps 49:14).
39 Q What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A At the day of judgment the bodies of the wicked being raised out of their
graves, shall be sentenced, together with their souls, to unspeakable torments
with the devil and his angels for ever (Da 12:2 Joh 5:28,29 2Th 1:9 Mt 25:41).
40 Q What did God reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
A The rule which God first revealed to man for his obedience is the moral
law (De 10:4 Mt 19:17) which is summarised in the ten commandments.
41 Q What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our
heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind;
and our neighbour as ourselves (Mt 22:37-40).
42 Q Which is the first commandment?
A The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods
43 Q What is required in the first commandment?
A The first commandment requires us to know (1Ch 28:9), and acknowledge
God to be the only true God, and our God (De 26:17), and to worship and
glorify him accordingly (Mt 4:10).
44 Q Which is the second commandment?
A The second commandment is, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven
image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is
in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt
not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am
a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto
the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy
unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
45 Q What is required in the second commandment?
A The second commandment requires the receiving, observing (De 32:46 Mt
28:20), and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances
as God has appointed in his Word (De 12:32).
46 Q What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A The second commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images (De 4:15,16).
or any other way not appointed in his Word (Col 2:18).
47 Q Which is the third commandment?
A The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy
God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name
48 Q What is required in the third commandment?
A The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God's names
(Ps 29:2), titles, attributes (Re 15:3,4), ordinances (Ec 5:1), Word (Ps
138:2), and works (Job 36:24 De 28:58,59).
49 Q Which is the fourth commandment?
A The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is
the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou,
nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor
they cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days
the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested
the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed
50 Q What is required in the fourth commandment?
A The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times
as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be
a holy Sabbath to himself (Le 19:30 De 5:12).
51 Q How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
A The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from
such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days (Le
23:3), and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of
God's worship (Ps 92:1,2 Isa 58:13,14), except so much as is taken up in
the works of necessity and mercy (Mt 12:11,12).
52 Q Which is the fifth commandment?
A The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days
may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
53 Q What is required in the fifth commandment?
A The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honour, and performing
the duties belonging to every one in their various positions and relationships
as superiors (Eph 5:21,22 6:1,5 Ro 13:1), inferiors (Eph 6:9), or equals
54 Q What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of long life
and prosperity -- as far as it shall serve for God's glory, and their own
good -- to all such as keep this commandment (Eph 6:2,3).
55 Q Which is the sixth commandment?
A The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.
56 Q What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A The sixth commandment forbids the taking away of our own life (Ac 16:28),
or the life of our neighbour unjustly (Ge 9:6), or whatever tends to it
57 Q Which is the seventh commandment?
A The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
58 Q What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A The seventh commandment forbids all unchaste thoughts (Mt 5:28 Col 4:6),
words (Eph 5:4 2Ti 2:22), and actions (Eph 5:3).
59 Q Which is the eighth commandment?
A The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
60 Q What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A The eighth commandment forbids whatever does or may unjustly hinder our
own (1Ti 5:8 Pr 28:19 21:6) or our neighbour's wealth, or outward estate
61 Q Which is the ninth commandment?
A The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
62 Q What is required in the ninth commandment?
A The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth
between man and man (Zec 8:16), and of our own (1Pe 3:16 Ac 25:10), and
our neighbour's good name (3Jo 1:12), especially in witness-bearing (Pr
63 Q What is the tenth commandment?
A The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house;
thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife,nor his manservant, or his maidservant,
nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's.
64 Q What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A The tenth commandment forbids all discontentment with our own estate (1Co
10:10), envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour (Ga 5:26), and
all inordinate emotions and affections to anything that is his (Col 3:5).
65 Q Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A No mere man, since the fall, is able in his life perfectly to keep the
commandments of God (Ec 7:20), but does daily break them in thought (Ge
8:21), word (Jas 3:8), and deed (Jas 3:2).
66 Q Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
A Some sins in themselves, and by reason of various aggravations are more
heinous in the sight of God than others (Joh 19:11 1Jo 5:15).
67 Q What does every sin deserve?
A Every sin deserves God's wrath and curse, both in this life and that which
is to come (Eph 5:6 Ps 11:6).
68 Q How may we escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, we must believe
in the Lord Jesus Christ (Joh 3:16), trusting alone to his blood and righteousness.
This faith is attended by repentance for the past (Ac 20:21), and leads
to holiness in the future.
69 Q What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace (Heb 10:39), whereby we receive
(Joh 1:12), and rest upon him alone for salvation (Php 3:9), as he is set
forth in the gospel (Isa 33:22).
70 Q What is repentance to life?
A Repentance to life is a saving grace (Ac 11:18), whereby a sinner, out
of a true sense of his sins (Ac 2:37), and apprehension of the mercy of
God in Christ (Joe 2:13), does with grief and hatred of his sin turn from
it to God (Jer 31:18,19), with full purpose to strive after new obedience
71 Q What are the outward means whereby the Holy Spirit communicates
to us the benefits of redemption?
A The outward and ordinary means whereby the Holy Spirit communicates to
us the benefits of Christ's redemption, are the Word, by which souls are
begotten to spiritual life; Baptism, the Lord's Supper, Prayer, and Meditation,
by all which believers are further edified in their most holy faith (Ac
2:41,42 Jas 1:18).
72 Q How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
A The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching of the
Word, an effectual means of convicting and converting sinners (Ps 19:7),
and of building them up in holiness and comfort (1Th 1:6), through faith
to salvation (Ro 1:16).
73 Q How is the Word to be read and heard that it may become
effectual to salvation?
A That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend to it
with diligence (Pr 8:34; 1Pe 2:1,2), and prayer (Ps 119:18) receive it with
faith (Heb 4:2), and love (2Th 2:10), lay it up into our hearts (Ps 119:11),
and practise it in our lives (Jas 1:25).
74 Q How do Baptism and the Lord's Supper become spiritually
A Baptism and the Lord's Supper become spiritually helpful, not from any
virtue in them, or in him who does administer them (1Co 3:7 1Pe 3:21), but
only by the blessing of Christ (1Co 3:6) and the working of the Spirit in
those who by faith receive them (1Co 12:13).
75 Q What is Baptism?
A Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ
(Mt 28:19) to be to the person baptised a sign of his fellowship with him,
in his death, and burial, and resurrection (Ro 6:3 Col 2:12), of his being
ingrafted into him (Ga 3:27), of remission of sins (Mr 1:4 Ac 22:16), and
of his giving up himself to God through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in
newness of life (Ro 6:4,5).
76 Q To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A Baptism is to be administered to all those who actually profess repentance
towards God (Ac 2:38 Mt 3:6 Mr 16:16 Ac 8:12,36,37 10:47,48), and faith
in our Lord Jesus Christ, and to none other.
77 Q Are the infants of such as are professing to be baptised?
A The infants of such as are professing believers are not to be baptised,
because there is neither command nor example in the Holy Scriptures for
their baptism (Ex 23:13 Pr 30:6).
78 Q How is baptism rightly administered?
A Baptism is rightly administered by immersion, or dipping the whole body
of the person in water (Mt 3:16 Joh 3:23), in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, according to Christ's institution, and
the practice of the apostles (Mt 28:19,20), and not by sprinkling or pouring
of water, or dipping some part of the body, after the tradition of men (Joh
4:1,2 Ac 8:38,39).
79 Q What is the duty of such as are rightly baptized?
A It is the duty of such as are rightly baptized, to give up themselves
to some particular and orderly Church of Jesus Christ (Ac 2:47 Ac 9:26 1Pe
2:5) that they may walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord
blameless (Lu 1:6).
80 Q What is the Lord's Supper?
A The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by
Jesus Christ; wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according
to his appointment, his death is shown forth (1Co 11:23-26), and the worthy
receivers are, not after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made
partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual
nourishment, and growth in grace (1Co 10:16).
81 Q What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord's Supper?
A It is required of them who would worthily partake of the Lord's Supper,
that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord's body
(1Co 11:28,29), of their faith to feed upon him, (2Co 13:5), of their repentance
(1Co 11:31), love (1Co 11:18-20), and new obedience (1Co 5:8), lest coming
unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves (1Co 11:27-29).
82 Q What is meant by the words, until he come, which are used by the
apostle Paul in reference to the Lord's Supper?
A They plainly teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ will come a second time;
which is the joy and hope of all believers (Ac 1:11 1Th 4:16).
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