Questions About the Word of God:
- Q: How does the Holy Spirit bring us to salvation?
- A: He uses the Bible, which is God’s Word.
- Q: How can we know God’s Word?
- A: We are commanded to hear, read and study the Scriptures.
Children need to regularly see and absorb the truth expressed in this question and answer in the lives of the adults around them. Parents need to model and demonstrate a love for God’s Word in the home. It is not enough to listen to sermons on Sunday or to send children to Bible study classes or even to teach them the catechism. The Word must be the first subject of our studies and at the top of our priorities. If we read the Scriptures to our kids, then they will hear it regularly. If we encourage them to read as they get older and then show them how to really think about and study the Word then we will have given them something far better than a set of theological truths; we will have given them to tools to see those truths in God’s Word.
Questions About the Church:
- Q: What is a church?
- A: A Church is an organized assembly of baptized believers, joined by a covenant of discipline, who meet together under the preaching of God’s Word.
It is popular today to think of the church as any group of believers. But that is not biblical. the church is organized (has structure and leadership), is composed of professing, baptized believers who have made a covenant with one another, and who are united under the proclamation of the Word. For too long youth groups and camps and Bible studies (which are not bad things, necessarily) have been substituted for a genuine church for many children and teenagers. We can help our kids to understand what a church really is only by showing it to them regularly and emphasizing the role of the church in God’s plan.
- Q: What two ordinances did Christ give to his church?
- A: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper?
- Q: Why did Christ give these ordinances?
- A: To show that his disciples belong to him and to remind them of what he has done for them.
- Q: What is baptism?
- A: The immersion of believers into water as a sign of their union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.
- Q: What is the purpose of Baptism?
- A: Baptism shows others that believers have been cleansed of their sins through Jesus Christ.
- Q: Who should be baptized?
- A: Only those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ for salvation should be baptized.
- Q: Should babies be baptized?
- A: No. The Bible does not command it or give any examples of it.
The most common mistake that children (and adults!) make regarding baptism is to think that it saves them or actually washes away their sin. In these last four questions we are helping them to see that salvation comes first by faith alone. Baptism comes later as a sign to show others that you’re already a follower of Christ.
- Q: What is the Lord’s Supper?
- A: At the Lord’s Supper the church eats bread and drinks wine to remember the sufferings and earth of Christ.
- Q: What does the bread represent?
- A: The bread represents the body of Christ, broken for our sins.
- Q: What does the wine represent?
- A: The blood represents the blood of Christ, shed for our salvation.
- Q: Who should partake of the Lord’s Supper?
- A: Only baptized believers who have repented of their sins, love one another, and are in good standing with the local church.
One way that you can help your child to see their need for conversion (even though he or she has been in the church since birth) is to explain to them why they cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper. Use these questions to explain why they cannot participate and then remind them of the Gospel.
Questions About Last Things
- Q: Did Christ remain in the tomb after his crucifixion?
- A: No. He rose from the tomb on the third day after his death.
- Q: Where is Christ now?
- A: Christ is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father.
- Q: Will Christ come again?
- A: Yes. On the last day he will come to judge the world.
- Q: What happens to men when the die?
- A: Their soul goes to be with God or to a place of suffering and waiting for judgment.
The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about God, so it’s probably best to simply say what Scripture says: believers go to be with him when we die.
- Q: Will the bodies of the dead be raised to life again?
- A: Yes. “There will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.”
While the Bible does not say a great deal about “heaven” we do know that when Christ returns he will raise the dead and give us new bodies. You can explain to your kids that they will never get a cold again or scrape their knee again. The will have perfect bodes that never get sick and don’t get old.
- Q: What will happen do the wicked on the Day of Judgment?
- A: They will be cast into hell.
- Q: What is hell?
- A: Hell is a place of dreadful and endless punishment.
Hell is not a popular topic today, and we certainly don’t want to “scare people into heaven” (as if that’s possible), but we do want to help our kids understand the consequences of sin and the holiness of God. You can’t do that without teaching about hell. Hell is not just a bad word we teach them not to say; it’s a real place for sinners who have not be rescued by Jesus.
- Q: What will happen to the righteous on the Day of Judgment?
- A: The will live with Christ forever in a new heaven and new earth.
Now we come to the great hope of all believers. The old Tom and Jerry Cartoons may have taught us that our goal is to live in the clouds and strum harps forever, but the Bible says we will live in a new heaven and earth. We will have real physical bodies and live in a real, physical world. Take your child to Revelation 21 and read John’s description of the new heaven and earth. Make sure you point out that Christ is the center and source of all light, life and joy forever.
- Q: In light of these truths, what should you do?
- A: should repent of my sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The whole goal of this catechism is not to fill little minds with knowledge, but to move them to a real and vibrant faith in Jesus. We want our kids to know who he is, what he has done for them, what he has saved them from, and what he has saved them for. The catechism aims to teach all of these things so that they might repent and trust in Jesus.