Let me begin by welcoming you to “Through the Westminster Shorter Catechism.” This is a series of posts in which I will take us through the Westminster Shorter Catechism and give a brief commentary to the questions and answers that we find in the catechism.
But before we begin with the commentary, I thought that it is important to give a brief introduction of the catechism. The Westminster Shorter Catechism was written in 1647 by a gathering of pastors and theologians also known as the Westminster Assembly in England. The purpose of the catechism was to be a tool for biblical instruction both for churches and families.
Ever since then the catechism has been used by Presbyterian and Reformed churches all over the world. So, what are some of the ways you can use the catechism? Let me suggest two: first use it for personal devotion. Read the questions and answers prayerfully while also checking the Bible to confirm that they are true. Second, use it to shepherd and teach the little hearts of your children. Just a brief personal testimony on this point:
When I was a child, my grandfather bought me the shorter catechism and taught me God’s word from it. I memorized its truths with an innocent zeal of a child. But later in my teenage years I wandered away from the faith. However, the Spirit of God continued to use those truths I stored in my mind and heart to convict me of sin and eventually bring me back to the faith.
Therefore, I would like to encourage parents who have little children to faithfully teach and encourage their little ones to memorize the catechism. Believe you me you will never regret doing it. I can’t agree more with Charles H. Spurgeon who once observed, “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.”
So, may he Lord bless you as we go through the catechism together and may he bless your children as you labor to teach them God’s truth.