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Shorter Catechism

𝒬 90. 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 thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer;1 receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.2

  1. Deuteronomy 6:16-25

    “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.

    “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’

    Psalm 119:18

    Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.

    1 Peter 2:1-2

    2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— (ESV)

  2. Psalm 119:11

    I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

    2 Thessalonians 2:10

    and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    Hebrews 4:2

    For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

    James 1:22-25

    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 157. How is the Word of God to be read?

𝒜. The Holy Scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them;1 with a firm persuasion that they are the very Word of God,2 and that he only can enable us to understand them;3 with desire to know, believe, and obey the will of God revealed in them;4 with diligence,5 and attention to the matter and scope of them;6 with meditation,7 application,8 self-denial,9 and prayer.10

  1. Psalm 119:97

    Oh how I love your law!
    It is my meditation all the day.

    Psalm 19:10

    More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
    sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.

    2 Chronicles 34:27

    because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.

    Isaiah 66:2

    All these things my hand has made,
    and so all these things came to be,
    declares the Lord.
    But this is the one to whom I will look:
    he who is humble and contrite in spirit
    and trembles at my word.

    Nehemiah 8:3-10

    And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

    And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (ESV)

  2. 2 Peter 1:19-21

    And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    Matthew 4:4

    But he answered, “It is written,

    “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

    1 Thessalonians 2:13

    And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

    Mark 7:13

    thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (ESV)

  3. Luke 24:45

    Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

    2 Corinthians 3:13-16

    not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (ESV)

  4. Deuteronomy 17:10

    Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you.

    Deuteronomy 17:20

    that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel. (ESV)

  5. Acts 17:11

    Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (ESV)

  6. Acts 8:30

    So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

    Acts 8:34

    And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”

    Luke 10:26-28

    He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (ESV)

  7. Psalm 1:2

    but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

    Psalm 119:97

    Oh how I love your law!
    It is my meditation all the day. (ESV)

  8. 2 Chronicles 34:21

    “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.” (ESV)

  9. Proverbs 3:5

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.

    Deuteronomy 33:3

    Yes, he loved his people,
    all his holy ones were in his hand;
    so they followed in your steps,
    receiving direction from you,

    Matthew 16:24

    Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

    Luke 9:23

    And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

    Galatians 1:15-16

    But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; (ESV)

  10. Proverbs 2:1-6

    2:1 My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
    making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
    yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
    if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
    then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
    For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

    Psalm 119:18

    Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.

    Nehemiah 8:6

    And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

    Nehemiah 8:8

    They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.