Unity Of The Brethren

Catechism

2017 CATECHISM REVISIONS

TABLE   OF   CONTENTS

 

Section I Preface
Section II Introduction
Section III The Bible
Section IV God
Section V God the Father
Section VI God the Son
Section VII God the Holy Spirit
Section VIII Man and Sin
Section IX Salvation
Section X The Christian Life
Section XI The Church
Section XII Ordinances of the Church
Section XIII Obligations of a Church Member
Section XIV Future Things
Appendix I.  Books of the Bible
II.  The Lord’s Prayer
III.  The Ten Commandments
IV.  The Apostles’ Creed
Acknowledgement
Members of the Catechism Committee
Members of the Revision Committee

 

SECTION I

PREFACE

Question 1.  What is the purpose of this catechism?
To state, in question and answer form, the doctrines of the Unity of the
Brethren.

Question 2.  What is meant by the “doctrines” of the Church?
Doctrines are definite statements of that which is taught by the Church about
certain truths of Christian belief.  II Timothy 3:16, II John 9-10.

Question 3.  What is the authority for Christian doctrine?
The Holy Bible.  II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:20-21.

Question 4.  Why should a Christian have knowledge of the teachings
of the Church?
Because they are guides which help him form his Christian convictions.

SECTION II

INTRODUCTION

Question 5.  Why did God create you?
For his glory and for our fellowship with him.  Psalm 145:10, Isaiah
43:7.

Question 6.  What should be our chief concern in this life?
To do the will of God and thus fulfill his purpose in creating us.  Matthew
6:33, 7:21, Romans 12:2, I John 2:17

Question 7.  What is God’s will for us?
a) To accept God’s gift of salvation.  John 6:28-30.
b) To obey God rather than to please ourselves.  Matthew 6:33

Question 8.  Where can we find guidance in fulfilling God’s will?

In the Bible.  Psalm 119:105, II Timothy 3:16-17.

SECTION III

THE   BIBLE

Question 9.  Why should we turn to the Bible for guidance?
a) It contains knowledge which no human mind could have discovered for itself.

b) It has a power which no other book has ever known.
c) It is the source book of all Christian truth.  Psalm 19:7-9, John
17:17b, Romans 11:33.

Question 10.  Who wrote the books of the Bible?
Holy men of God were guided by the spirit of God to write what he revealed
to them.  Hebrews 1:1-2, II Peter 1:21.

Question 11.  What does the Bible mainly teach?
a) Who God is and what he has done.
b) What God requires of men.  John 5:39, Romans 15:4

Question 12.  Why was the Old Testament written?
a) To tell of the power, wisdom, and goodness of God as shown through the
law and the prophets.
b) To instruct men in righteous living.  II Timothy 3:16.
c) To declare man’s sinful condition and foretell God’s plan of salvation
in Christ.  Isaiah 53:6, Luke 24:27.

Question 13.  Why was the New Testament written?
a) To tell of the birth, earthly life, death, and resurrection of our Lord
Jesus Christ.
b) To offer and assure salvation in Christ.
c) To teach men about the Christian faith. life, and conduct.
d) To reveal the glory and joy of the life in Christ now and forever.
John 20:31, I Corinthians 2:9, II Corinthians 3:14-16, Ephesians 3:9.

Question 14.  How then should we make use of the Bible?
We should:
a) Reverence it above all other books,
b) Read it thoughtfully each day,
c) Believe fully in its truth and authority, and
d) Seek to live by its teachings.  Psalm 119:11, 18; John 5:39; 14:23.

Question 15.  What is the relation of the Bible to science?
a) The Bible reveals the truth of the person, will, and works of God.
b) Science uncovers the truth of the works and laws of God in nature.
c) The correct interpretation of each sheds light upon the other.

SECTION IV

GOD

Question 16. Who is God?
God is the creator, ruler, and preserver of all things.  Genesis 1:1,
I Peter 5:6-7.

Question 17. What do we mean by the providence of God?
It is God’s continuing concern for his creation.  Nehemiah 9:6, Colossians
1:17.

Question 18. What are the principal qualities that are used to describe
the being of God?
a) God is a Spirit.  John 4:24.
b) God is eternal (He never began and will never cease to exist).  Psalm
90:2.
c) God is unchangeable (He is always the same).  Malachi 3:6.
d) God is omnipresent (He is everywhere at all times).  Jeremiah 23:23-24.

e) God is omnipotent (He has power to do whatever he wills).  Daniel
4:35, Matthew 19:26.
f) God is omniscient (He is all-knowing and all-wise: nothing can be hidden
from him).  Psalm 139:1-4, Romans 11:33.
g) God is just and righteous.  Revelation 16:7.
h) God is love.  I John 4:16.
i) God is gracious and merciful.  Psalm 103:8.

Question 19.  How is God made known to us?
a) Through his works.  Romans 1:19-20.
b) Through his word.  Hebrews 4:12.
c) Through Jesus Christ.  John 1:18, Hebrews 1:2.
d) Through the Holy Spirit.  John 14:26.

Question 20.  Why do we use the terms, “Holy Trinity” and “Godhead”
in speaking of the being of God?
Because God has revealed himself in scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
three persons in one Godhead.  Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14.

SECTION V

GOD   THE   FATHER

Question 21. Who is God the Father?
He is the first person of the Holy Trinity.  Matthew 28:19.

Question 22. Why do we call God our Father?
Because we are his children through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Isaiah
64:8, John 1:12, Galatians 3:26, I John 3:1.

Question 23. What was the primary act of God the Father in providing salvation?

He sent his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) to be the Savior of the world.
John 3:16, I John 4:14.

SECTION VI

GOD   THE   SON

Question 24. Who is Jesus Christ?
He is the second person of the Holy Trinity; true God, begotten of the Father
from eternity; and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary.  Luke 2:1-20;
John 1:1-3; 14; 10:13; Galatians 4:4; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 1:18.

Question 25. Why is Jesus Christ called Savior?
a) Because he saves believers from their sins.
b) Because there is no other Savior or way of salvation.  Matthew 1:21,
Acts 4:12, I Timothy 1:15.

Questions 26. Why did Christ, the Son of God, take upon Himself human nature
in coming into the world?
a) Only in this way could he fulfill God’s plan for man’s salvation.
Hebrews 2:14-17.
b) By being one of us he could best declare the love and purpose of God to
us.  John 1:18.

Question 27. Why did Jesus suffer and die?
a) God showed his love in providing his way for our salvation.  Romans
5:8, 6:23.
b) Jesus alone could offer the perfect sacrifice for sin.  I Timothy
2:5, Hebrews 5:9.
c) He died in our place.  Matthew 20:28.
d) Through his death and resurrection, we who believe have eternal life and
are accepted as children of God. (This is called atonement).  John 1:12,
Romans 4:24-25; 8:16; I Peter 1:3-4.

Question 28. What is the importance of the resurrection of Christ?
a) It proves that he is the Son of God.  Romans 1:4.
b) It proves that he is our Savior in whom we have newness of life.
Romans 4:24-25.
c) It proves that all who believe in him shall be raised from the dead also.
John 11:25-26, I Thessalonians 4:16-17.

Question 29. Where is Jesus now?
In heaven at the right hand of the Father, and on earth mysteriously present
with the believer.  Matthew 28:20, John 14:1-3, Romans 8:34, Ephesians
1:20.

Question 30. Will Jesus visibly return?
Yes, he shall visibly return to earth with great glory at the time appointed
by the Father to judge the world, to reward the faithful, and to reign as
King of Kings forever.  Matthew 24:36-42; Acts 1:11, I Thessalonians
4:16-17; Titus 2:13; Revelation 22:20.

Question 31. How then should we respond to the Lord Jesus Christ?
a) We should see our need of salvation.  Romans 3:23.
b) We should believe on him as personal Savior.  Acts 16:31.
c) We should repent of our sins.  Acts 3:19; 17:30.
d) We should confess him before men.  Romans 10:9-10.
e) We should love him and serve him joyfully all of our lives.  John
15:5-8, 16; I John 4:19.

SECTION VII

GOD   THE   HOLY   SPIRIT

Question 32.  Who is the Holy Spirit?
He is the third person of the Holy Trinity, one with the Father and the Son.
John 16:13, I Corinthians 2:10; II Corinthians 13:14.

Question 33. When did the Holy Spirit first come in a special way to the
followers of Jesus Christ?
On the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.  This marked the beginning of
the Christian Church.  Luke 24:49, Acts 2:1-4.

Question 34. What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
a) He convinces us of our sin and our need of a Savior.  John 16:7-8.

b) He leads us to accept Christ as Savior.  John 15:26.
c) He gives us the assurance of our salvation.  Romans 8:11-12, Ephesians
1:13-14.
d) He gives us power to witness for Christ.  Acts 1:8.
e) He enlightens our minds to understand the truth. John 16:12-13.
f) He changes us. so that our lives become fruitful in Christ’s cause.
I Corinthians 12:7-11, Galatians 5:22-23.
g) He comforts, helps and sustains us.  John 14:16-17.

Question 35. How should we respond to the Holy Spirit?
a) We should humbly recognize his leading, willingly obey him, and live by
his power.  Galatians 5:16, Ephesians 5:18b.
b) We should neither resist nor act against his influence.  Ephesians
4:30.

SECTION VIII

MAN   AND   SIN

Question 36. How was man created?
a) God formed his body of earth and made him a living soul.  Genesis
2:7.
b) God created him in his own image.  Genesis 1:26-27.

Question 37. What was the original state of man?
He was pure and sinless.  Genesis 1:31.

Question 38. How did man lose this state?
By yielding to temptation and disobeying the known will of God.  Genesis
2:16-17; 3:1-13, I Corinthians 15:22, James 1:14-15.

Question 39. Did the loss of this state effect all men?
Yes, all have inherited a selfish, rebellious, and depraved nature and are
sinful.  Romans 5:12, I John 1:8.

Question 40. What is sin?
a) Sin is a way of life in which man ignores or rebels against God and his
purpose.  James 4:17.
b) Sin is a failure to measure up to God’s standard for man.  Romans
3:23; 14:23b, I John 3:4.

Question 41. How do we sin?
a) We sin in thought, word, and deed; by omission as well as by commission.

b) We sin against God, our neighbor and ourselves.  Psalm 51:4, Matthew
15:19, I Corinthians 8:12, James 4:17.

Question 42. What are the results of sinning?
a) A guilty conscience.
b) Misery and disgrace.  Matthew 26:69-75, 27:3-5.
c) Increased control by sin over our lives.
d) Spiritual death and separation from God.  Isaiah 57:21, Romans 1:18,
6:23a.

SECTION IX

SALVATION

Question 43. Who is able to deliver us from sin?
Only the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life a ransom for all.  Acts
4:12, I Timothy 1:15, Hebrews 2:17-18.

Question 44. How is man made aware of Jesus Christ the Savior?
a) Through hearing the proclamation of the Gospel.  Romans 10:14.
b) Through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  John 15:26.

Question 45. What must we do to be saved?
a) We must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  I Thessalonians 5:19.

b) We must repent of our sins.  Mark 1:15.
c) We must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.  John 3:36,
Acts 16:31.

Question 46. What is repentance?
a) It is to know and admit to God that we have sinned. (This is called confession
of sin.)
b) It is to be deeply sorry that we have disobeyed God.
c) It is to humbly ask for pardon.
d) It is to turn away from evil and to turn to God in faith.  Repentance
is not only an event in turning to God at first, but a daily experience in
returning to him.  Psalm 51:2-3, II Corinthians 7:10.

Question 47. What does it mean to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? (become
a Christian)
a) Accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
b) Trusting that his life, suffering\, death and resurrection has saved us.

c) Committing our lives to him.

Question 48. What are the immediate results of believing in Jesus Christ?

a) We experience the new birth.  John 1:12-13.
b) Our sins are forgiven and peace with God is restored.  Romans 5:1.

c) We become children of God (Christians) and have fellowhsip with him.
John 1:12.
d) We have the hope of life with Christ both now and forevermore.  John
17:3.
e) We are given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.  John 7:37-39, I Corinthians
6:19-20.

Question 49. What do we mean by the new birth or regeneration?
It is new life in Christ whereby he gives to those who trust in him a new
heart, mind, will and motive to live in gratitude and obedience to him.
John 3:3, II Corinthians 5:17, I John 5:1.

SECTION X

THE   CHRISTIAN   LIFE

Question 50. Who is a Christian?
It is  a person who, under the influence of the Holy Spirit:
a) Believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Question 47.)
b) Lives his life proving his faith.
c) Is active in the worship and mission of the Church.
Matthew 7:21, 25:31-40, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 1:10

Question 51. How does a Christian prove his faith?
a) By keeping the commandments of Christ which are as follows: “You shall
love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And the
second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these
two commandments depend all the law and prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-40, John 15:17
b) By the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Galatians 5:22

Question 52. Whjat is the goal of the Christian life?
To become more and more like Christ in character, obedience, and service.
Romans 8:29, II Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 4:13, II Peter 3:18

Question 53. What are some of the disciplines of a Christian?
Prayer – Philippians 4:6-7
Bible Study – I Peter 2:2, II Timothy 2:15
Worship – Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship – II Corinthians 9:7
Witnessing – Acts 1:8
Service – I Corinthians 15:58
 

SECTION XI

THE   CHURCH

Question 54. What is the Christian Church?
a) The household of faith.
b) The body of Christ.
c) The visible form of the kingdom of God on earth.
d) A fellowship of all:
(1) Who truly believe in Jesus Christ as their personal
Savior.
(2) Who have publically professed their faith in him.
(3) Who are united for worship and service.
Matthew 16:16-18, I Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 1:22-23.

Question 55. Who is the Head of the Church?
The Lord Jesus Christ, and he alone, is the Head of the Church.  Ephesians
1:22-23, Colossians 1:18-19.

Question 56. Why was the Church founded?
The Christian Church was founded:
a) To proclaim the Gospel of salvation from sin.
b) To win believers and build them up in the Christian faith and life.
c) To send forth her messengers to witness for Christ in all the world.
Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8.

Question 57. By whom is the mission of the Church being performed?
a) By the membership at large:
(1) By each individual member,
(2) By devoted and gifted lay leaders,
(3) By trained and authorized or ordained ministers and
missionaries.
b) By various groups and organizations within the Church.
Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11-13.

Question 58. Why should a Christian be a Church member?
a) Loyalty to his Savior, the founder of the Church, demands it.
b) He needs her fellowship and means of grace for spiritual growth.
c) In this way he can best witness to his faith in Jesus Christ.

SECTION XII

ORDINANCES   OF   THE   CHURCH

Question 59. What are the principal means of grace, or ordinances, offered
by the Church?
a) The preachng of the word of God.
b) The administration of the sacraments.
Acts 2:42, Romans 10:17.

Question 60. What should be  our attitude toward the public preaching
of the Word of God?
We should be faithful and reverent attendants at public worship services of
the Church in order that:
a) We might hear the Word of God, and
b) Apply it in our lives.
Matthew 7:21, Hebrews 2:1, 10:24-25.

Question 61. What are the sacraments?
a) They are holy ordinances instituted by Christ, which are outward and visible
signs of inward and spiritual grace given to us.
b) The two sacraments are Baptism and Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion).
Matthew 28:18-20, I Corinthians 11:23-26.

Question 62. What is Baptism?
a) Baptism is a sign and pledge of grace, a covenant between the Lord and
the believer.
b) In this sacrament the use of water in the name of God, the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit, is the sign of the cleansing of the soul from sin, through
the blood of Christ.
c) When a child is baptized, he is dedicated to the Lord by the parents; and
placed within the covenant of grace under the care of the Church.
d) When an adult is baptized, he professes his faith in Christ and becomes
eligible for communicant membership in the Church.  Acts 2:38, 16:33-34,
Romans 6:4.

Question 63. What is the Lord’s Supper?
a) The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ and an anticipation
of his return.
b) It is a spiritual communion of the believer with Christ and with his fellow
believers.
c) It is a symbol of the new covenant and a pledge of the benefits of Christ’s
atonement.
d) It is the renewal of the public profession of one’s faith.
e) In this sacrament the visible signs are the bread and wine, signifying
Christ’s body and his blood, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
I Corinthians 11:23-26.

Question 64. What is confirmation?
a) Confirmation is a rite of the Church by which persons baptized as infants,
after being instructed in Christian doctrine, agree to and renew the covenant
and promise made for them.
b) Those who are confirmed:
(1) Make a public profession of faith in Christ.
(2) Promise to be his followers.
(3) Promise to serve him all the days of their lives.
(4) Receive the blessings of the Lord.
(5) Are admitted to the communicant membership of the
Church.
Matthew 10:32, I Timothy 6:12.
 

SECTION XIII

OBLIGATIONS   OF   A   CHURCH
MEMBER

Question 65. What are the duties of a Church member toward his Lord?
a) To love him above all others and keep His commandments.
b) To praise him for his gifts and mercies, especially the gift of salvation.

c) To profess him before men and promote his glory by a worthy life.
Psalm 107:31, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 22:37,39.

Question 66. What are the duties of a church member toward his own local
Church, and toward the Christian Church everywhere?
a) To attend the public services faithfully.
Psalm 122:1, Matthew 18:20, Hebrews 10:23-25.
b) To participate faithfully in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
I Corinthians 11:23-26.
c) To take willingly an active part in all her undertakings for the common
good, and for the extension of God’s kingdom on earth.
Colossians 3:17.
d) To contribute cheerfully and generoously to all local and benevolent causes
of the Church.
II Corinthians 9:7.
e) To show special concern for his fellow Christians. Galatians 6:1-2,10.

f) To be an intelligent, informed and loyal member of his own denomination,
and of the world-wide Christian Church.

Question 67. What are some of the duties of a Church member to his fellow
man?
a) To witness among them for his Lord.  Acts 1:8.
b) To show the power of the grace of Christ by a godly and virtuous life.
Matthew 5:14-16.
c) To take a courageous stand against all injustice and evil.  Deuteronomy
15:7-8, Isaiah 1:17, II Timothy 2:22.
d) To witness in all parts of the earth through the support of missionary
work.  Matthew 28:19-20.
 

SECTION XIV

FUTURE   THINGS

Many things are told us in the Scriptures regarding the life to come and
of our eternal destiny.  Among them are:
1) That death is the beginning of judgment of the unbeliever, while the believer
departs to be with Christ.  Philippians 1:21,23, Hebrews 9:27.
2) That all dead will rise again.  John 5:28-29, Acts 24:15.
3) That the ungodly will rise unto judgment to be followed by everlasting
woe in hopeless separation from God.  John 5:28-29.
4) That the believer will rise, receive a spiritual body like the glorified
body of Jesus Christ, and live in bliss and unbroken communion with God and
the saints forever.  Matthew 25:31-32, Romans 8:11, II Corinthians 5:10.

 

APPENDIX

I. THE   BOOKS
OF   THE   BIBLE

A) THE   OLD   TESTAMENT
1. Law (5)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
2. History (12)
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles,
II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
3. Poetry (5)
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
4. Major Prophets (5)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
5. Minor Prophets (12)
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Zechariah, Malachi

B) THE   NEW   TESTAMENT
1. Biography (4)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
2. History (1)
Acts
3. Pauline Epistles (13)
Romans, I Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians,
II Thessalonians,  I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon
4. General Epistles (8)
Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude
5. Prophecy (1)
Revelation

II. THE   LORD’S
PRAYER

Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.  Thy kingdom
come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day
our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those
who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver
us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever.  Amen.

III. THE   TEN
COMMANDMENTS

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of
anything 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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love
me; and keep my commandments.

III. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the
Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his Name in vain.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days thou shalt
labor, 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 thy cattle, nor the 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 it.

V. Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

VI. Thou shalt not kill.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor
his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.
 

IV. THE   APOSTLES’
CREED

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven
and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived
by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead and buried.  He went to the place of departed spirits.
The third day he rose from the dead.  He ascended into heaven.and sitteth
at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian Church;
the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the
body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.
____________________
Acknowledgement:  Portions of this
Catechism are from the Catechism of the Moravian Church in America (Northern
Province), and are used by permission.

Members of the Catechism
Committee:

Rev. John Baletka
Rev. Josef A. Barton
Rev. John Bravenec, Jr.
Rev. Daniel J. Marek
Rev. E.P. Simon

Members of the Revision
Committee:

Rev. John Baletka
Rev. Milton Maly
Rev. Daniel J. Marek

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