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Baltimore Catechism & Scriptural Reference Guide

To anyone who knows the Bible, the written Word of God, there is no doubt of the beauty, and breadth of the Good Book! At the same time, one must admit that the Scriptures are filled with complexities, which many people find daunting at first. The Bible provides us with inspiring stories, statistical facts, history, miracles, lessons, wonders and more. To tap that treasure-trove and truly understand and appreciate God's Word, it can help to have some background knowledge and instruction.

The Scriptures themselves seem to indicate that instruction should go hand and hand, or even proceed ahead of, Biblical study. Consider Luke 1:1-4:

"Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received."

"Theophilus" means "a friend of God" in Greek. It is thus likely not to have been so much a name of a person as it was Luke's nick-name for one studying the Christian faith. Notice that Luke first instructed Theophilus, and then later wanted to share the written Word of God with him. Acts 8:30-31 also tells us that instruction in the Word of the Lord is necessary and helpful to understanding the meaning of Scripture.

Catechisms are designed to be a systematic presentation of the faith. The portions of the Baltimore Catechism presented here uses a question and answer type format, and has been augmented with sample Biblical verses that demonstrate the point the Catechism makes. For many, studying a good catechism first is an aid to Scripture study. When one understands the basics of the Faith already (as Theophilus did) and subsequently reads the Bible, the lessons learned from instruction become clear. Then, the richness of Scripture - the poetic expressions, irony, humor, pointed lessons and more come alive in a way that blesses the Bible reader all the more.

By presenting the Baltimore Catechism with Scripture verses we hope you will accelerate your Biblical understanding as you grow in knowledge and appreciation of the Faith which Jesus gave to the Apostles, to be handed down through the ages to you today

The Purpose of Man's Existence

Q. 1. Who made us?

A. God made us.

Bible Reference: "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth." (Genesis 1:1)

Q. 2. Who is God?

A. God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things and keeps them in existence.

Bible Reference: "In Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) (here the "Him" means God).

Q. 3. Why did God make us?

A. God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven.

Bible Reference: "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love him. "
(I Corinthians 3:8)

Q. 4. What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven?

A. To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.

Bible Reference: Jesus said - "Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth; where the rust and moth consume and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." (Matthew 6:19-20)

Q. 5. From whom do we learn to know, love, and serve God?

A. We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church.

Bible Reference: Jesus said - "I have come a light into the world that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness." (John 12:46)

Jesus said - "...and on this Rock I will build My Church..." (Mt. 16:18)

Jesus said - "Whoever hears you, hears Me..." (Lk. 10:16) (Jesus to the Apostles of His Church...)

Part II - God and His Perfections

Q. 8. What do we mean when we say that God is the Supreme Being?

A. When we say that God is the Supreme Being we mean that He is above all creatures, the self-existing and infinitely perfect Spirit.

Bible Reference: God said - "I Am the First, and I Am the Last, and besides Me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6)

Q. 9. What is a spirit?

A. A spirit is a being that has understanding and free will, but no body, and will never die.

Bible Reference: "To whom then have you likened God? Or what image will you make for Him?" (Isaiah 40:18)

Q. 10. What do we mean when we say that God is self-existing?

A. When we say that God is self-existing we mean that He does not owe His existence to any other being.

Bible Reference: God said - "I Am who Am." (Exodus 3:14)

Q.11. What do we mean when we say that God is infinitely perfect?

A. When we say that God is infinitely perfect we mean that He has all perfections without limit.

Bible Reference: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and of His greatness there is no end." (Psalm 144:3)

Q. 12. What are some of the perfections of God?

A. Some of the perfections of God are: God is eternal, all-good, all-knowing, all-present, and almighty.

Bible References: God is eternal, see Job 36:26; Ps. 90:2; Ps. 102:25; Is. 57:15; Dn. 7:14.

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This is your link to Martin Beckman's article - "The Bible and Birth Control" informative reading! Thanks, Martin, for sharing this with our visitors, members and friends!


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