Dear Beloved of Christ,
â€œIf you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followedâ€¦Train yourself for godlinessâ€ (1 Tim. 4:6-7).
A friendly reminder to remember to review and memorize your catechism this year! I especially encourage parents and officers to go through the Westminster Shorter Catechism as a helpful and important reminder of what you believe. â€œCatechizeâ€ comes from a Greek word that means to teach, to instruct, it can have the nuance of covenantal nurture in the faith, for both adults and especially children in the covenant.
Briefly, why should you catechize yourself and your family? A few reasons to get you thinkingâ€¦
- Meditation/Nurture of Your Soul: Good catechisms, like the Westminster Shorter Catechism teach Scriptural truth that we are called to meditate upon day and night and remember (Deut. 6:6-7; 11:18-19; Psalm 1; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15- Timothyâ€™s catechizing was used to bring him to faith in Christ!).
- Jesus was catechized: Jesus sought to understand the scriptures, sitting at the feet of His teachers, learning from an early age how to understand and interpret the Scriptures (Luke 2:40-52). (If Jesus needed to be catechized, how much moreâ€¦?? Well, you get the idea!). Jews were catechized from the Law (see Rom. 2:18, lit. â€œcatechizedâ€ from the Law).
- Jesus catechized: Between Jesusâ€™ resurrection and ascension into heaven, he catechized His disciples with the truth about His Kingdom (Luke 1:44-53; Acts 1:1-4; cf. Luke 1:4). Jesus is also teaching catechism when he says that disciples should be receiving constant teaching: â€œâ€¦Teaching them everything that I have commanded youâ€¦â€ (Matt. 28:20a).
- Early believers were catechized: Luke knew Theophilus had been catechized (see Luke 1:4: â€œâ€¦Certainty of those things, you have been â€œcatechizedâ€ or instructed inâ€). The great Apollos had been catechized in the Scriptures (see Acts 18:25).
- Better hearing and â€œgettingâ€ of sermons: Catechism helps you to understand rich, theological, words that have been inherited from our forefathers and foremothers in the faith. Catechism is honoring our fathers and mothers in this way. You can better â€œhearâ€ and understand sermons. It is an observed truth that those who â€œgetâ€ sermons the best in the Reformed tradition of preaching, are those who are catechized (see Nehemiah 8:8 and context).
- Membership Commitments/parental responsibility: As a congregation in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, catechism is a very important way of covenantal nurture: â€œDo you promise to teach diligently to [name of child] the principles of our holy Christian faith, revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and summarized in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church?â€ (Book of Church Order, DFW, chap. III). If youâ€™re a member of the OPC, we have vowed to do this in reliance upon Godâ€™s grace in Christ.
There are free copies of the Shorter Catechism in the front of church building available, and the catechism is also at the back of the Red Trinity Hymnals. Let me know if I can assist you in your pursuit of catechizing, and practically, let me know if I can purchase more copies for you to have to keep in your pockets.
For more information on catechism, you may read these excellent articles:
Your pastor and elders pray for you regularly to grow in your faith, this will help you to grow. If your child completes the memorization of catechism, please let your elders know and we will glorify God in praising Him by featuring this in the OPCâ€™s â€˜New Horizonsâ€™ issue.
If you have time, would you let me know over email, or in person, that you were able to read this and think prayerfully about it? I would greatly appreciate that. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask myself or one of your elders.
â€œThe One who is taught [lit. â€œcatechizedâ€] the word must share all good things with the one who teaches [â€œcatechizesâ€]â€ (Gal. 6:6).
â€œâ€¦What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others alsoâ€ (2 Tim. 2:2).
Letsâ€™ begin now. Ketoctin Covenant: â€œQuestion: What is the chief end of man?â€ Answer: â€œ_________________â€
Now see, that wasnâ€™t too difficult. Mediate on your answer today, and in Christ, you will be â€œblessedâ€; it is a promise of God (Psa. 1:1-3).
IN Christâ€™s love,