The question is often asked. What is catechism? Well let’s start with the term itself. The actual term “catechism” is one that may well bring up images for some of a weird, and some would offer outdated form of teaching or method of instruction. I would have to readily agree that there is a rich history when we speak of this idea of catechizing so yes it is old in design. But old does not mean ineffective. I love what one author says, “catechizing has been a time-honored and effective practice throughout Protestant as well as church history.” Now, there are some a ton of great reasons to reconsider using a catechism in teaching your children, both at home, church, family devotion. But let’s make a quick case for it use and consider little history and a simple explanation of what a catechism is and what it is suppose to do.
So I would say the most convincing component for me (a part from having a ton of kids) is the word Catechism itself. The term comes from a Greek word used in the Holy Bible, katacheo, that simply means “instructed” (Luke 1:4). Catechism is a question and answer method of instruction in basic Christian doctrines; it creates a solid framework for personal interaction with the Scriptures. The series of questions and answers develops a fundamental understanding of God, sin, salvation, prayer, the Bible, the church, and heaven and hell; each answer in the catechism is supported by Scripture references.
The great reformer Martin Luther of the Protestant Reformation dealt with the terrible ignorance of Scripture and doctrine in his day and catechizing became a sure method for drawing closer to not only the knowledge of God but the love of God. Pastor Charles Spurgeon ‘urged and promoted’ the use of catechisms, saying that “if we could revive, more and more, the use of a good catechism…we should be doing a world of good. The way to secure the masses would be to secure them when young.”
Here is the A, B, C of Catechizing our children…
A) A catechism encourages the unity of essential beliefs among God’s children. Many people want to know what constitutes a true Christian essential teaching. What are the primary teachings of the Christian faith? Catechical instruction can help promote unity among Christians by helping establish the fundamentals of the faith.
B) Catechism promotes a faster, deeper understanding as verses are tied to appropriate questions. Children are helped to tie verses to meaning through the use of questions and answers. Children begin to understand the usefulness of God’s Word as they see how clearly it answers important questions.
C) Catechism stimulates and motivates learning, because most children, especially younger ones, love to answer questions. Questions are a teacher’s most useful ally, because through them one gains access to precious minds. As Jesus showed, questions are invaluable when teaching truth!
BELOW IS A QUICK EXAMPLE OF OUR KIDS CATECHISM WITH SCRIPTURE PROOFS. ENJOY!!!
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.
Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes
Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?
A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.
Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.
Q. 10. How did God create man?
A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.
Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.
Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
Q. 14. What is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.
Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.
Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression.
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.
Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.
Q. 21. Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
A. The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.
Q. 23. What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.
Q. 24. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.
Q. 25. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.