For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full (II Cor. 10:3-6).

Captive Thoughts” is dedicated to bringing every thought captive to Christ through the study of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, with primary focus on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This effort is a compilation of several years of catechetical study conducted at Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Westminster, California, by its Christian Education Committee and the author of this site.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q98

We near the end of our catechism study as the Shorter Catechism concludes with the topic of prayer. Rossetti, the 19th-century Italian poet, patriot, and evangelist once commented, “The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.” Thanksgiving is so much a part of an active prayer life, but it is only one aspect. There is so much to consider on the issue of prayer, and the catechism dedicates the last ten questions to this topic.
What is your view and practice of prayer? Hopefully it corresponds with the Church’s view as spelled out in our confessions and the believer’s primary standard of Scripture itself. Much has been said about the mystery, necessity, and blessings of prayer. Prayer is one of the means of grace that our Lord uses to draw near to, and sanctify, his people. Abraham Kuyper wrote that prayer is “a holy watchfulness and distrust of one’s self, a consistent prayerfulness, a trustful dependence on God to fulfill all that he has purposed” (The Biblical Practice of Godliness). Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” In a way that is a sad commentary; prayer ought not to be our last resort after we have exhausted all other avenues; prayer ought to be the start. But our nature is to react, driven by circumstances and necessity, rather than by vision and forethought.
We shall see in this and the next several studies that prayer is central to our service of our Lord and one another. On the topic of prayer, Matthew Henry has said, “When God begins to bless his people, he sets them praying for blessing which he desires to give them.” Let us pray for God’s blessing upon this study and what is to follow.
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WSC Q98. What is prayer?
A.  Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God[a], for things agreeable to his will[b], in the name of Christ[c], with confession of our sins[d], and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.[e]
[a]  Ps. 10:17; 62:8; Matt. 7:7-8
[b]  I John 5:14
[c]  John 16:23-24
[d]  Ps. 32:5-6; Dan. 9:4-19; I John 1:9
[e]  Ps. 103:1-5; 136; Phil. 4:6
Question 98 asks what is prayer and answers that prayer is offering our desires to God in the name of Christ for things that agree with his will, confessing our sins, and thankfully recognizing his mercies.
Comments and considerations:
We come now to the second great section of the Catechism. Having considered “what man is to believe concerning God,” we now consider “what duty God requires of man.” But we do well to remember that these two things can never be separated in the life of the Christian. There is no true faith without obedience. And there is not real obedience without faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). And faith without obedience is dead (James 2:22).
The above quotation is from The Shorter Catechism for Study Classes, Volume 2 by G.I Williamson, in his introduction to WSC Q39, which asks what God requires of man. The answer is God requires man to obey his revealed will. G.I. Williamson goes on to say in those opening comments,
It is man’s duty to obey God. The reason for this is that God is the creator and man is a mere creature. Because God created man He therefore has “a right” to require what He will from man. Because man is only a creature, he has “no right” to “go his own way, and do his own will.” No, the only “right” for man is to obey God. So, in the very nature of the case, the will of God is the rule by which man ought to live.
We are reminded of the structure of the catechism, consistent as it is with the Scriptural pattern; it first teaches us what we are to believe concerning God, and then gives imperatives as to what God requires in light of his revelation (Deut. 29:29). It is fitting that the catechism should conclude with the topic of prayer. For if we have learned anything in the path of study we have we just traversed, it is that we can do nothing of our duty unless God provides. Prayer is the means of grace to our Lord’s provisions, the offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.
We would do well to consider the Scripture verses our fathers picked in support of this five-point definition of prayer.
1) offering up of our desires unto God:
Ps. 10:17- LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear.
Ps. 62:8 - Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Note that “Selah” means to take pause and mediate.)
Matt. 7:7-8 - “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
2) for things agreeable to his will:
I John 5:14 - Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. We should note here the importance of praying intelligently. God’s will is his revealed Word. True obedience goes beyond just keeping the commands. It is of the heart, a joyful fulfilling of God’s desires for us—the heart of man seeking and knowing the heart of God in fact and principle. James warns, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). How many times have our children asked for foolish things? Yet when they ask wisely, the hand of blessing gladly opens wide.
3) in the name of Christ:
John 16:23-24 - “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Our union and communion in Christ, the authority and power of our Savior’s name—these are but a couple of principles that come to mind.
4) with confession of our sins:
Ps. 32:5-6 - I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. - Selah - For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him.
Dan. 9:4-19 - Space does not allow printing this long reference here. But it would be good to open Scriptures and consider it.
I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If this is verse is not thoroughly memorized and applied in faith in its entirety, consistently and without ceasing, then we will fail to find the intended and necessary blessing it so adequately provides.
5) thankful acknowledgement of his mercies:
Ps. 103:1-5 - Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. I once had a pastor who used the metaphorical phrase, “chew on the Word of God.” If ever there was a passage that provided substance to what he meant, it is Ps. 103:1-5. Pause for a moment and chew on the phrases: Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, Who redeems your life from destruction, and so on. Often we begin to pray in sore despair with a heavy burden; yet in the end we find renewed strength and vigor, renewed hope and faith so that [our] youth is renewed like the eagle’s. That is the blessing and power of prayer.
Ps. 136 - Again, space does not allow printing this long reference here. This psalm rehearses the praise, glory, and faithfulness of God in Israel’s history.
Phil. 4:6 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. This last reference is a beacon of light that commands and clarifies our understanding and approach to prayer. It encompasses the depth of faith and the extent to which everything is to be brought to the throne of grace in the high privilege and ministry of prayer, with thanksgiving.
There is much to consider when it comes to prayer. Prayer can be passionate and eloquent; it can also be childlike pleas aimed heavenward day by day: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) The next several catechism lessons will conclude our study with a look at this last topic and very important means of grace.
To God alone be the glory!
Training Hearts and Teaching Minds Questions:
1.            Read Prov. 15:8, 29. What can we learn about prayer from these verses? How do they inform us about how we are to approach God in prayer?
2.            How does Col. 1:9-10 instruct us in how we ought to pray? What specific things does Paul pray for, and for others?
3.            The catechism refers to prayer as desires, agreeable to God. In one way this speaks of our heart, motive, and direction of our prayers. How does I Thess. 5:16-18 apply to this aspect of prayer?
4.            What does it mean when we pray “in the name of Christ”? See John 16:23-24 and Eph. 3:11-12. (1)
5.            The catechism speaks of two specific things following our coming to prayer in Christ. How significant do you think these two things are? See Ps. 66:18 and Phil. 4:6.
Further thoughts: 1) Think in terms of a judge or law enforcement officer who performs his duty “in the name of the law.” What he is referring to is the authority of another who is greater, and who empowers the lesser to perform a duty and responsibility.
Harmony of the Standards: WSC Q98, WLC Q178-185
WSC Q98. What is prayer?
A.  Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God[a], for things agreeable to his will[b], in the name of Christ[c], with confession of our sins[d], and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies[e].
[a]  Ps. 10:17; 62:8; Matt. 7:7-8
[b]  IJohn 5:14
[c]  John 16:23-24
[d]  Ps. 32:5-6; Dan. 9:4-19; IJohn 1:9
[e]  Ps. 103:1-5; 136; Phil. 4:6
WLC Q178. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God[a], in the name of Christ[b], by the help of his Spirit[c]; with confession of our sins[d], and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies[e].
(a)   Ps. 62:8
(b)   John 16:23
(c)   Rom. 8:26
(d)   Ps. 32:5-6; Dan. 9:4
(e)   Phil. 4:6
WLC Q179. Are we to pray unto God only?
A.  God only being able to search the hearts[a], hear the requests[b], pardon the sins[c], and fulfill the desires of all[d]; and only to be believed in[e], and worshipped with religious worship[f]; prayer, which is a special part thereof[g], is to be made by all to him alone[h], and to none other[i].
(a)   1Kng. 8:39; Acts 1:24; Rom. 8:27
(b)   Ps. 65:2
(c)   Micah 7:8
(d)   Ps. 145:18-19
(e)   Rom. 10:14
(f)   Mat. 4:10
(g)   1Cor. 1:2
(h)  Ps. 50:15
(i)    Rom. 10:14
WLC Q180. What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
A.  To pray in the name of Christ is, in obedience to his command, and in confidence on his promises, to ask mercy for his sake[a]; not by bare mentioning of his name[b], but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation[c].
[a]   John 14:13-14; 16:24; Dan. 9:17
[b]   Mat. 7:21
[c]   Heb. 4:14-16; 1John 5:13-15
WLC Q181. Why are we to pray in the name of Christ?
A.  The sinfulness of man, and his distance from God by reason thereof, being so great, as that we can have no access into his presence without a mediator[a]; and there being none in heaven or earth appointed to, or fit for, that glorious work but Christ alone[b], we are to pray in no other name but his only[c].
[a]  John 14:6; Isa. 59:2; Eph. 3:12
[b]  John 6:27; Heb. 7:25-27; 1Tim. 2:5
[c]  Col. 3:17; Heb. 13:15
WLC Q182. How doth the Spirit help us to pray?
A.  We not knowing what to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, by enabling us to understand both for whom, and what, and how prayer is to be made; and by working and quickening in our hearts (although not in all persons, nor at all times, in the same measure) those apprehensions, affections, and graces which are requisite for the right performance of that duty[a].
      [a]  Rom. 8:26-27; Ps. 10:17; Zech 12:10
WLC Q183. For whom are we to pray?
A.  We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth[a]; for magistrates[b], and ministers[c]; for ourselves[d], our brethren[e], yea, our enemies[f]; and for all sorts of men living[g], or that shall live hereafter[h]; but not for the dead[i], nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death[j].
[a]   Eph. 6:18; Ps. 28:9
[b]   1Tim. 2:1-2
[c]   Col. 4:3
[d]   Gen. 32:11
[e]   Jam. 5:16
[f]   Mat. 5:44
[g]   1Tim. 2:1-2
[h]  John 17:20; 2Sam. 7:29
[i]    2Sam. 12:21-23
[j]    1John 5:16
WLC Q184. For what things are we to pray?
A.  We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God[a], the welfare of the church[b], our own[c] or others, good[d]; but not for anything that is unlawful[e].
[a]   Mat. 6:9
[b]   Ps. 51:18; Ps. 122:6
[c]   Mat. 7:11
[d]   Ps. 125:4
[e]   1John 5:14
WLC Q185. How are we to pray?
A.  We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God[a], and deep sense of our own unworthiness[b], necessities[c], and sins[d]; with penitent[e], thankful[f], and enlarged hearts[g]; with understanding,[h] faith[i], sincerity[j], fervency[k], love[l], and perseverance[m], waiting upon him[n], with humble submission to his will[o].
[a]   Ecc. 5:1
[b]   Gen. 18:27; 32:10
[c]   Luke 15:17-19
[d]   Luke 18:13-14
[e]   Ps. 51:17
[f]   Phil. 4:6
[g]   1Sam. 1:15; 2:1
[h]  1Cor. 14:15
[i]    Mark 11:24; Jam. 1:6
[j]    Ps. 145:18; 17:1
[k]  Jam. 5:16
[l]    1Tim. 2:8
[m] Eph. 6:18
[n]  Micah 7:7
[o]  Mat. 26:39
Question(s) for further study:

The Shorter Catechism and its parallel Larger Catechism Question both list five instructive points, but there is one difference in the five.  What is that difference and what other Larger Catechism Question(s) in this harmony address those points?  What significance might one make from this different reading? 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q97

I recently saw a page of cartoonists’ drawings made of many simple eye and eyebrow sketches. Little changes in shape, spacing, and angle communicated an almost endless array of expressions, all without any other body feature or verbal expression. The slightest difference in the relationship of these pen and ink markings showed a wide variety of emotions and attitudes. The point of this is that we are walking billboards in the way we express ourselves, whether we desire to be or not. We express ourselves not only in the things we do, but in the way we do them. What we give ourselves to, the things that occupy our time and energies, reveal much about our values. Correct actions are not themselves enough; we know from Scripture that the heart of the matter is simply—the heart. We can fake many things; but Jesus, to whom nothing is hidden, spoke often about what’s really going on inside that sin-stained and fouled-up heart and soul mechanism within each one of us. It is not necessarily the sum of the things that we do that brings meaning to our daily activities; rather, it is the manner in which we do them that brings either honor or dishonor to our moments. In our present study, we see the necessity of self-examination in the expression of our worship and fellowship with others around the Lord’s Table.
The Father seeks those who would worship him in spirit and in truth. Notice how this catechism question addresses both issues. It speaks of knowledge, faith, repentance, love, and—oh yes—obedience. And in that obedience, it does matters how we do the thing commanded. A glad heart or grumbling reveals the true inner importance and worth of the thing being done. Let us pray for truth to be the on-going reality for every one of us who calls upon the name of Christ, as we walk with and worship him in spirit and in truth.
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WSC Q97. What is required for the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A. It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves[a].
[a] I Cor. 11:27-32
Question #97 asks what is the right way to receive the Lord’s Supper, and answers that the right way to receive the Lord’s Supper is to examine whether we discern the Lord’s body, whether our faith feeds on him, and whether we have repentance, love and a new obedience—so that we may not come in the wrong way and eat and drink judgment on ourselves.
Comments and considerations:
Question 96 asked, “What is the Lord’s Supper?” There, we saw the indicative teaching. Now we see the imperative—what we are to do. Worthy participants are required to do a discerning self-examination in light of the biblical truth concerning the Lord’s body; their faith as they feed upon their Lord; their sin and repentance; and their love and renewed obedience, the consistent call of the maturing Christian. It is a weighty matter, not to be taken lightly; for the warning is clearly stated that “he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (I Cor. 11:29). In context, the biblical teaching is as follows:
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world (I Cor. 11:27-32).
It is impossible to unpack everything that should be considered here, but there are a few key words that can help our understanding of and participation in the Lord’s Table.
First, note the word discerning. It means “discriminating, making judgment;” it is translated in some versions using the word judge, indicating that poor or incorrect judgment comes from a lack of understanding or clarity. From this we learn that those who participate in the sacrament must do so with sound understanding. If they cannot understand, they ought not to participate until they can be properly instructed and rightly understand the body and blood, the meaning and implications of such in self-examination.
Second, consider what it means to examine ourselves. The Greek word used here means “to test thoroughly, to interrogate, question, ascertain by inquiry, ask, and search.” But more than that, it really holds the meaning “to root out, find the cause and origin.” These days, people often talk about finding the root cause of a problem. In fact there is a whole process in the commercial manufacturing field called “Root Cause Analysis” - one can even earn a certificate in learning that process. But the process is not new, nor foreign to Scripture. The Bible teaches that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) The roots of sin run deep and are hard to extract (Heb. 12:15), so David teaches every heart yearning after God to cry out, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24). That prayer calls on God to examine—and help us examine—the condition of our own heart and walk with the Lord, in spirit and in truth. Knowing we are not perfect, nor able to achieve perfection, God in his grace has provided the means of cleansing unto repentance with confession (I John 1:9), so we can approach the holy sacrament in a worthy manner upon self-examination.
Third, the term unworthy provides significant food for thought. It is a simple word that simply means “unfit,” but there’s more. It is hard to translate some Greek words to get the full meaning. The Greek word leans toward “negative to deserving”—the idea that some kind of blessing or reward is due, but there is no ability to receive it. The word in I Cor. 11: 27, 29 could be translated “incapable manner,” rather than “unworthy manner.” Either way, both are indicators of a missed blessing and guilty violation of this wondrous sacrament of our Lord. Notice the warning attached has to do with those who are weak and sick, an indicator of the Lord’s chastening (Heb. 12:5-6); it is individual discipline with corporate implications.
Finally, what is meant by the Lord’s body? On the night of Jesus’ birth, Mary pondered on the wonder of it all (Luke 2:19), as all of us must. Christ’s Incarnation, his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension; his sacrifice, atonement, and all the doctrinal implications that surround redemption accomplished and applied—all these provide rich food for satisfying, though endless, consideration. But when we think of the Body of Christ, we must not forget that it is a Glorious Body that at once is seated at the right hand of the Father and walks on earth, witnessing amongst men as the Ecclesia, the Church. It is a covenant community that celebrates the Lord’s Table in common, in communion; in doing so, it participates every time in faith and unison in the sharing of Christ, in the Apostle’s imperative “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:2-3).
To God alone be the glory!
Training Hearts and Teaching Minds Questions:
1.        Read I Cor. 11:27-28. What is said in this passage? What is meant? How should the command and implications be applied as we approach the Lord’s Supper?
2.        I Cor. 11:29 tells us to be careful to participate in the Lord’s Table in a worthy manner, with discernment. What does this mean? See II Cor. 13:5.
3.        The catechism answer speaks of participating in the Lord’s Table with “repentance, love, and new obedience.” What does repentance mean? See Lam. 3:40. Love and new obedience? See I John 2:3-6, 4:19-21.
4.        The sacrament of the Lord’s Table ought to be practiced in a serious and solemn manner. Summarize what Paul says about this in I Cor. 11:17-18, 20-21, 30.

Harmony of the Standards: WSC Q97, WLC Q171-177
WSC Q97. What is required for the worthy receiving of the Lord's Supper?
A.  It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord's Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord's body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves[a].
[a]  ICor. 11:27-32
WLC Q171. How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to prepare themselves before they come unto it?
A.  They that receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper are, before they come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves[a] of their being in Christ[b], of their sins and wants[c]; of the truth and measure of their knowledge[d], faith[e], repentance[f]; love to God and the brethren[g], charity to all men[h], forgiving those that have done them wrong[i]; of their desires after Christ[j], and of their new obedience[k]; and by renewing the exercise of these graces[l], by serious meditation[m], and fervent prayer[n].
[a]   1Cor. 11:28
[b]   2Cor. 13:5
[c]   1Cor. 5:7; Exod. 12:15
[d]   1Cor. 11:29
[e]   1Cor. 13:5 (See number [b]); Mat. 26:28
[f]   Zech. 12:10; 1Cor. 11:31
[g]   1Cor. 10:16-17; Acts 2:46-47
[h]  1Cor. 5:8; 11:18, 20
[i]    Mat. 5:23-24
[j]    Isa.55:1; John 7:37
[k]  1Cor. 5:7-8
[l]    1Cor. 11:25-26, 28; Heb. 10:21-22, 24; Ps. 26:6
[m] 1Cor. 11:24-25
[n]  2Chro. 30:18-19; Mat. 26:26
WLC Q172. May one who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation, come to the Lord's Supper?
A.  One who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, may have true interest in Christ, though he be not yet assured thereof[a]; and in God's account hath it, if he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of it[b], and unfeignedly desires to be found in Christ[c], and to depart from iniquity[d]: in which case (because promises are made, and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting Christians[e]) he is to bewail his unbelief[f], and labor to have his doubts resolved[g]; and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord's Supper, that he may be further strengthened[h].
[a]   Isa. 50:10; 1John 5:13; Ps. 88 throughout; 77:1-12; Jonah 2:4, 7
[b]   Isa. 54:7-10; Mat. 5:3-4; Ps. 31:22; 73:13, 22-23
[c]   Phil. 3:8-9; Ps. 10:17; 42:1-2, 5, 11
[d]   2Tim. 2:19; Isa. 50:10; 66:18-20
[e]   Isa. 40:11, 29, 31; Mat. 11:28; 12:20; 26:28
[f]   Mark 9:24
[g]   Acts 2:37; 16:30
[h]  Rom. 4:11; 1Cor. 11:28
WLC Q173. May any who profess the faith, and desire to come to the Lord's Supper, be kept from it?
A.  Such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous, notwithstanding their profession of the faith, and desire to come to the Lord's Supper, may and ought to be kept from that sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in his church[a], until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation[b].
[a]  1Cor. 11:27-31; Mat. 7:6; 1Cor. 5 to the end; Jude 23; 1Tim. 5:22
[b]  2Cor. 2:7
WLC Q174. What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in the time of the administration of it?
A.  It is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, that, during the time of the administration of it, with all holy reverence and attention they wait upon God in that ordinance[a], diligently observe the sacramental elements and actions[b], heedfully discern the Lord's body[c], and affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings[d], and thereby stir up themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces[e]; in judging themselves[f], and sorrowing for sin[g]; in earnest hungering and thirsting after Christ[h], feeding on him by faith[i], receiving of his fullness[j], trusting in his merits[k], rejoicing in his love[l], giving thanks for his grace[m]; in renewing of their covenant with God[n], and love to all the saints[o].
[a]   Lev. 10:3; Heb. 12:28; Ps. 5:7; 1Cor. 11:17, 26-27
[b]   Exod. 24:8; Mat. 26:28
[c]   1Cor. 11:29
[d]   Luke 22:19
[e]   1Cor. 11:26; 10:3-5, 11, 14
[f]   1Cor. 11:31
[g]   Zech. 12:10
[h]  Rev. 22:17
[i]    John 6:35
[j]    John 1:16
[k]  Phil. 1:16
[l]    Ps. 63:4-5; 2Chro. 30:21
[m] Ps. 22:26
[n]  Jer. 50:5; Ps. 50:5
[o]  Acts 2:42

WLC Q175. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper?
A.  The duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, is seriously to consider how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success[a]; if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it[b], beg the continuance of it[c], watch against relapses[d], fulfill their vows[e], and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance[f]: but if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to, and carriage at, the sacrament[g]; in both which, if they can approve themselves to God and their own consciences, they are to wait for the fruit of it in due time[h]: but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled[i], and to attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence[j].
[a]   Ps. 28:7; 85:8; 1Cor. 11:7, 30-31
[b]   2Chro. 30:21-23, 25-26; Acts 2:42, 46-47
[c]   Ps. 36:10; Song 3:4; 1Chro. 29:18
[d]   1Cor. 10:3-5, 12
[e]   Ps. 50:14
[f]   1Cor. 11:25-26; Acts 2:42, 46
[g]   Song 5:1-6; Ecc. 5:1-6
[h]  Ps. 123:1-2; 42:5, 8; 43:3-5
[i]    2Chro. 30:18-19; Is. 1:16, 18
[j]    2Cor. 7:11; 1Chro. 15:12-14
WLC Q176. Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper agree?
A.  The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper agree, in that the author of both is God[a]; the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits[b]; both are seals of the same covenant[c], are to be dispensed by ministers of the gospel, and by none other[d]; and to be continued in the church of Christ until his second coming[e].
[a]   Mat. 28:19; 1Cor. 11:23
[b]   Rom. 6:3-4; 1Cor. 10:16
[c]   Rom. 4:11; Col. 2:12; Mat. 26:27-28
[d]   John 1:33; Mat. 28:19; 1Cor. 11:23; 4:1; Heb. 5:4
[e]   Mat. 28:19-20; 1Cor. 11:26
WLC Q177. Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper differ?
A.  The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper differ, in that Baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a sign and seal of our regeneration and ingrafting into Christ[a], and that even to infants[b]; whereas the Lord's Supper is to be administered often, in the elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual nourishment to the soul[c], and to confirm our continuance and growth in him[d], and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves[e].
[a]   Mat. 3:11; Tit. 3:5; Gal. 3:27
[b]   Gen. 17:7, 9; Acts 2:38-39; 1Cor. 7:14
[c]   1Cor. 11:23-26
[d]   1Cor. 10:16
[e]   1Cor. 11:28-29
Question(s) for further study:

How many Larger Catechism questions are attached to the one Shorter Question?  How May one who doubts of his being in Christ come to the Lord’s Table, and what cause(s) might one take from being be kept from it who professes the faith?  What duties are found for Christians after they have received the sacrament of the Lord's Table and why might this be significant?