17 Questions about Salvation

1. What is the human condition?

Though created good and made for fellowship with our Creator, humanity has been cut off from God by self-centered rebellion against him, leading to lawless living, guilt, shame, death, and the fear of judgment. This is the state of sin. (Genesis 3:1–13; Psalm 14:1–3; Matthew 15:10–20; Romans 1:18–23; 3:9–23) 2.

2. What is the Gospel?

The Gospel is the good news that God loves the world and offers salvation from sin through his Son, Jesus Christ. (Psalm 103:1–13; Isaiah 53:4–5; John 3:16–17; 1 Corinthians 15:1–5) 3.

3. How does sin affect you?

Sin alienates me from God, my neighbor, God’s good creation, and myself. Apart from Christ, I am hopeless, guilty, lost, helpless, and walking in the way of death. (Genesis 3:14–19; Psalm 38; Isaiah 53:6; 59:1–2; Romans 6:20–23)

To Be a Christian

J. I. Packer, Joel Scandrett, Anglican Church in North America

With 360+ pairs of questions and answers, as well as Scripture references to support each teaching, this catechism instructs new believers and church members in the core beliefs of Christianity from an Anglican perspective.

4. What is the way of death?

The way of death is a life without God’s love and Holy Spirit, a life controlled by things that cannot bring me eternal joy, leading only to darkness, misery, and eternal condemnation. (Genesis 2:16–17; Deuteronomy 28:15–19; Proverbs 14:12; John 8:34; Romans 1:24–25)

5. Can you save yourself from the way of sin and death?

No. I have no power to save myself, for sin has corrupted my conscience, confused my mind, and captured my will. Only God can save me. (Psalm 33:13–19; Isaiah 43:8–13; John 3:1–8; Ephesians 2:1–9)

6. How does God save you?

God forgives my sins and reconciles me to himself through his Son, Jesus Christ, whom he has given to the world as an undeserved gift of love. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ( John 3:16; see also Psalm 34; Zechariah 12:10–13:2; Romans 3:23–26)

7. Why does God save you?

Because he loves me, God saves me from sin and judgment, so that I may love and serve him for his glory. (Psalm 98; Isaiah 42:5–9; John 3:17; Romans 5:8–10; 2 Corinthians 5:18–21; Ephesians 1:3–14)

8. Who is Jesus Christ?

Jesus is the eternal Son of God, the Savior of the world. Fully divine, he took on our human nature, died on the Cross for our sins, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now rules as Lord and King over all creation. (Numbers 21:4–9; Psalm 110; John 3:13–15; Philippians 2:5–11; Colossians 1:15–20)

9. Is there any other way of salvation?

No. The apostle Peter said of Jesus, “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the only one who can save me and reconcile me to God. (Psalm 2; Isaiah 42:1–4; John 14:5–6; 1 Timothy 2:5–6)

10. How should you respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

As soon as I receive and believe the Gospel, I should repent of my sins, put faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, and prepare to be baptized. “Now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2; see also Psalm 32; Isaiah 55:6–7; Acts 2:37–39)

11. What does it mean for you to repent?

To repent means that I have a change of heart, turning from sinfully serving myself to serving God as I follow Jesus Christ. I need God’s help to make this change. (Psalm 51:16–17; Isaiah 57:15–19; Acts 3:19–21; 1 John 2:1–2)

God forgives my sins and reconciles me to himself through his Son, Jesus Christ, whom he has given to the world as an undeserved gift of love.

12. What does it mean for you to have faith?

To have faith means that I believe the Gospel is the truth: that Jesus died for my sins, rose from the dead, and rules over my life. Therefore, I entrust myself to him as my Savior, and I obey him as my Lord. (Psalm 40:1–10; Proverbs 3:5–8; John 1:9–13; Romans 10:9–10; Hebrews 11:1, 6)

13. How can you repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ?

With God’s help, I can acknowledge and turn from my sins, receive the gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ, and embrace the new life he freely gives me. (Psalm 86:1–7; Joel 2:32; Acts 16:30–34; Romans 10:11–13; Hebrews 12:1–2)

14. What should you do as the sign of your repentance and faith?

After receiving instruction in the faith, I should be baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, thus joining his Body, the Church. If I have already been baptized, I should confess my sins, seek the guidance of a minister, affirm the promises made at my Baptism, and take my place as a member of the Church. (Psalm 51:5–7; Ezekiel 36:25–27; Matthew 28:19–20; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:18–22)

15. What does God grant in your new life in Christ?

God grants me reconciliation with him (2 Corinthians 5:17–19), forgiveness of my sins (Colossians 1:13–14), union with him in Christ (Romans 6:3–5), adoption into his family (Galatians 4:4–7), citizenship in his kingdom (Ephesians 2:19–21; Philippians 3:20), new life in the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4–5), and the promise of eternal life ( John 3:16; 1 John 5:12).

16. What does God desire to accomplish in your life in Christ?

God desires to free me from captivity to sin and transform me into the image of Jesus Christ, by the power of his Holy Spirit. (Exodus 33:18–23; 34:29–35; Psalm 27:4, 7–14; Matthew 17:1–9; Romans 6:5–11; 2 Corinthians 3:12–18)

17. By what means will God transform you into the image of Jesus Christ?

The first Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Following this pattern, I will be transformed within the life of the Church through reading Scripture and receiving the sacraments, through worship and prayer, and through fellowship with God’s people and loving witness to the world. (Deuteronomy 6:1–9; 2 Chronicles 7:1–3; Psalm 1; Acts 2:42–47; Hebrews 10:23–25)

This article is adapted from To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism edited by J. I. Packer and Joel Scandrett.

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