Question 1. What is the chief end of man?
Answer. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism’s first question may be one of the most quoted questions. Catechisms - a collection of questions and answers designed for memorization and recitation - have been used for centuries to teach the core doctrines of faith. Many of us have not learned the catechisms in our upbringing. Tim Keller says, “Catechisms were written with at least three purposes. The first was to set forth a comprehensive exposition of the gospel … The second purpose was to do this exposition in such a way that the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of the time and culture were addressed and counteracted. The third and more pastoral purpose was to form a distinct people, a counterculture that reflected the likeness of Christ not only in individual character but also in the church’s communal life.” To that end, beginning today, we will incorporate The New City Catechism into our corporate worship. Here’s today’s question and answer:
Question: What is our only hope in life and death?
Answer: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to not only mediate on the catechism, but also to recite them with your family and friends. The catechism is available at newcitycatechism.com. May we continue to grow as God’s children this year by knowing Him more.