Questions and Answers About the Faith of The Hutterian Brethren.
Written by: Paul Wipf on Sunday, March 30th, 2014
The Following was rewritten and posted by Paul Wipf
1. What is your faith and what do you call yourself?
I am a Christian.
2. Why are you a Christian?
Because I believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, who has become my Savior, Deliverer and Redeemer. (Mt. 1:21)
3. What is the duty of a Christian?
To truly learn to know God, his Creator, and Jesus Christ his Savior and Redeemer from God’s revealed Word, and how properly to call upon, believe, love and trust Him, and serve, glorify and praise Him. (Eph. 4:8, Cor. 12:5, 1 Joh. 3)
4. How is He named and called?
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Mt. 28:14)
5. Who created you?
The eternal, one and uncreated God, the great Creator of Heaven and Earth who is all powerful; the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, who possesses immortality and lives in a light whither no one can come, which no man hath seen, nor can see, to whom be honor and glory forever. Amen. (1 Tim. 6:16)
6. In what way did God create you?
In His image. (Gen. 1:27)
7. What is His image?
God’s righteousness, His holiness and immortality. (Num. 14:14, 1 Pet. 1:6)
8. Whither comes it that you are a sinful person?
From the Devil and the disobedience of man. (Gen. 3:6)
9. What is sin?
Sin is everything which is against the commandments of God, be it inwardly or outwardly. (1 Joh. 3:4, 5:17)
10. What do we deserve because of sin?
God’s wrath, all plagues and damnation. (1 Cor. 6:9, Rom. 2:5)
11. Who saves you from all sin, from death and from damnation?
God the Son. (Rom. 8:32)
12. How is God the Son called?
Jesus Christ. (Mt. 1:21, Luk. 2:21)
13. Why is He called Jesus?
Because He is our Savior, Deliverer and Redeemer. (Mt. 1:21)
14. Why is He called Christ?
Because He is our Anointed King and High Priest. (Luk. 1:33, Heb. 1:9)
15. Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?
He is true God and true man. (Rom. 1:3-4)
16. From whom does He have His divinity?
From God, His heavenly Father, for He was with Him from the beginning of time and eternity. (Heb. 1:2, Joh. 1:4)
17. From whom does the Lord Jesus Christ have His humanity?
From the virgin Mary, when she conceived Him in faith and bore Him into the world, whereupon He became like unto His brothers in all things except sin. (Luk. 1:35, 2:6, Heb. 2:14)
18. Wherewith hath the Lord Jesus freed you?
With His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death. (Acts 20:28, 1 Pet. 1:19)
19. From what has He saved you?
From the power of sin, and from eternal death and damnation. (2 Tim. 1:10)
20. What has Christ accomplished with His salvation. or through the sacrifice of His Body?
Forgiveness of sins, righteousness, the Holy Spirit and eternal life.
21. Where did the Lord Jesus Christ go after His suffering, death and resurrection?
Into heaven, where He seated Himself at the right hand of the Father.
22. Has then His presence and being with us here on earth been all taken away?
No, for He says in the gospel: “Lo, I am with you always until the end of the world.” and “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
23. Does the Lord Jesus think of us also in Heaven?
Yes. He is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
24. Since Christ has seated Himself at the right hand of the Father there, how then can He come to us?
Through His divine power and through His Spirit. For I will pour out my spirit over all flesh, promises God, and Christ promises also, that the Father would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. (Joel 3:1, Joh. 14:26)
25. What is the Holy Spirit?
A godly power, an eternal, incomprehensible and invisible being, which with the Father and the Son from the beginning and from eternity has been one, and will also remain one forever; which Holy Spirit formerly has spoken through the holy prophets, and in these last times, according to the promise and petition of Christ and goes out from the Father and the Son, and teaches, enlightens, comforts, strengthens and also sanctifies those predestined to life. (Joh. 1:1, 15:26, 16:13)
26. How does one participate in the Holy Spirit and His workings?
Through faith and godly obedience.
27. What is faith?
Faith is a certain confidence in God’s promises, when one holds for certain and true what God’s Word says and promises, especially of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, of His promises and incarnation, and of the grace He has won and the eternal life which He has gained for us and given to us through His death and the shedding of His blood. (Heb. 11:1)
28. What is godly obedience?
When one puts his own will in God’s will, and after one knows God’s will, endeavors from the heart to walk according to God’s will.
29. How is one confirmed and assured in the faith?
Through the Word of God and through the Holy Spirit, when one receives baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness and remission of sin.
30. What is baptism?
Baptism is an outward work, ordained and commanded by the Lord Jesus Himself, and transpires with the pouring on of water in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
31. What does water baptism teach and mean?
It teaches and means that the old Adam in us through daily remorse and repentance shall be drowned, die and be buried, and that on the contrary shall rise again and come forth a new man, who shall live in righteousness and holiness in the presence of God forever.
32. What is the old Adam?
All sinful and wicked desires and vices, which are born in us, which can also be reckoned to original sin.
33. How shall the old Adam in us be drowned, killed and buried?
Through daily remorse and repentance and abstinence from all sins and wicked desires, that one not let wickedness rule and break out any more.
34. What is the ‘new man’?
Nothing other than the accomplishing of the will of God, and the new godly obedience, which the Holy Spirit works in us, when He continually moves our hearts and minds from bad to good, and leads us in all truth.
35. How is such to be proven?
Paul says to the Romans (in the sixth chapter): “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death; so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even also might we walk in newness of life.”
36. What does the apostle mean with these words?
He means that just as Christ died and was buried physically, so also should we kill and bury spiritually wicked temptations and sinful lusts in us; that is, overcome them, that they no more break out and rule over us. And as Christ was bodily resurrected from the dead, and dies no more, thus the Apostle wills that we should also, through the help and through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, enter into a heavenly life, and continue steadfastly therein until the end.
37. Can one also fall away again from goodness and from the grace of God?
Yes indeed! It one does not walk in constant fear and holy attention, then one can quite easily fall away from grace. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands, says Paul, take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. 10:12)
38. Then, what happens to such people, who fall away and cast off God’s grace?
Because they hurt and provoke the Holy Spirit of God with their sin, He departs from them and gives them over to the lusts of their hearts, which are of no value.
39. Do such as have subsequently angered God with their sins and despise His grace have hereafter no hope of salvation?
No! For as long as they persist in sin, nothing else is promised them but the displeasure of God, tribulation and fear, and an expectation of a terrible judgment. But if they repent, however, are sorry for their sins and convert, then God is true and lets them in His name be shown peace and forgiveness of sins.
40. Through whom does God let His peace and forgiveness of sins be proclaimed and given?
Through His teachers and ministers, who are stewards and emissaries of Christ.
41. From whom do the teachers and ministers have the power to proclaim peace and forgiveness of sins?
From the Lord Jesus Himself. For He gave them two keys: one to loosen, the other to bind. “And He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If ye forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’”
42. What is the key to bind?
Nothing other than the ban, with which the unrepentant sinner is put out from the community, in order that they may thereby be led to repentance and may come to the grace of God again.
43. What is the key to loosen?
It is the power of the ministers of Christ, through which they remit the sins of the repentant sinner in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and accept them again into the communion of saints.
44. What is the communion of saints?
The communion of saints is firstly: nothing else than the new covenant of grace in Christ; for all who accept Christ through faith and follow Him may expect the same wages and the same salvation, through His name and what He has earned for us. For no more is there Greek, nor Jew, or circumcision: but over all and in all Christ. He the Head and we His believers, His members; we in Him and He in us. He in the Father and the Father in Him.
And secondly, that too is the communion of saints, when the believers serve one another with surrendered hearts; none says of his goods, that they are his, but “they held all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)
And thus whosoever truly lives in such a communion of saints here in this time and also remains true and persists to the end, he will also in that time be found in that communion of saints in the time to come; then Christ will say, (Mt. 25:34) “Come, 0 blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
45. What happens to a man when he has died and been buried in the earth?
The dead body, which is buried in the earth, decomposes, and becomes again dust and earth, for, as God said to Adam: (Gen. 3:19) “You are dust and to dust you shall return.”
The soul, however, which lives in the man’s body, is immortal and eternal; and if its house, that is, its body, breaks down and dies, then God takes it to Himself again, and will give it a new and transfigured body, which will be like unto the angels, and will see and enjoy all the glory obtained through the Lord Christ.
But how, and at what time such will take place, God has hidden from us, and has retained it only in His omniscience and power. And it is also unnecessary to want to know it, or to write about it, for we believers have in the words of our Savior Jesus Christ enough, when He promises us with His truthful mouth that we will not see death eternally, and that we will never more die. Yes, although we die according to the natural body, nevertheless we shall live. And that we, after casting aside this mortal body, shall sit in Heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; we shall be like the angels of God in Heaven; yes, that we shall be where He is. “And when I go to prepare a place for you,” says the Lord Jesus. “I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3)
And as He also asks in His high priestly prayer to His heavenly Father, saying: “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given me, may be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given me: for Thou lovest me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
And thus the passing away of the pious and believing is not death, but a change from the temporal into the eternal life. For he is “passed from death to life” says the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 5:24)
The grace of God our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the love of God the Father,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit,
Be with you and with us all. Amen.
What Baptism Is.
A confession of true repentance for committed sin.
A privilege that is only right and proper to accept, a reminder that one must no longer live in sin, but for God. A witness to and a sealing of the truth one has embraced through Christ.
The destruction of the old man, and the resurrection to a new life coming from God.
A sign that, through the Word of truth, one has been born a member of the Body of Christ together with all believers. A firm avowal and declaration of a good conscience with God.
The true assurance that one comes from death into life as long as one remains, as it is written, “firmly grounded in faith.”