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What we believe

 


The Heidelberg Catechism

Introduction:
Lord's Day 1

Part One:
Of the misery of man

Part Two:
Of man’s deliverance
Of God the Father
Of God the Son
Of God the Holy Spirit
Of the sacraments
Of holy baptism
Of the holy supper

Part Three:
Of thankfulness
Of prayer


 

Heidelberg Catechism

This catechism is fully based on the scriptures. The references to scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts placed after the answer, also indicated with the letter (a).

 

Part 2 - Of Man’s Deliverance

Lord’s Day 5

12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favor?
God will have His justice satisfied: (a) and therefore we must make this full satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another. (b)
(a) Gen.2:17; Ex.20:5; Ex.23:7; Ezek.18:4; Matt.5:26; 2 Thess.1:6; Luke 16:2. (b) Rom.8:3,4.

13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?
By no means; but on the contrary we daily increase our debt. (a)
(a). Job 9:2,3; Job 15:15,16; Job 4:18,19; Ps.130:3; Matt.6:12; Matt.18:25; Matt.16:26.

14. Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?
None; for, first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man has committed; (a) and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, so as to deliver others from it. (b)
(a) Ezek.18:4; Gen.3:17; Heb.2:14-17. (b) Nahum.1:6; Ps.130:3.

15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?
For one who is very man, and perfectly (a) righteous; (b) and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God. (c)
(a) 1 Cor.15:21; Jer.33:16; Is.53:9; 2 Cor.5:21. (b) Heb.7:16,26. (c) Is.7:14; Is.9:6; Rom.9:5; Jer.23:5,6; Jer.23:6; Luke 11:22.

Lord’s Day 6

16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?
Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin; (a) and one, who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others. (b)
(a) Ezek.18:4,20; Rom.5:12,15,18; 1 Cor.15:21; Heb.2:14-16; 1 Pet.3:18; Is.53:3-5,10,11. (b) Heb.7:26,27; Ps.49:7,8; 1 Pet.3:18.

17. Why must He in one person be also very God?
That He might, by the power of His Godhead (a) sustain in His human nature, (b) the burden of God’s wrath; (c) and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life. (d)
(a) Is.9:6; Is.63:3. (b) Is.53:4,11. (c) Deut.4:24; Nahum.1:6; Ps.130:3. (d) Is.53:5,11; Acts 2:24; 1 Pet.3:18; John 3:16; Acts 20:28; John 1:4.

18. Who then is that mediator, who is in one person both very God, (a) and a real (b) righteous man? (c)
Our Lord Jesus Christ: (d) “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (e)
(a) 1 John 5:20; Rom.9:5; Rom.8:3; Gal.4:4; Is.9:6; Jer.23:6; Mal.3:1. (b) Luke 1:42; Luke 2:6,7; Rom.1:3; Rom.9:5; Philip.2:7; Heb.2:14,16,17; Heb.4:15. (c) Is.53:9,11; Jer.23:5; Luke 1:35; John 8:46; Heb.4:15; Heb.7:26; 1 Pet.1:19; 1 Pet.2:22; 1 Pet.3:18. (d) 1 Tim.2:5; Heb.2:9; Matt.1:23; 1 Tim.3:16; Luke 2:11. (e) 1 Cor.1:30.

19. Whence know you this?
From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in paradise; (a) and afterwards published by the patriarchs (b) and prophets, (c) and represented by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; (d) and lastly, has fulfilled it by his only begotten Son. (e)
(a) Gen.3:15. (b) Gen.22:18; Gen.12:3; Gen.49:10,11. (c) Is.53; Is.42:1-4; Is.43:25; Is.49:5,6,22,23; Jer.23:5,6; Jer.31:32,33; Jer.32:39-41; Mic.7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Rom.1:2; Heb.1:1; Acts 3:22-24; Acts 10:43; John 5:46. (d) Heb.10:1,7; Col.2:7; John 5:46. (e) Rom.10:4; Gal.4:4,5; Gal.3:24; Col.2:17

Lord’s Day 7

20. Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ?
No; (a) only those who are ingrafted into him, and, receive all his benefits, by a true faith. (b)
(a) Matt.7:14; Matt.22:14. (b) Mark 16:16; John 1:12; John 3:16,18,36; Is.53:11; Ps.2:12; Rom.11:17,19,20; Rom.3:22; Heb.4:2,3; Heb.5:9; Heb.10:39; Heb.11:6.

21. What is true faith?
True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, (a) but also an assured confidence, (b) which the Holy Ghost (c) works by the gospel in my heart; (d) that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, (e) are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits. (f)
(a) James 2:19. (b) 2 Cor.4:13; Eph.2:7-9; Eph.3:12; Gal.2:16; Heb.11:1,7-10; Heb.4:16; James 1:6; Matt.16:17; Philip.1:19; Rom.4:16-21; Rom.5:1; Rom.1:16; Rom.10:10,17; Rom.3:24.25. (c) Gal.5:22; Matt.16:17; 2 Cor.4:13; John 6:29; Eph.2:8; Philip.1:19; Acts 16:14. (d) Rom.1:16; Rom.10:17; 1 Cor.1:21; Acts 10:44; Acts 16:14. (e) Rom.1:17; Gal.3:11; Heb.10:10,38; Gal.2:16. (f) Eph.2:8; Rom.3:24; Rom.5:19; Luke 1:77,78.

22. What is then necessary for a Christian to believe?
All things promised us in the gospel, (a) which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.
(a) John 20:31; Matt.28:19; Mark 1:15.

23. What are these articles?
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day He rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit:
9. I believe a holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
11. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting.

Lord’s Day 8

24. How are these articles divided?
Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the third of God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.

25. Since there is but one divine Being, (a) why do you speak of three?
Because God has so revealed himself in His word, (b) that these three distinct persons are the one, true, and eternal God.
(a) Deut.6:4; Eph.4:6; Is.44:6; Is.45:5; 1 Cor.8:4,6. (b) Is.61:1; Luke 4:18; Gen.1:2,3; Ps.33:6; Is.48:16; Ps.110:1; Matt.3:16,17; Matt.28:19; 1 John 5:7; Is.6:1,3; John 14:26; John 15:26; 2 Cor.13:13; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:18; Tit.3:5,6.

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