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What we believe


The Heidelberg Catechism

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 God the Spirit

Lord’s Day 20

53. What do you believe concerning the Holy Spirit?
First, that He is true and co-eternal God with the Father and the Son; (a) secondly, that He is also given me, (b) to make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all His benefits, (c) that He may comfort me (d) and abide with me for ever. (e)
(a) 1 John 5:7; Gen.1:2; Is.48:16; 1 Cor.3:16; 1 Cor.6:19; Acts 5:3,4. (b) Gal.4:6; Matt.28:19,20; 2 Cor.1:21,22; Eph.1:13. (c) Gal.3:14; 1 Pet.1:2; 1 Cor.6:17. (d) Acts 9:31; John 15:26. (e) John 14:16; 1 Pet.4:14.

Lord’s Day 21

54. What do you believe concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?
That the Son of God (a) from the beginning to the end of the world, (b) gathers, defends, and preserves (c) to himself by his Spirit and word, (d) out of the whole human race, (e) a church chosen to everlasting life, (f) agreeing in true faith; (g) and that I am and forever shall remain, (h) a living member thereof. (i)
(a) Eph.5:26; John 10:11; Acts 20:28; Eph.4:11-13. (b) Ps.71:17,18; Is.59:21; 1 Cor.11:26. (c) Matt.16:18; John 10:28-30; Ps.129:1-5. (d) Is.59:21; Rom.1:16; Rom.10:14-17; Eph.5:26. (e) Gen.26:4; Rev.5:9. (f) Rom.8:29,30; Eph.1:10-13. (g) Acts 2:46; Eph.4:3-6. (h) Ps.23:6; 1 Cor.1:8,9; John 10:28; 1 John 2:19; 1 Pet.1:5. (i) 1 John 3:14,19-21; 2 Cor.13:5; Rom.8:10.

55. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?
First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, and of all His riches and gifts; (a) secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members. (b)
(a) 1 John 1:3; 1 Cor.1:9; Rom.8:32; 1 Cor.12:12,13; 1 Cor.6:17. (b) 1Cor.12:21; 1 Cor.13:1,5; Philip. 2:4-8.

56. What do you believe concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?
That God, for the sake of Christ’s satisfaction, will no more remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; (a) but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ, (b) that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God. (c)
(a) 1 John 2:2; 1 John 1:7; 2 Cor.5:19,21. (b) Jer.31:34; Ps.103:3,4; Ps.103:10,12; Mic.7:19,23-25. (c) Rom.8:1-4; John 3:18; John 5:24.

Lord’s Day 22

57. What comfort does the “resurrection of the body” afford you?
That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; (a) but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ. (b)
(a) Luke 16:22; Luke 23:43; Philip.1:21,23. (b) 1 Cor.15:53,54; Job 19:25,26; 1 John 3:2; Philip.3:21.

58. What comfort do you take from the article of “life everlasting”?
That since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, (a) after this life, I shall inherit perfect salvation, which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man” to conceive, and that to praise God therein for ever. (b)
(a) 2 Cor.5:2,3. (b) 1 Cor.2:9; John 17:3.

Lord’s Day 23

59. But what does it profit you now that you believe all this?
That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life. (a)
(a) Hab.2:4; Rom.1:17; John 3:36.

60. How are you righteous before God?
Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; (a) so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, (b) and am still inclined to all evil; (c) notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, (d) but only of mere grace, (e) grants and imputes to me, (f) the perfect satisfaction, (g) righteousness and holiness of Christ; (h) even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; (i) inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart. (j)
(a) Rom.3:21-25,28; Rom.5:1,2; Gal.2:16; Eph.2:8,9; Philip.3:9. (b) Rom.3:9. (c) Rom.7:23. (d) Tit.3:5; Deut.9:6; Ezek.36:22. (e) Rom.3:24; Eph.2:8. (f) Rom.4:4,5; 2 Cor.5:19. (g) 1 John 2:2. (h) 1 John 2:1. (i) 2 Cor.5:21. (j) Rom.3:22; John 3:18.

61. Why do you say that you art righteous by faith only?
Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before God; (a) and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only. (b)
(a) 1 Cor.1:30; 1 Cor.2:2. (b) 1 John 5:10.

Lord’s Day 24

62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?
Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, (a) and in all respects conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin. (b)
(a) Gal.3:10; Deut.27:26. (b) Is.64:6.

63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
This reward is not of merit, but of grace. (a)
(a) Luke 17:10.

64. But does not this doctrine make men careless and profane?
By no means: for it is impossible that those, who are implanted into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness. (a)
(a) Matt.7:18; John 15:5.

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