Lord’s Days 1-13 14-26 27-38 40-52

The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14-26

XIV. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 35. What is the meaning of these words-;He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;?

Answer. That God’s eternal Son, who [a] is, and continueth true and eternal [b] God, took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood [c] of the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; [d] that he might also be the true seed of David, [e] like unto his brethren in all things, [f] sin excepted.

 Question 36. What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity?

Answer. That he is our [g] Mediator; and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of [h] God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.

[a]: John 1:1Col. 1:15Psa. 2:7 [b]: Rom. 9:51John 5:20 [c]: John 1:14Gal. 4:4 [d]: Mat. 1:18Luke 1:35 [e]: Psa. 132:2Acts 2:30Rom. 1:3 [f]: Phil. 2:7Heb. 4:15 [g]: Heb. 2:16,16 [h]: Psa. 32:11Cor. 1:30Rom. 8:34

 XV. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, He suffered?

Answer. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, [a] sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only [b] propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.

 Question 38. Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge?

Answer. That he, being innocent, and yet condemned [c] by a temporal judge, might thereby free us from the severe judgment of God to which we were exposed. [d]

 Question 39. Is there anything more in his being crucified, than if he had died some other death?

Answer. Yes [there is]; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; for the death of the cross was [e] accursed of God.

[a]: 1Pet. 2:24Isa. 53:12 [b]: 1John 2:2Rom. 3:25 [c]: Luke 23:14John 19:4Psa. 69:4 [d]: Gal. 3:13,14 [e]: Deut. 21:23Gal. 3:13

 XVI. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even unto death?

Answer. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, satisfaction for our sins could be made [a] no otherwise, than by the death of the Son [b] of God.

 Question 41. Why was he also ;buried;?

Answer. Thereby to prove that he [c] was really dead.

 Question 42. Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?

Answer. Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but only an abolishing of sin, and a passage into [d] eternal life.

 Question 43. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?

Answer. That by virtue thereof, our old man is crucified, dead and [e] buried with him; that so the corrupt inclinations of the flesh may no more [f] reign in us; but that we may [g] offer ourselves unto him a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

 Question 44. Why is there added, ;he descended into hell;?

Answer. That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by his inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which he was plunged during all his sufferings, but especially on the cross, hath [h] delivered me from the anguish and torments of hell.

[a]: Gen. 2:17 [b]: Heb. 2:9,10Phil. 2:8 [c]: Acts 13:29Mark 15:43,46 [d]: John 5:24Phil. 1:23 [e]: Rom. 6:6ff [f]: Rom. 6:12 [g]: Rom. 12:1 [h]: Isa. 53:10Mat. 7:46

 XVII. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 45. What doth the resurrection of Christ profit us?

Answer. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might [a] make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; secondly, we are also by his power [b] raised up to a new life; an lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a [c] sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.

[a]: 1Cor. 15:16 [b]: Rom. 6:4Col. 3:1ff [c]: 1Cor. 15Rom. 8:11

 XVIII. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 46. How dost thou understand these words, ;he ascended into heaven;?

Answer. That Christ, in sight of his disciples, was [a] taken up from earth into heaven; and that he continues [b] there for our interest, until he comes again to judge the quick and the dead.

 Question 47. Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as he hath promised?

Answer. Christ is very man and very God; with respect to his [c] human nature, he is no more on earth; but with respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is at no time absent from us.

 Question 48. But if his human nature is not present wherever his Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?

Answer. Not at all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and [d] omnipresent, it must necessarily follow that [e] the same is beyond the limits of the human nature he assumed, and yet is nevertheless in this human nature, and remains personally united to it.

 Question 49. Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension into heaven?

Answer. First, that he is our [g] advocate in the presence of his Father in heaven; secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he, as the head, will also [h] take up to himself, us, his members; thirdly, that he [i] sends us his Spirit as an earnest, by whose power we ;seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, [j] and not things on earth.;

[a]: Acts 1:9Mark 16:19 [b]: Heb. 4:14Rom 8:34Eph. 4:10 [c]: Acts 3:21John 3:13John 16:28Mat. 28:20 [d]: Acts 7:49Mat. 24:30 [e]: Mat. 28:20John 16:28John 17:11John 3:13 [g]: Heb. 9:251John 2:2Rom. 8:34 [h]: John 14:2Eph. 2:6 [i]: John 14:162Cor. 1:222Cor. 5:5 [j]: Col. 3:1Phil. 3:20


XIX. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 50. Why is it added, ;and sitteth at the right hand of God;?

Answer. Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that he might [a] appear as head of his church, by whom the Father [b] governs all things.

 Question 51. What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?

Answer. First, that by his Holy Spirit he [c] pours our heavenly graces upon us his members; and then that by his power he defends [d] and preserves us against all enemies.

 Question 52. What comfort is it to thee that ;Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead;?

Answer. That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head [e] I look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven: who shall cast all his [f] and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall translate [g] me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory.

[a]: Eph. 1:20,21,22Col. 1:18 [b]: Mat 28:18John 5:22 [c]: Eph. 4:8 [d]: Psa. 2:9John 10:28 [e]: Luke 21:28Rom. 8:23,241Thes. 4:16 [f]: 2Thes. 1:6,7,8,9Mat. 25:41 [g]: Mat. 25:34

of God the Holy Ghost

 XX. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 53. What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?

Answer. First, that he is true and co-eternal God with the Father and the [a] Son; secondly, that he is also given [b] me, to [c] make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all his benefits, that he may [d] comfort me and [e] abide with me for ever.

[a]: Gen. 1:2Isa. 48:161Cor. 3:16 [b]: Mat. 28:192Cor. 1:22 [c]: Gal. 3:141Pet. 1:2 [d]: Acts 9:31 [e]: John 14:161Pet. 4:14


XXI. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 54. What believest thou concerning the ;holy catholic church; of Christ?

Answer. That the Son of God [a] from the [b] beginning to the end of the world, gathers, [c] defends, and [d] preserves to himself by his [e] Spirit and word, out of the [f] whole human race, a [g] church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a [h] living member thereof.

 Question 55. What do you understand by ;the communion of saints;?

Answer. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, [i] partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and [j] cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.

 Question 56. What believest thou concerning ;the forgiveness of sins;?

Answer. That God, for the sake of [k] Christ’s satisfaction will no more [l] remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ; that I may never be [m] condemned before the tribunal of God.

[a]: John 10:11 [b]: Gen. 26:4 [c]: Rom. 9:24Eph. 1:10 [d]: John 10:16 [e]: Isa. 59:12 [f]: Deut 10:14,15 [g]: Acts 13:48 [h]: 1Cor. 1:8,9Rom. 8:35ff [i]: John 1:3,4Rom. 8:321Cor. 12:13 [j]: 1Cor. 12:13 [j]: 1Cor. 13:5Phil. 2:4,5,6 [k]: 1John 2:22Cor. 5:19,21
[l]: Jer. 31:34Psa. 103:3,4,10,11Rom. 8:1,2,3 [m]: John 3:18

 XXII. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 57. What comfort doth the ;resurrection of the body; afford thee?

Answer. That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken [a] up to Christ its head; but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and [b] made like unto the glorious body of Christ.

 Question 58. What comfort takest thou from the article of ;life everlasting;?

Answer. That [c] since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, after this life, [d] I shall inherit perfect salvation, which [e] ;eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man; to conceive, and that, to praise God therein for ever.

[a]: Luke 23:43Phil. 1:23 [b]: 1Cor. 15:53Job 19:25,26 [c]: 2Cor. 5:2,3,6Rom. 14:17 [d]: Psa. 10:11 [e]: 1Cor. 2:9

 XXIII. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 59. But what doth is profit thee now that thou believest all this?

Answer. That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life. [a]

 Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?

Answer. Only [b] by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and [c] kept none of them, and am still [d] inclined to all evil; notwithstanding, God, without any [e] merit of mine, but only of mere [f] grace, grants [g] and [h] imputes to me, the perfect [i] satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully [j] accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; [k] inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.

 Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?

Answer. Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the [l] worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before [m] God; and that I cannot receive [n] and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only.

[a]: Rom. 5:1Rom. 1:17John 3:36 [b]: Rom. 3:22ffGal. 2:16Eph. 2:8,9 [c]: Rom. 3:9ff [d]: Rom. 7:23 [e]: Rom. 3:24 [f]: Tit. 3:5ph 2:8,9 [g]: Rom. 4:4,52Cor. 5:19 [h]: 1John 2:1 [i]: Rom. 3:24,25 [j]: 2Cor. 5:21 [k]: Rom. 3:28John 3:18 [l]: Psa. 16:2Eph. 2:8,9 [m]: 1Cor. 1:301Cor. 2:2 [n]: 1John 5:10

 XXIV. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?

Answer. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects [a] conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and [b] defiled with sin.

 Question 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?

Answer. This reward is not of merit, but of grace. [c]

 Question 64. But doth not this doctrine make men careless and profane?

Answer. By no means: for it is impossible that those, who are implanted into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of [d] thankfulness.

[a]: Gal. 3:10Deut. 17:26 [b]: Isa. 64:6 [c]: Luke 17:10 [d]: Mat. 7:17,18John 15:5

of the Sacraments

 XXV. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 65. Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence doth this faith proceed?

Answer. From the Holy Ghost, who works [a] faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and [b] confirms it by the use of the sacraments.

 Question 66. What are the sacraments?

Answer. The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of God for this end, that by the use thereof, he may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel, vis., that he grants us freely the remission of sin, and [c] life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross.

 Question 67. Are both word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?

Answer. Yes, indeed: for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments, [d] that the whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which he offered for us on the cross.

 Question 68. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?

Answer. [e] Two: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.

[a]: Eph. 2:8Eph. 6:23Phil. 1:29 [b]: Mat. 28:19Rom. 4:11 [c]: Gen. 17:11Rom. 4:11Ex. 12Lev. 6:25Acts 22:16Acts 2:38Mat. 26:28 [d]: Rom. 6:3Gal. 3:27 [e]: 1Cor. 10:2,3,4

of Holy Baptism

 XXVI. LORD’S DAY.

 Question 69. How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?

Answer. Thus: That Christ appointed [a] this external washing with water, adding thereto this [b] promise, that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, form all my sins, as I am [c] washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.

 Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?

Answer. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ’s blood, which he [d] shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and [e] lead holy and unblamable lives.

 Question 71. Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?

Answer. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: [f] ;Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [g],; ;he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.; This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism the [h] washing of regeneration, and the washing [i] away of sins.

[a]: Mat. 28:19Acts 2:38 [b]: Mark 16:16Mat. 3:11Rom. 6:3 [c]: Mark 1:4Luke 3:3 [d]: Heb. 12:241Pet. 1:2 [e]: John 1:33Rom. 6:4Col. 2:11 [f]: Mat. 28:19 [g]: Mark 16:16 [h]: Tit. 3:5 [i]: Acts 22:16

Lord’s Days 1-13 14-26 27-38 40-52