The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1 – 13
Answer. That I with [a] body and soul, both in life and death, [b] am not my own, but belong [c] unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious [d] blood, hath fully [e] satisfied for all my sins, and delivered [f] me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me [g] that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair [h] can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be [i] subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me [j] of eternal life, and makes [k] me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
Answer. Three; [l] the first, how great [m] my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered [n] from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude [o] to God for such deliverance.
[a]: 1Cor. 6:19,20 [b]: Rom. 14:7,8,9 [c]: 1Cor. 3:23 [d]: 1Pet. 1:18,19 [e]: 1John 1:7 [f]: 1John 3:8; Heb. 2:14,15 [g]: John 6:39; John 10:28,29 [h]: Luke 21:18; Matt. 10:30 [i]: Rom. 8:28 [j]: 2Cor. 1:22; 2Cor 5:5 [k]: Rom. 8:14; Rom. 7:22 [l]: Luke 24:47 [m]: 1Cor. 6:10,11; John 9:41; Rom 3:10,19 [n]: John 17:3 [o]: Eph. 5:8,9,10
Part One: The Misery of Man
Answer. Out of the law of God. [a]
Answer. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, ;Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. [b] This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.;
Answer. By no means; but God created man good, [a] and after his own image, in [b] true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love him and live with him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise him. [c]
Question 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?
Question 9. Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in his low, that which he cannot perform?
Answer. Not at all; [a] for God made man capable [b] of performing it; but man, by the instigation [c] of the devil, and his own willful disobedience, [d] deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.
Answer. By no means; [e] but is terribly displeased [f] with our original was well as actual sins; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, and he hath declared, [g] ;Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them.;
Answer. God is indeed merciful, [h] but also just; [i] therefore his justice requires, [j] that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting [k] punishment of body and soul.
[a]: Eccl. 7:29 [b]: John 8:44; 2Cor. 11:3 [c]: Gen. 3:4,7 [d]: Rom. 5:12 [e]: Psa. 5:5 [f]: Rom. 1:18; Deut. 28:15; Heb. 9:27 [g]: Deut 27:27; Gal. 3:10 [h]: Ex. 24:6 [i]: Ex 20:5; Job 34:10,11 [j]: Psa. 5:5,6 [k]: Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23
Part 2: of Man’s Deliverance
Question 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserved temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favor?
Answer. None; for, first, God will not [e] punish any other creature for the sin which man hath committed; and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, so as to [f] deliver others from it.
Answer. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which hath sinned, should [a] likewise make satisfaction for sin; and one, who is himself a sinner, [b] cannot satisfy for others.
Question 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, and a real righteous man?
Answer. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; [g] and afterwards published by the patriarchs [h] and prophets, and represented by the sacrifices [i] and other ceremonies of the law; and lastly, has fulfilled it [j] by his only begotten Son.
[a]: Rom. 5:12,15 [b]: 1Pet 3:18; Isa. 53:11 [c]: 1 Pet. 3:18; Acts 2:24; Isa. 53:8 [d]: 1John 1:2; Jer. 23:6; 2Tim. 1:10; John 6:51 [e]: Mat. 1:23; 1Tim. 3:16; Luke 2:11 [f]: 1Cor 1:30 [g]: Gen. 3:15 [h]: Gen. 22:17,18; Gen. 28:14; Rom. 1:2; Heb. 1:1; John 5:46 [i]: Heb. 10:7,8 [j]: Rom. 10:4; Heb. 13:8
Answer. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, [c] whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured [d] confidence, which the Holy [e] Ghost works by the gospel, [f] in my heart; that not only the others, but to me also, [g] remission of sin, everlasting righteousness [h] and salvation, are freely given by God, [i] merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.
Answer. All things [j] promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.
- I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
- And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
- Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
- Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell:
- The third day he rose again from the dead:
- He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
- From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
- I believe in the Holy Ghost:
- I believe an holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
- The forgiveness of sins:
- The resurrection of the body:
- And the life everlasting. AMEN.
[a]: Mat. 1:21; Isa. 53:11 [b]: John 1:12,13; Rom. 11:20; Heb. 10:39 [c]: John 6:69; John 17:3; Heb. 11:3,6 [d]: Eph. 3:12 [e]: Rom. 4:16,20,21; Heb. 11:1; Eph. 3:12; Rom. 1:16; 1Cor 1:21; Acts 16:14; Mat. 16:17; John 3:5 [f]: Rom. 10:14,17; Mat. 9:2 [g]: Rom. 5:1
[h]: Gal. 2:20 [i]: Rom. 3:24,25,26 [j]: John 20:31; Mat. 28:19,20
Question 25. Since there is but one only [d] divine essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
Answer. Because God hath so [e] revealed himself in his word, that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.
of God the Father
Question 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, ;I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;?
Answer. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who [a] of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; who likewise upholds and [b] governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) is for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father; on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary [c] for soul and body: and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me, in this valley of tears [d] turn out to my advantage; for he is able to do it, being Almighty [e] God, and willing, being a [f] faithful Father.
[a]: Gen. 1; Gen 2; Psa. 33:6 [b]: Psa. 115:3; Mat. 10:29; Heb. 1:3; John 5:17 [c]: John 1:12,16; Rom. 8:15,16; Gal. 4:5,6; Eph. 1:5; 1John 3:1 [d]: Psa. 55:22; Mat. 6:26 [e]: Rom. 8:28; Rom. 4:21 [f]: Rom. 10:12; Mat. 6:26; Mat. 7:9,10,11
Question 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?
Answer. The almighty and everywhere present power of God; [a] whereby, as it were by his hand, he [b] upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain [c] and drought, fruitful [d] and barren years, meat and drink, [e] health and sickness, [f] riches and poverty, yea, and all things [g] come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.
Question 28. What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence doth still uphold all things?
Answer. That we may be patient in adversity [h]; thankful [i] in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm [j] trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall [k] separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they [l] cannot so much as move.
[a]: Acts 17:25,26,27,28 [b]: Heb. 1:3 [c]: Jer. 5:24 [d]: Acts 14:17 [e]: John 9:3 [f]: Prov. 22:2; Job 1:21 [g]: Mat. 10:29,30; Eph.1:11
[h]: Rom. 5:3; Psa. 39:10 [i]: Deut. 8:10; 1Thes. 5:18 [j]: Rom. 5:3,4,5,6 [k]: Rom. 8:38,39 [l]: Job 1:12; Job 2:6; Mat. 8:31; Isa. 10:15
of God the Son
Question 30. Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?
Answer. They do not; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds they deny [c] Jesus the only deliverer and Savior; for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Savior; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Savior, must find all things in him [d] necessary to their salvation.
Answer. Because he is ordained of God the Father, and [a] anointed with the Holy Ghost, to be our [b] chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and to be our only High Priest, [c] who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, and makes continual [d] intercession with the Father for us; and also to be our eternal King, [e] who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and [f] preserves us in (the enjoyment of) that salvation, he has purchased for us.
Answer. Because I am a member of Christ [g] by faith, and thus am partaker [h] of his anointing; that so I may [i] confess his name, and present myself a living [j] sacrifice of thankfulness to him: and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and [k] Satan in this life: and afterwards [l] reign with him eternally, over all creatures.
[a]: Heb. 1:9 [b]: Deut. 18:18; Acts 3:22; John 1:18; John 15:15; Mat. 11:27 [c]: Psa. 110:4; Heb. 7:21; Heb. 10:14 [d]: Rom. 8:34 [e]: Psa. 2:6; Luke 1:33 [f]: Mat. 28:18; John 10:28 [g]: 1Cor. 6:15 [h]: 1John 2:27; Joel 2:28 [i]: Mat. 10:32 [j]: Rom. 12:1 [k]: Eph. 6:11,12; 1Tim. 1:18,19 [l]: 2Tim 2:12
Question 33. Why is Christ called the only begotten Son of God, since we are also the children of God?
Answer. Because he hath redeemed us, both soul and body, from all our sins, not with gold or silver, [c] but with his precious blood, and hath delivered us from all the power of the devil; and thus hath made us his own property.