The Heidelberg Catechism was written in 1563 in Heidelberg, Germany, at the request of Elector Frederick III. Originally it was intended to be a helpful resource for teaching young people, as well as an outline for preaching in rural churches.
I didn’t grow up in a church which used catechisms, so discovering the simplicity, beauty, and rich theology during a seminary class in January 2014 seemed revelatory and refreshing. In fact, it had a reawakening and happy influence on me.
The Heidelberg Catechism is a collection of 129 questions and answers divided into 52 sections to be read and studied one section a week, which the original authors intended to be on the Lord’s Day. In light of their intention, my goal is to post the catechism each Sunday.
Comfort (Q&A 1-2)
Q1. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A1. That I am not my own, (1)
body and soul,
in life and in death— (2)
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. (3)
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, (4)
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. (5)
He also watches over me in such a way (6)
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven; (7)
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. (8)
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life (9)
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him. (10)
1) 1 Cor. 6:19-20
2) Rom. 14:7-9
3) 1 Cor. 3:23; Titus 2:14
4) 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:2
5) John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:1-11
6) John 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5
7) Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18
8) Rom. 8:28
9) Rom. 8:15-16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14
10) Rom. 8:1-17
Q2. What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
A2. Three things:
first, how great my sin and misery are; (1)
second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; (2)
third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance. (3)
1) Rom. 3:9-10; 1 John 1:10
2) John 17:3; Acts 4:12; 10:43
3) Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 5:8-10; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:9-10
(This is the first part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)