Tag Archive: Bible

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #7

Part 2: Deliverance (Q&A 12-85)

Q20. Are all people then saved through Christ just as they were lost through Adam?
A20. No.
Only those are saved who through true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all his benefits (1).

1) Matthew 7:14; John 3:16, 18, 36; Romans 11:16-21

Q21. What is true faith?
A21. True faith is not only a sure knowledge by which I hold as true all that God has revealed to us in Scripture (1); it is also a wholehearted trust (2), which the Holy Spirit creates in me (3) by the gospel (4), that God has freely granted, not only to others but to me also (5), forgiveness of sins, eternal righteousness, and salvation (6). These are gifts of sheer grace, granted solely by Christ’s merit (7).

1) John 17:3, 17; Hebrews 11:1-3; James 2:19
2) Romans 4:18-21; 5:1; 10:10; Hebrews 4:14-16
3) Matthew  16:15-17; John 3:5; Acts 16:14
4) Romans 1:16; 10:17; 1 Corinthians 1:21
5) Galatians 2:20
6) Romans 1:17; Hebrwes 10:10
7) Romans 3:21-26; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-10

Q22. What then must a Christian believe?
A22. All that is promised us int eh gospel (1), a summary of which is taught us in the articles of our universal and undisputed Christian faith.

1) Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:30-31

Q23. What are those articles?
A23. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

(This is part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #6

Part 2: Deliverance (Q&A 12-85)

Q16. Why must the mediator be a true and righteous human?
A16. God’s justice demands that human nature, which has sinned, must pay for sin; (1) but a sinful human could never pay for others. (2)

1) Romans 5:12, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:21; Hebrews 2:14-16
2)Hebrews 7:26-27; 1 Peter 3:18

Q17. Why must the mediator also be true God?
A17. So that the mediator, by the power of his divinity, might bear the weight of God’s wrath in his humanity and earn for us and restore to us righteousness and life. (1)

1) Isaiah 53; John 3:16; 2 Corinithans 5:21

Q18. Then who is this mediator –  true God and at the same time a true and righteous human?
A18. Our Lord Jesus Christ, (1) who was given to us to completely deliver us and make us right with God. (2)

1) Matthew 1:21-22; Luke 2:11; 1 Timothy 2:5
2) 1 Corinthians 1:30

Q19. How do you come to know this?
A19. The holy gospel tells me. God began to reveal the gospel already in Paradise; (1) later God proclaimed it by the holy patriarchs (2) and prophets (3) and foreshadowed it by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; (4) and finally God fulfilled it through his own beloved son. (5)

1) Genesis 3:15
2) Genesis 22:18; 49:10
3) Isaiah 53; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Micah 7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Hebrews 1:1-2
4) Leviticus 1-7; John 5:46; Hebrews 10:1-10
5) Romans 10:4; Galatians 4:4-5; Colossians 2:17

(This is part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #5

Part 2: Deliverance (Q&A 12-85)

Q12. According to God’s righteous judgment
we deserve punishment
both now and in eternity:
how then can we escape this punishment
and return to God’s favor?

A12. God requires that his justice be satisfied.1
Therefore the claims of this justice
must be paid in full,
either by ourselves or by another.2

Ex. 23:7Rom. 2:1-11
Isa. 53:11Rom. 8:3-4


Q13. Can we make this payment ourselves?

A13. Certainly not.
Actually, we increase our debt every day.1

Matt. 6:12Rom. 2:4-5

Q14. Can another creature—any at all—
pay this debt for us?

A14. No.
To begin with,

God will not punish any other creature
for what a human is guilty of.1


no mere creature can bear the weight
of God’s eternal wrath against sin
and deliver others from it.2

Ezek. 18:4, 20Heb. 2:14-18
Ps. 49:7-9130:3

Q15. What kind of mediator and deliverer
should we look for then?

A15. One who is a true1 and righteous2 human,

yet more powerful than all creatures,
that is, one who is also true God.3

Rom. 1:31 Cor. 15:21Heb. 2:17
Isa. 53:92 Cor. 5:21Heb. 7:26
Isa. 7:149:6Jer. 23:6John 1:1

(This is part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #4

Part 1: Misery (Q&A 3-11)

Q9. But doesn’t God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do?
A9. No, God created human beings with the ability to keep the law. (1)
They, however, provoked by the devil, (2)
in willful disobedience, (3)
robbed themselves and all their descendants of these gifts. (4)

1 Gen. 1:31; Eph. 4:24
2 Gen. 3:13; John 8:44
3 Gen. 3:6
4 Rom. 5:12, 18, 19
Q10. Does God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
A10. Certainly not.
God is terribly angry
with the sin we are born with
as well as the sins we personally commit.

As a just judge,
God will punish them both now and in eternity, (1)
having declared:
“Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey
all the things written in the book of the law.” (2)

1 Ex. 34:7; Ps. 5:4-6; Nah. 1:2; Rom. 1:18; Eph. 5:6; Heb. 9:27
2 Gal. 3:10; Deut. 27:26
Q11. But isn’t God also merciful?
A11. God is certainly merciful, (1)
but also just. (2)
God’s justice demands
that sin, committed against his supreme majesty,
be punished with the supreme penalty—
eternal punishment of body and soul. (3)

1 Ex. 34:6-7; Ps. 103:8-9
2 Ex. 34:7; Deut. 7:9-11; Ps. 5:4-6; Heb. 10:30-31
3 Matt. 25:35-46

(This is part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #3

Part 1: Misery (Q&A 3-11)

Q6. Did God create people so wicked and perverse?
A6. No.
God created them good (1) and in his own image, (2)
that is, in true righteousness and holiness, (3)
so that they might
truly know God their creator, (4)
love him with all their heart,
and live with God in eternal happiness,
to praise and glorify him. (5)

1 Gen. 1:31
2 Gen. 1:26-27
3 Eph. 4:24
4 Col. 3:10
5 Ps. 8

Q7. Then where does this corrupt human nature come from?
A7. The fall and disobedience of our first parents,
Adam and Eve, in Paradise. (1)
This fall has so poisoned our nature (2)
that we are all conceived and born in a sinful condition. (3)

1 Gen. 3
2 Rom. 5:12, 18-19
3 Ps. 51:5

Q8. But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined toward all evil?
A8. Yes, (1) unless we are born again
by the Spirit of God. (2)

1 Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Isa. 53:6
2 John 3:3-5

(This is part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #2

Part 1: Misery (Q&A 3-11)

Q3. How do you come to know your misery?
A3. The law of God tells me. (1)

1 Rom. 3:20; 7:7-25

Q4. What does God’s law require of us?
A4. Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22:37-40:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind.’ (1)
This is the greatest and first commandment.

“And a second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (2)

“On these two commandments hang
all the law and the prophets.”

1 Deut. 6:5
2 Lev. 19:18

Q5. Can you live up to all this perfectly?
A5. No. (1)
I have a natural tendency
to hate God and my neighbor. (2)

1 Rom. 3:9-20, 23; 1 John 1:8, 10
2 Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 7:23-24; 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3; Titus 3:3

(This is part of a yearlong Sunday series reposting the 52 readings of the Heidelberg Catechism)

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day #1

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)

but belong—
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)

Stay in Step with the Spirit

Think back on a recent struggle.  What helped you remain full of faith? How did you know you were walking in the middle of God’s will when circumstances were hard?


Steve Douglass, Cru Global President

Steve Douglass (right), Cru Global President, challenged us while in Ft. Collins, CO, for Cru’s biennial US Staff Conference, to reflect on the previous two years of life and ministry through an Ephesians grid.  His encouragement to us is a classic Christian truth: walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

But how do you do that when life is confusing, challenging, dull, and/or overwhelming? What about when others are promoted or achieve milestones you aren’t able to?  Douglass said Ephesians offers a metric for keeping in step with the Spirit:  Are you still rejoicing, still thanking and still submitting?

Sometimes I (Sarah) think I’m rejoicing, thanking and submitting to God but not  to other people. But if I’m not rejoicing in and celebrating others’ successes, if I withhold my gratitude to others (including to Mike) and if I criticize people, then how am I living out Christ-like character?  Where am I outwardly exhibiting spiritual maturity and transformation? And to that point, if inner transformation isn’t worked outwardly, is it really transformation?

As we kick off another fall in New York, will you pray for me? I want to remain full of joy, thankfulness and submission to the Lord and other people.  I want to joyfully and obediently follow God, even when it means following God down unexpected pathways.