Heidelberg Catechism The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools Contents The First Part - Of The Misery Of Man The Second Part - Of Man's Deliverance Of God The Father Of God The Son Of God The Holy Ghost Of The Sacraments Of Holy Baptism Of The Holy Supper Of Our Lord Jesus Christ The Third Part - Of Thankfulness Of Prayer Note. 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 (a) placed after the answer. 1. Lord's Day Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death? Answer. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j) (a) Rom.14:7,8. (b) 1 Cor.6:19. (c) 1 Cor.3:23; Tit.2:14. (d) 1 Pet.1:18,19; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:2,12. (e) Heb.2:14; 1 John 3:8; John 8:34-36. (f) John 6:39; John 10:28; 2 Thess.3:3; 1 Pet.1:5. (g) Matt.10:29-31; Luke 21:18. (h) Rom.8:28. (i) 2 Cor.1:20-22; 2 Cor.5:5; Eph.1:13,14; Rom.8:16. (j) Rom.8:14; 1 John 3:3. Q. 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily? A. Three; (a) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; (b) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; (c) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance. (d) (a) Matt.11:28-30; Luke 24:46-48; 1 Cor.6:11; Tit.3:3-7. (b) John 9:41; John 15:22. (c) John 17:3; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43. (d) Eph.5:8- 11; 1 Pet.2:9,10; Rom.6:1,2,12,13. The First Part - Of The Misery Of Man 2. Lord's Day Q. 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery? A. Out of the law of God. (a) (a) Rom.3:20. Q. 4. What does the law of God require of us? A. 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. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (a) (a) Deut.6:5; Lev.19:18; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27. Q. 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly? A. In no wise; (a) for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbour.(b) (a) Rom.3:10,20,23; 1 John 1:8,10. (b) Rom.8:7; Eph.2:3; Tit.3:3; Gen.6:5; Gen.8:21; Jer.17:9; Rom.7:23. 3. Lord's Day Q. 6. Did God then create man so wicked and perverse? A. By no means; but God created man good, (a) and after his own image, (b) in 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) (a) Gen.1:31. (b) Gen.1:26,27. (c) Col.3:9,10; Eph.4:23,24; 2 Cor.3:18. Q. 7. Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature? A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise; (a) hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin. (b) (a) Gen.3; Rom.5:12,18,19. (b) Ps.51:5; Gen.5:3. Q. 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness? A. Indeed we are; (a) except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God. (b) (a) Gen.8:21; John 3:6; Gen.6:5; Job 14:4; Job 15:14,16,36; Isa.53:6. (b) John 3:3,5; 1 Cor.12:3; 2 Cor.3:5. 4. Lord's Day Q. 9. Does not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in his law, that which he cannot perform? A. Not at all; (a) for God made man capable of performing it; but man, by the instigation of the devil, (b) and his own wilful disobedience, (c) deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts. (a) Eph.4:24; Eccl.7:29. (b) John 8:44; 2 Cor.11:3; Gen.3:4. (c) Gen.3:6; Rom.5:12; Gen.3:13; 1 Tim.2:13,14. Q. 10. Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished? A. By no means; but is terribly displeased (a) with our original as well as actual sins; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, (b) as he has declared, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them." (c) (a) Gen.2:17; Rom.5:12. (b) Ps.5:5; Ps.50:21; Nah.1:2; Exod.20:5; Exod.34:7; Rom.1:18; Eph.5:6; Heb.9:27. (c) Deut.27:26; Gal.3:10. Q. 11. Is not God then also merciful? A. God is indeed merciful, (a) but also just; (b) therefore his justice requires, that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment of body and soul. (a) Exod.34:6,7; Exod.20:6. (b) Ps.7:9; Exod.20:5; Exod.23:7; Exod.34:7; Ps.5:5,6; Nah.1:2,3. The Second Part - Of Man's Deliverance 5. Lord's Day Q. 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favour? A. God will have his justice satisfied: (a) and therefore we must make this full satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another. (b) (a) Gen.2:17; Exod.20:5; Exod.23:7; Ezek.18:4; Matt.5:26; 2 Thess.1:6; Luke 16:2. (b) Rom.8:3,4. Q. 13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction? A. By no means; but on the contrary we daily increase our debt. (a) (a). Job 9:2,3; Job 15:15,16; Job 4:18,19; Ps.130:3; Matt.6:12; Matt.18:25; Matt.16:26. Q. 14. Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us? A. None; for, first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man has committed; (a) and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God's eternal wrath against sin, so as to deliver others from it. (b) (a) Ezek.18:4; Gen.3:17; Heb.2:14-17. (b) Nah.1:6; Ps.130:3. Q. 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for? A. For one who is very man, and perfectly (a) righteous; (b) and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God. (c) (a) 1 Cor.15:21; Jer.33:16; Isa.53:9; 2 Cor.5:21. (b) Heb.7:16,26. (c) Isa.7:14; Isa.9:6; Rom.9:5; Jer.23:5,6; Jer.23:6; Luke 11:22. 6. Lord's day Q. 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous? A. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin; (a) and one, who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others. (b) (a) Ezek.18:4,20; Rom.5:12,15,18; 1 Cor.15:21; Heb.2:14-16; 1 Pet.3:18; Isa.53:3-5,10,11. (b) Heb.7:26,27; Ps.49:7,8; 1 Pet.3:18. Q. 17. Why must he in one person be also very God? A. That he might, by the power of his Godhead (a) sustain in his human nature, (b) the burden of God's wrath; (c) and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life. (d) (a) Isa.9:6; Isa.63:3. (b) Isa.53:4,11. (c) Deut.4:24; Nah.1:6; Ps.130:3. (d) Isa.53:5,11; Acts 2:24; 1 Pet.3:18; John 3:16; Acts 20:28; John 1:4. Q. 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, (a) and a real (b) righteous man? (c) A. Our Lord Jesus Christ: (d) "who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (e) (a) 1 John 5:20; Rom.9:5; Rom.8:3; Gal.4:4; Isa.9:6; Jer.23:6; Mal.3:1. (b) Luke 1:42; Luke 2:6,7; Rom.1:3; Rom.9:5; Philip.2:7; Heb.2:14,16,17; Heb.4:15. (c) Isa.53:9,11; Jer.23:5; Luke 1:35; John 8:46; Heb.4:15; Heb.7:26; 1 Pet.1:19; 1 Pet.2:22; 1 Pet.3:18. (d) 1 Tim.2:5; Heb.2:9; Matt.1:23; 1 Tim.3:16; Luke 2:11. (e) 1 Cor.1:30. Q. 19. Whence knowest thou this? A. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; (a) and afterwards published by the patriarchs (b) and prophets, (c) and represented by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; (d) and lastly, has fulfilled it by his only begotten Son. (e) (a) Gen.3:15. (b) Gen.22:18; Gen.12:3; Gen.49:10,11. (c) Isa.53; Isa.42:1-4; Isa.43:25; Isa.49:5,6,22,23; Jer.23:5,6; Jer.31:32,33; Jer.32:39-41; Mic.7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Rom.1:2; Heb.1:1; Acts 3:22-24; Acts 10:43; John 5:46. (d) Heb.10:1,7; Col.2:7; John 5:46. (e) Rom.10:4; Gal.4:4,5; Gal.3:24; Col.2:17. 7. Lord's Day Q. 20. Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ? A. No; (a) only those who are ingrafted into him, and, receive all his benefits, by a true faith. (b) (a) Matt.7:14; Matt.22:14. (b) Mark 16:16; John 1:12; John 3:16,18,36; Isa.53:11; Ps.2:12; Rom.11:17,19,20; Rom.3:22; Heb.4:2,3; Heb.5:9; Heb.10:39; Heb.11:6. Q. 21. What is true faith? A. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, (a) but also an assured confidence, (b) which the Holy Ghost (c) works by the gospel in my heart; (d) that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, (e) are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits. (f) (a) James 2:19. (b) 2 Cor.4:13; Eph.2:7-9; Eph.3:12; Gal.2:16; Heb.11:1,7-10; Heb.4:16; James 1:6; Matt.16:17; Philip.1:19; Rom.4:16-21; Rom.5:1; Rom.1:16; Rom.10:10,17; Rom.3:24.25. (c) Gal.5:22; Matt.16:17; 2 Cor.4:13; John 6:29; Eph.2:8; Philip.1:19; Acts 16:14. (d) Rom.1:16; Rom.10:17; 1 Cor.1:21; Acts 10:44; Acts 16:14. (e) Rom.1:17; Gal.3:11; Heb.10:10,38; Gal.2:16. (f) Eph.2:8; Rom.3:24; Rom.5:19; Luke 1:77,78. Q. 22. What is then necessary for a christian to believe? A. All things promised us in the gospel, (a) which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us. (a) John 20:31; Matt.28:19; Mark 1:15. Q. 23. What are these articles? A. 1. I believe in Cod the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: 2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: 3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary: 4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell: 5. The third day he rose again from the dead: 6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty: 7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead: 8. I believe in the Holy Ghost: 9. I believe a holy catholic church: the communion of saints: 10. The forgiveness of sins: 11. The resurrection of the body: 12. And the life everlasting. 8. Lord's Day Q. 24. How are these articles divided? A. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification. Q. 25. Since there is but one only divine essence, (a) why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? A. Because God has so revealed himself in his word, (b) that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God. (a) Deut.6:4; Eph.4:6; Isa.44:6; Isa.45:5; 1 Cor.8:4,6. (b) Isa.61:1; Luke 4:18; Gen.1:2,3; Ps.33:6; Isa.48:16; Ps.110:1; Matt.3:16,17; Matt.28:19; 1 John 5:7; Isa.6:1,3; John 14:26; John 15:26; 2 Cor.13:13; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:18; Tit.3:5,6. Of God The Father 9. Lord's Day Q. 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"? A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; (a) who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) (b) is for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father; (c) on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body (d) and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me, in this valley of tears turn out to my advantage; (e) for he is able to do it, being Almighty God, (f) and willing, being a faithful Father. (g) (a) Gen.1,2; Job 33:4; Job 38,39; Ps.33:6; Acts 4:24; Acts 14:15; Isa.45:7. (b) Matt.10:29; Heb.1:3; Ps.104:27-30; Ps.115:3; Matt.10:29; Eph.1:11. (c) John 1:12; Rom.8:15; Gal.4:5-7; Eph.1:5. (d) Ps.55:23; Matt.6:25,26; Luke 12:22. (e) Rom.8:28. (f) Rom.10:12; Luke 12:22; Rom.8:23; Isa.46:4; Rom.10:12. (g) Matt.6:25-34; Matt.7:9-11. 10. Lord's Day Q. 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God? A. The almighty and everywhere present power of God; (a) whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs (b) heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, (c) fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, (d) riches and poverty, (e) yea, and all things come, not by chance, but be his fatherly hand. (f) (a) Acts 17:25-28; Jer.23:23,24; Isa.29:15,16; Ezek.8:12. (b) Heb.1:3. (c) Jer.5:24; Acts 14:17. (d) John 9:3. (e) Prov.22:2. (f) Matt.10:20; Prov.16:33. Q. 28. What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things? A. That we may be patient in adversity; (a) thankful in prosperity; (b) and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, (c) that nothing shall separate us from his love; (d) since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move. (e) (a) Rom.5:3; James 1:3; Ps.39:9; Job 1:21,22. (b) Deut.8:10; 1 Thess.5:18. (c) Ps.55:22; Rom.5:4. (d) Rom.8:38,39. (e) Job 1:12; Job 2:6; Acts 17:25,28; Prov.21:1. Of God The Son 11. Lord's Day Q. 29. Why is the Son of God called "Jesus", that is a Saviour? A. Because he saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins; (a) and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other. (b) (a) Matt.1:21; Heb.7:24,25. (b) Acts 4:12; John 15:4,5; 1 Tim.2:5; Isa.43:11; 1 John 5:11. Q. 30. Do such then believe in Jesus the only Saviour, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else? A. They do not; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Saviour; (a) for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Saviour; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Saviour, must find all things in him necessary to their salvation. (b) (a) 1 Cor.1:13,30,31; Gal.5:4. (b) Heb.12:2; Isa.9:6; Col.1:19,20; Col.2:10; 1 John 1:7,16. 12. Lord's Day Q. 31. Why is he called "Christ", that is anointed? A. Because he is ordained of God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Ghost, (a) to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, (b) who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; (c) and to be our only High Priest, (d) who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, (e) and makes continual intercession with the Father for us; (f) and also to be our eternal King, who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in that salvation, he has purchased for us. (g) (a) Heb.1:9; Ps.45:8; Isa.61:1; Luke 4:18. (b) Deut.18:15; Acts 3:22; Acts 7:37; Isa.55:4. (c) John 1:18; John 15:15. (d) Ps.110:4. (e) Heb.10:12,14; Heb.9:12,14,28. (f) Rom.8:34; Heb.9:24; 1 John 2:1; Rom.5:9,10. (g) Ps.2:6; Zech.9:9; Matt.21:5; Luke 1:33; Matt.28:18; John 10:28; Rev.12:10,11. Q. 32. But why art thou called a Christian? (a) A. Because I am a member of Christ by faith, (b) and thus am partaker of his anointing; (c) that so I may confess his name, (d) and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to him: (e) and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life (f) and afterwards I reign with him eternally, over all creatures. (g) (a) Acts 11:26. (b) 1 Cor.6:15. (c) 1 John 2:27; Acts 2:17. (d) Matt.10:32; Rom.10:10; Mark 8:38. (e) Rom.12:1; 1 Pet.2:5,9; Rev.5:8,10; Rev.1:6. (f) 1 Pet.2:11; Rom.6:12,13; Gal.5:16,17; Eph.6:11; 1 Tim.1:18,19. (g) 2 Tim.2:12; Matt.24:34. (continued in part 2...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-03: hbctch-1.txt .