On each Lord’s Day this year, we will examine the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.
The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.
Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity.
The devotional for LORD’S DAY 4 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. The theme, since the LORD’S DAY 2 is the sinner’s misery.
Q. But doesn’t God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do?
A. 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
Q. Does God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
A. 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
Q. But isn’t God also merciful?
A. 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
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!