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 5 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. The theme for the next several Lord’s Days will be deliverance.
Q. 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?
A. 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
Q. Can we make this payment ourselves?
A. Certainly not. Actually, we increase our debt every day.1
Q. Can another creature—any at all—pay this debt for us?
A. No. To begin with, God will not punish any other creature for what a human is guilty of.1 Furthermore, no mere creature can bear the weight of God’s eternal wrath against sin and deliver others from it.2
Q. What kind of mediator and deliverer
should we look for then?
A. One who is a true 1 and righteous 2 human, yet more powerful than all creatures,
that is, one who is also true God.3