On each Lord’s Day this year, we will display 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 18 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. The theme for the next several weeks concerns the subject of God the Son.
Q. What do you mean by saying, “He ascended to heaven”?
A. That Christ, while his disciples watched, was taken up from the earth into heaven1 and remains there on our behalf2 until he comes again to judge the living and the dead.3
Q. But isn’t Christ with us until the end of the world as he promised us? 1
A. Christ is true human and true God. In his human nature Christ is not now on earth; 2 but in his divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit he is never absent from us.3
Q. If his humanity is not present wherever his divinity is, then aren’t the two natures of Christ separated from each other?
A. Certainly not. Since divinity is not limited and is present everywhere, 1 it is evident that Christ’s divinity is surely beyond the bounds of the humanity that has been taken on, but at the same time his divinity is in and remains personally united to his humanity.2
Q. How does Christ’s ascension to heaven benefit us?
A. First, he is our advocate in heaven in the presence of his Father.1 Second, we have our own flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that Christ our head will also take us, his members, up to himself.2 Third, he sends his Spirit to us on earth as a corresponding pledge.3 By the Spirit’s power we seek not earthly things but the things above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand.4
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!