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 23 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. This morning’s devotional addresses the subject of God the Holy Spirit.
Q. What good does it do you, however, to believe all this?
A. In Christ I am righteous before God and heir to life everlasting.1
Q. How are you righteous before God?
A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.1 Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, of never having kept any of them,2
and of still being inclined toward all evil,3 nevertheless, without any merit of my own,4 out of sheer grace,5 God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,6 as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, and as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.7 All I need to do is accept this gift with a believing heart.8
1 Rom. 3:21-28; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil 3:8-11.
2 Rom. 3:9-10.
3 Rom. 7:23.
4 Tit. 3:4-5.
5 Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8.
6 Rom. 4:3-5 (Gen. 15:6); 2 Cor. 5:17-19; 1 John 2:1-2.
7 Rom. 4:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:21.
8 John 3:18; Acts 16:30-31.
Q. Why do you say that through faith alone you are righteous?
A. Not because I please God by the worthiness of my faith. It is because only Christ’s satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness make me righteous before God,1 and because I can accept this righteousness and make it mine in no other way than through faith.2
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!