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 26 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. This morning’s devotional addresses the subject of Believer’s Baptism.
Q. How does holy baptism remind and assure you that Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross benefits you personally?
A. In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing1 and with it promised that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly his blood and his Spirit wash away my soul’s impurity, that is, all my sins.2
Q. What does it mean to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?
A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means that God, by grace, has forgiven our sins because of Christ’s blood poured out for us in his sacrifice on the cross.1 To be washed with Christ’s Spirit means that the Holy Spirit has renewed and sanctified us to be members of Christ, so that more and more we become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives.2
Q. Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?
A. In the institution of baptism, where he says: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”1 “The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”2 This promise is repeated when Scripture calls baptism “the water of rebirth”3and the washing away of sins.4
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!