LORD’S DAY 24, 2019.

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 24 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. Why can’t our good works be our righteousness before God, or at least a part of our righteousness?

A. Because the righteousness which can pass God’s judgment must be entirely perfect and must in every way measure up to the divine law.1 But even our best works in this life are imperfect and stained with sin.2

1 Rom. 3:20Gal. 3:10 (Deut. 27:26).
2 Isa. 64:6.

 

Q. How can our good works be said to merit nothing when God promises to reward them in this life and the next?1

A. This reward is not earned; it is a gift of grace.2

1 Matt. 5:12Heb. 11:6.
2 Luke 17:102 Tim. 4:7-8.

 

Q. But doesn’t this teaching make people indifferent and wicked?

A. No. It is impossible for those grafted into Christ through true faith not to produce fruits of gratitude.1

1 Luke 6:43-45John 15:5.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 23, 2019.

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

1 John 3:36Rom. 1:17 (Hab. 2:4); Rom. 5:1-2.

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. 3:21-28Gal. 2:16Eph. 2:8-9Phil 3:8-11.
2 Rom. 3:9-10.
3 Rom. 7:23.
4 Tit. 3:4-5.
5 Rom. 3:24Eph. 2:8.
6 Rom. 4:3-5 (Gen. 15:6); 2 Cor. 5:17-191 John 2:1-2.
7 Rom. 4:24-252 Cor. 5:21.
8 John 3:18Acts 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

1 1 Cor. 1:30-31.
2 Rom. 10:101 John 5:10-12.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

LORD’S DAY 22, 2019.

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 22 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. How does “the resurrection of the body”
comfort you?

A. Not only will my soul be taken immediately after this life to Christ its head,1 but also my very flesh will be raised by the power of Christ, reunited with my soul,
and made like Christ’s glorious body.2

1 Luke 23:43Phil. 1:21-23.
2 1 Cor. 15:20, 42-46, 54Phil. 3:211 John 3:2.

 

Q. How does the article concerning “life everlasting” comfort you?

A. Even as I already now experience in my heart the beginning of eternal joy,1 so after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever.2

1 Rom. 14:17.
2 John 17:31 Cor. 2:9.

My truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

LORD’S DAY 20, 2019.

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 20 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 do you believe concerning “the Holy Spirit”?

A. First, that the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.1 Second, that the Spirit is given also to me,2 so that, through true faith, he makes me share in Christ and all his benefits,3 comforts me,4 and will remain with me forever.5

1 Gen. 1:1-2Matt. 28:19Acts 5:3-4.
2 1 Cor. 6:192 Cor. 1:21-22Gal. 4:6.
3 Gal. 3:14.
4 John 15:26Acts 9:31.
5 John 14:16-171 Pet. 4:14.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 19, 2019.

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 19 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. This morning’s devotional concludes the subject of God the Son.

Q. Why the next words: “and is seated at the right hand of God”?

A. Because Christ ascended to heaven to show there that he is head of his church, 1 the one through whom the Father rules all things.2

1 Eph. 1:20-23Col. 1:18.
2 Matt. 28:18John 5:22-23.

Q. How does this glory of Christ our head benefit us?

A. First, through his Holy Spirit he pours out gifts from heaven upon us his members.Second, by his power he defends us and keeps us safe from all enemies.2

1 Acts 2:33Eph. 4:7-12.
2 Ps. 110:1-2John 10:27-30Rev. 19:11-16.

Q. How does Christ’s return “to judge the living and the dead” comfort you?

A. In all distress and persecution, with uplifted head, I confidently await the very judge who has already offered himself to the judgment of God in my place and removed the whole curse from me.1 Christ will cast all his enemies and mine into everlasting condemnation, but will take me and all his chosen ones to himself into the joy and glory of heaven.2

1 Luke 21:28Rom. 8:22-25Phil. 3:20-21Tit. 2:13-14.
2 Matt. 25:31-462 Thess. 1:6-10.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 18, 2019.

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

1 Luke 24:50-51Acts 1:9-11.
2 Rom. 8:34Eph. 4:8-10Heb. 7:23-259:24.
3 Acts 1:11.

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

1 Matt. 28:20.
2 Acts 1:9-113:19-21.
3 Matt. 28:18-20John 14:16-19.

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

1 Jer. 23:23-24Acts 7:48-49 (Isa. 66:1).
2 John 1:143:13Col. 2:9.

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

1 Rom. 8:341 John 2:1.
2 John 14:217:24Eph. 2:4-6.
3 John 14:162 Cor. 1:21-225:5.
4 Col. 3:1-4.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 17, 2019.

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 17 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. How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?

A. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he might make us share in the righteousness he obtained for us by his death.1 Second, by his power we too are already raised to a new life.2 Third, Christ’s resurrection is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection.3

1 Rom. 4:251 Cor. 15:16-201 Pet. 1:3-5.
2 Rom. 6:5-11Eph. 2:4-6Col. 3:1-4.
3 Rom. 8:111 Cor. 15:12-23Phil. 3:20-21.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 16, 2019.

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 16 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. Why did Christ have to suffer death?

A. Because God’s justice and truth require it: 1 nothing else could pay for our sins
except the death of the Son of God.2

1 Gen. 2:17.
2 Rom. 8:3-4Phil. 2:8Heb. 2:9.

Q. Why was he “buried”?

A. His burial testifies that he really died.1

1 Isa. 53:9John 19:38-42Acts 13:291 Cor. 15:3-4.

Q. Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?

A. Our death does not pay the debt of our sins.1 Rather, it puts an end to our sinning
and is our entrance into eternal life.2

1 Ps. 49:7.
2 John 5:24Phil. 1:21-231 Thess. 5:9-10.

Q. What further benefit do we receive from Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross?

A. By Christ’s power our old selves are crucified, put to death, and buried with him,1
so that the evil desires of the flesh may no longer rule us,2 but that instead we may offer ourselves as a sacrifice of gratitude to him.3

1 Rom. 6:5-11Col. 2:11-12.
2 Rom. 6:12-14.
3 Rom. 12:1Eph. 5:1-2.

Q. Why does the creed add, “He descended to hell”?

A. To assure me during attacks of deepest dread and temptation
that Christ my Lord, by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, on the cross but also earlier, has delivered me from hellish anguish and torment.1

1 Isa. 53Matt. 26:36-4627:45-46Luke 22:44Heb. 5:7-10.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

LORD’S DAY 15, 2019.

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 15 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 understand by the word “suffered”?

A. That during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end, Christ sustained in body and soul the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race.1 This he did in order that, by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,2 he might deliver us, body and soul, from eternal condemnation,3 and gain for us God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life.4

1 Isa. 531 Pet. 2:243:18.
2 Rom. 3:25Heb. 10:141 John 2:24:10.
3 Rom. 8:1-4Gal. 3:13.
4 John 3:16Rom. 3:24-26.

Q. Why did he suffer “under Pontius Pilate” as judge?

A. So that he, though innocent, might be condemned by an earthly judge,1 and so free us from the severe judgment of God that was to fall on us.2

1 Luke 23:13-24John 19:4, 12-16.
2
 Isa. 53:4-52 Cor. 5:21Gal. 3:13.

Q. Is it significant that he was “crucified” instead of dying some other way?

A. Yes. By this I am convinced that he shouldered the curse which lay on me,
since death by crucifixion was cursed by God.1

1 Gal. 3:10-13 (Deut. 21:23).

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 14, 2019.

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 14 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 does it mean that he “was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary”?

A. That the eternal Son of God, who is and remains true and eternal God,1 took to himself, through the working of the Holy Spirit,2 from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,3 a truly human nature so that he might also become David’s true descendant,4 like his brothers and sisters in every way5 except for sin.6

1 John 1:110:30-36Acts 13:33 (Ps. 2:7); Col. 1:15-171 John 5:20.
2 Luke 1:35.
3 Matt. 1:18-23John 1:14Gal. 4:4Heb. 2:14.
4 2 Sam. 7:12-16Ps. 132:11Matt. 1:1Rom. 1:3.
5 Phil. 2:7Heb. 2:17.
6 Heb. 4:157:26-27.

Q. How does the holy conception and birth of Christ
benefit you?

A. He is our mediator1 and, in God’s sight, he covers with his innocence and perfect holiness my sinfulness in which I was conceived.2

1 1 Tim. 2:5-6Heb. 9:13-15.
2 Rom. 8:3-42 Cor. 5:21Gal. 4:4-51 Pet. 1:18-19.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!