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 7 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. Are all people then saved through Christ just as they were lost through Adam?
A. No. Only those are saved who through true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all his benefits.1
Q. What is true faith?
A. True faith is not only a sure knowledge by which I hold as true all that God has revealed to us in Scripture; 1 It is also a wholehearted trust, 2 which the Holy Spirit creates in me 3 by the gospel, 4 that God has freely granted, not only to others but to me also, 5 forgiveness of sins, eternal righteousness, and salvation.6 These are gifts of sheer grace, granted solely by Christ’s merit.7
1 John 17:3, 17; Heb. 11:1-3; James 2:19.
2 Rom. 4:18-21; 5:1; 10:10; Heb. 4:14-16.
3 Matt. 16:15-17; John 3:5; Acts 16:14.
4 Rom. 1:16; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21.
5 Gal. 2:20.
6 Rom. 1:17; Heb. 10:10.
7 Rom. 3:21-26; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-10.
Q. What then must a Christian believe?
A. All that is promised us in the gospel, 1 a summary of which is taught us in the articles of our universal and undisputed Christian faith.
Q. What are these articles?
A. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!