The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 31
83. Question: What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
Answer: The preaching of the holy gospel and church discipline. By these two the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and closed to unbelievers.
 Matt. 16:19; John 20:21-23.
84. Question: How is the kingdom of heaven opened and closed by the preaching of the gospel?
Answer: According to the command of Christ, the kingdom of heaven is opened when it is proclaimed and
publicly testified to each and every believer that God has really forgiven all their sins for the sake of Christ's merits, as often as they by true faith accept the promise of the gospel. The kingdom of heaven is closed when it is proclaimed and testified to all unbelievers and hypocrites that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation rest on them as long as they do not repent. According to this testimony of the gospel, God will judge both in this life and in the life to come.
 Matt. 16:19; John 3:31-36; 20:21-23.
85. Question: How is the kingdom of heaven closed and opened by church discipline?
Answer: According to the command of Christ, people who call themselves Christians but show themselves to be unchristian in doctrine or life are first repeatedly admonished in a brotherly manner. If they do not give up their errors or wickedness, they are reported to the church, that is, to the elders. If they do not heed also their admonitions, they are forbidden the use of the sacraments, and they are excluded by the elders from the Christian congregation, and by God Himself from the kingdom of Christ. They are again received as members of Christ and of the church when they promise and show real amendment.
 Matt. 18:15-20; I Cor. 5:3-5; 11-13; II Thess. 3:14, 15.  Luke 15:20-24; II Cor. 2:6-11.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 25
65. Question: Since then faith alone makes us share in Christ and all His benefits, where does this faith come from?
Answer: From the Holy Spirit, who works it in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and strengthens it by the use of the sacraments.
 John 3:5; I Cor. 2:10-14; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29.  Rom. 10:17; I Pet. 1:23-25.  Matt. 28:19, 20; I Cor. 10:16.
66. Question: What are the sacraments?
Answer: The sacraments are holy, visible signs and seals. They were instituted by God so that by their use He might the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel. And this is the promise: that God graciously grants us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life because of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.
 Gen. 17:11; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 4:11  Matt. 26:27, 28; Acts 2:38; Heb. 10:10.
67. Question: Are both the Word and the sacraments then intended to focus our faith on the sacrifice of Jesus
Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
Answer: Yes, indeed. The Holy Spirit teaches us in the gospel and assures us by the sacraments that our entire salvation rests on Christ's one sacrifice for us on the cross.
 Rom. 6:3; I Cor. 11:26; Gal. 3:27.
68. Question: How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant?
Answer: Two: holy baptism and the holy supper.
 Matt. 28:19, 20; I Cor. 11:23-26.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 24
62. Question: But why can our good works not be our righteousness before God, or at least a part of it?
Answer: Because the righteousness which can stand before God's judgment must be absolutely perfect and in complete agreement with the law of God, whereas even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.
 Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10.  Is. 64:6.
63. Question: But do our good works earn nothing, even though God promises to reward them in this life and the next?
Answer: This reward is not earned; it is a gift of grace.
 Matt. 5:12; Heb. 11:6.  Luke 17:10; II Tim. 4:7, 8.
64. Question: Does this teaching not make people careless and wicked?
Answer: No. It is impossible that those grafted into Christ by true faith should not bring forth fruits of
 Matt. 7:18; Luke 6:43-45; John 15:5.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 23
59. Question: But what does it help you now that you believe all this?
Answer: In Christ I am righteous before God and heir to life everlasting.
 Hab. 2:4; John 3:36; Rom. 1:17; 5:1, 2.60.
Question: How are you righteous before God?
Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned
against all God's commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. He grants these to me as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart.
 Rom. 3:21-28; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8, 9; Phil. 3:8-11.  Rom. 3:9, 10.  Rom. 7:23.  Deut. 9:6; Ezek. 36:22; Tit. 3:4, 5.  Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8.  Rom. 4:3-5; II Cor. 5:17-19; I John 2:1, 2.  Rom. 4:24, 25; II Cor. 5:21.  John 3:18; Acts 16:30, 31; Rom. 3:22.
61. Question: Why do you say that you are righteous only by faith?
Answer: Not that I am acceptable to God on account of the worthiness of my faith, for only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ is my righteousness before God. I can receive this righteousness and make it mine in no other way than by faith alone.
 I Cor. 1:30, 31; 2:2.  Rom. 10:10; I John 5:10-12.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 11
29. Question: Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is, Savior?
Answer: Because He saves us from all our sins, and because salvation is not to be sought or found in anyone else.
 Matt. 1:21; Heb. 7:25.  Is. 43:11; John 15:4, 5; Acts 4:11, 12; I Tim. 2:5.
30. Question: Do those believe in the only Savior Jesus who seek their salvation and well-being from saints, in themselves, or anywhere else?
Answer: No. Though they boast of Him in words, they in fact deny the only Savior Jesus. For one of two things must be true: either Jesus is not a complete Savior, or those who by true faith accept this Savior must find in Him all that is necessary for their salvation.
 I Cor. 1:12, 13; Gal. 5:4.  Col. 1:19, 20; 2:10; I John 1:7.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 7
20. Questions: Are all men, then, saved by Christ just as they perished through
Answer: No. Only those are saved who by a true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all His benefits.
 Matt. 7:14; John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; Rom. 11:16-21.
21. Question: What is true faith?
Answer: True faith is a sure knowledge whereby I accept as true all that God has revealed to us in His Word. At the same time it is a firm confidence that not only to others, but also to me, God has granted forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness, and salvation, out of mere grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits. This faith the Holy Spirit works in my heart by the gospel.
 John 17:3, 17; Heb. 11:1-3; James 2:19.  Rom. 4:18-21; 5:1; 10:10; Heb. 4:16.  Gal. 2:20.  Rom. 1:17; Heb. 10:10.  Rom.3:20-26; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-10.  Acts 16:14; Rom. 1:16; 10:17; I Cor. 1:21.
22. Question: What, then, must a Christian believe?
Answer: All that is promised us in the gospel,  which the articles of our catholic and undoubted Christian faith teach us in a summary.
 Matt. 28:19; John 20:30, 31.
23. Question: What are these articles?
Answer: III.1.I believe in God the Father almighty, III.1. Creator of heaven and earth. III.2.I believe in Jesus Christ, III.2.His only begotten Son, our Lord; III.3.He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, III.3.born of the virgin Mary; III.4.suffered under Pontius Pilate, III.4.was crucified, dead, and buried; III.4.He descended into hell; III.5.On the third day He arose from the dead; III.6.He ascended into heaven, III.6.and sits at the right hand III.6.of God the Father almighty; III.7.from there He will come to judge III.7.the living and the dead. III.8.I believe in the Holy Spirit; III.9.I believe a holy catholic Christian church, III.9.the communion of saints; III.10.the forgiveness of sins; III.11.the resurrection of the body; III.12.and the life everlasting.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 6
16. Question: Why must He be a true and righteous man?
Answer: He must be a true man because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin. He must be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner cannot pay for others.
 Rom: 5:12, 15; I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:14-16.  Heb. 7:26, 27; I Pet. 3:18.
17. Question: Why must He at the same time be true God?
Answer: He must be true God so that by the power of His divine nature He might bear in His human nature the
burden of God's wrath, and might obtain for us and restore to us righteousness and life.
 Is. 9:5.  Deut. 4:24; Nah. 1:6; Ps. 130:3.  Is. 53:5, 11; John 3:16; II Cor. 5:21.
18. Question: But who is that Mediator who at the same time is true God and a true and righteous man?
Answer: Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).
 Matt. 1:21-23; Luke 2:11; I Tim. 2:5; 3:16.
19. Question: From where do you know this?
Answer: From the holy gospel, which God Himself first revealed in Paradise. Later, He had it proclaimed by the patriarchs and prophets, and foreshadowed by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law. Finally, He had it fulfilled through His only Son.
 Gen. 3:15.  Gen. 12:3; 22:18; 49:10.  Is. 53; Jer. 23:5, 6; Mic. 7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Heb. 1:1.  Lev. 1:7; John 5:46; Heb. 10:1-10.  Rom. 10:4; Gal. 4:4, 5; Col. 2:17.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 1
*Guilt * Grace * Gratitude
1. Question: What is your only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.
 I Cor. 6:19, 20  Rom. 14:7-9.  I Cor. 3:23; Tit. 2:14.  I Pet. 1:18, 19; I John 1:7; 2:2.  John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14, 15; I John 3:8.  John 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; II Thess. 3:3; I Pet. 1:5.  Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18.  Rom. 8:28.  Rom. 8:15, 16; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13, 14.  Rom. 8:14.
2. Question: What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Answer: First, how great my sins and misery are; second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.
 Rom. 3:9, 10; I John 1:10.  John 17:3; Acts 4:12; 10:43.  Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 5:8-10; I Pet. 2:9, 10.
Our Only Comfort. A Sermon by Adrian Dieleman