The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 32
Question 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?
Answer: Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude to God for his blessings, (a) and that he may be praised by us; (b) also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith, (c) by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ. (d)
(a) Rom.6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Rom.12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Rom.12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and
perfect, will of God. 1 Pet.2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1 Pet.2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people
of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Cor.6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (b) Matt.5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 1 Pet.2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Pet.1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 1 Pet.1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (c) 2 Pet.1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: Matt.7:17 Even so
every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Gal.5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Gal.5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Gal.5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (d) 1 Pet.3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 1 Pet.3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Rom.14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Question 87. Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?
Answer: By no means; for the holy scripture declares that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (a)
(a) 1 Cor.6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Cor.6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Eph.5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph.5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
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 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 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