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 16
40. Question: Why was it necessary for Christ to humble Himself even unto
Answer: Because of the justice and truth of God satisfaction for our sins could be made in no other way than by the death of the Son of God.
 Gen. 2:17.  Rom. 8:3; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 2:9, 14, 15.
41. Question: Why was he buried?
Answer: His burial testified that He had really died.
 Is. 53:9; John 19:38-42; Acts 13:29; I Cor. 15:3,4.
42. Question: Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?
Answer: Our death is not a payment for our sins, but it puts an end to sin and is an entrance into eternal life.
 John 5:24; Phil. 1:21-23; I Thess. 5:9, 10.
43. Question: What further benefit do we receive from Christ's sacrifice and death on the cross?
Answer: Through Christ's death our old nature is crucified, put to death, and buried with Him, so that the evil desires of the flesh may no longer reign in us, but that we may offer ourselves to Him as a sacrifice of thankfulness.
 Rom. 6:5-11; Col. 2:11, 12.  Rom. 6:12-14.  Rom. 12:1; Eph. 5:1, 2.
44. Question: Why is there added: He descended into hell?
Answer: In my greatest sorrows and temptations I may be assured and comforted that my Lord Jesus Christ, by His unspeakable anguish, pain, terror, and agony, which He endured throughout all His sufferings but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell.
 Ps. 18:5, 6; 116:3; Matt. 26:36-46; 27:45, 46; Heb. 5:7-10.  Is. 53.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 5
12. Question: Since, according to God's righteous judgment we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, how can we escape this punishment and be again received into favor?
Answer: God demands that His justice be satisfied. Therefore full payment must be made either by ourselves or by another.
 Ex. 20:5; 23:7; Rom. 2:1-11.  Is. 53:11; Rom. 8:3, 4.
13. Question: Can we ourselves make this payment?
Answer: Certainly not. On the contrary, we daily increase our debt.
 Ps. 130:3; Matt. 6:12; Rom. 2:4, 5.
14. Question: Can any mere creature pay for us?
Answer: No. In the first place, God will not punish another creature for the sin which man has committed. Furthermore, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God's eternal wrath against sin and deliver others from
 Ezek. 18:4, 20; Heb. 2:14-18.  Ps. 130:3; Nah. 1:6.
15. Question: What kind of mediator and deliverer must we seek?
Answer: One who is a true and righteous man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is at the same time true God.
 I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:17.  Is. 53:9; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26.  Is. 7:14; 9:6; Jer. 23:6; John 1:1; Rom. 8:3, 4.