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 28
75. Question: How does the Lord's Supper signify and seal to you that you share
in Christ's one sacrifice on the cross and in all His gifts?
Answer: In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and drink of this cup in remembrance of Him. With this command He gave these promises: First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup given to me, so surely was His body offered for me and His blood poured out for me on the cross. Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of the minister and taste with my mouth the bread and the cup of the Lord
as sure signs of Christ's body and blood, so surely does He Himself nourish and refresh my soul to everlasting life with His crucified body and shed blood.
 Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19, 20; I Cor. 11:23-25.
76. Question: What does it mean to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink His shed blood?
Answer: First, to accept with a believing heart all the suffering and the death of Christ, and so receive
forgiveness of sins and life eternal. Second, to be united more and more to His sacred body through the Holy Spirit, who lives both in Christ and in us. Therefore, although Christ is in heaven and we are on earth, yet we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bones, and we forever live and are governed by one Spirit, as the members of our body are by one soul.
 John 6:35, 40, 50-54.  John 6:55, 56; I Cor. 12:13.  Acts 1:9-11; 3:21; I Cor. 11:26; Col. 3:1.  I Cor. 6:15, 17; Eph. 5:29, 30; I John 4:13.  John 6:56-58; 15:1-6; Eph. 4:15, 16; I John 3:24.
77. Question: Where has Christ promised that He will nourish and refresh believers with His body and blood as
surely as they eat of this broken bread and drink of this cup?
Answer: In the institution of the Lord's supper: The Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:23-26). This promise is repeated by Paul where he says: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread (I Corinthians 10:16, 17).
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 26
69. Question: How does holy baptism signify and seal to you that the one
sacrifice of Christ on the cross benefits you?
Answer: In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing and with it gave the promise that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly His blood and Spirit wash away the impurity of my soul, that is, all my sins.
 Matt. 28:19.  Matt. 3:11; Mark 16:16; John 1:33; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3, 4; I Pet. 3:21.
70. Question: What does it mean to be washed with Christ's blood and Spirit?
Answer: To be washed with Christ's blood means to receive forgiveness of sins from God, through grace, because of Christ's blood, poured out for us in His sacrifice on the cross. To be washed with His Spirit
means to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and sanctified to be members of Christ, so that more and more we become dead to sin and lead a holy and blameless life.
 Ez. 36:25; Zech. 13:1; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 12:24; I Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:5; 7:14.  John 3:5-8; Rom. 6:4; I Cor. 6:11; Col. 2:11, 12.
71. Question: Where has Christ promised that He will wash us with His blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?
Answer: In the institution of baptism, where He says: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16). This promise is repeated
where Scripture calls baptism the washing of regeneration and the washing away of sins (Titus 3:5; Acts 22:16).
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 22
57. Question: What comfort does the resurrection of the body offer you?
Answer: Not only shall my soul after this life immediately be taken up to Christ, my Head, but also this my flesh, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul and made like Christ's glorious body.
 Luke 16:22; 23:43; Phil. 1:21-23.  Job 19:25, 26; I Cor. 15:20, 42-46, 54; Phil. 3:21; I John 3:2.
58. Question: What comfort do you receive from the article about the life everlasting?
Answer: Since I now already feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy,  I shall after this life possess perfect blessedness, such as no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived-- a blessedness in which to praise God forever.
 John 17:3; Rom. 14:17; II Cor. 5:2, 3.  John 17:24; I Cor. 2:9.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 21
54. Question: What do you believe concerning the holy catholic Christian
Answer: I believe that the Son of God, out of the whole human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, defends, and preserves for Himself,  by His Spirit and Word, in the unity of the true faith, a church chosen to everlasting life. And I believe that I am and forever shall remain a living member of it.
 John 10:11; Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 1:18.  Gen. 26:4; Rev. 5:9.  Is. 59:21; I Cor. 11:26.  Ps. 129:1-5; Matt. 16:18; John 10:28-30.  Rom. 1:16; 10:14-17; Eph. 5:26.  Acts 2:42-47; Eph. 4:1-6.  Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:3-14.  I John 3:14, 19-21.  Ps. 23:6; John 10:27, 28; I Cor. 1:4-9; I Pet. 1:3-5.
55. Question: What do you understand by the communion of saints?
Answer: First, that believers, all and everyone, as members of Christ have communion with Him and share in all His treasures and gifts. Second, that everyone is duty-bound to use his gifts readily and cheerfully for the benefit and well-being of the other members.
 Rom. 8:32; I Cor. 6:17; 12:4-7, 12, 13; I John 1:3.  Rom. 12:4-8; I Cor. 12:20-27; 13:1-7; Phil. 2:4-8.
56. Question: What do you believe concerning the forgiveness of sins?
Answer: I believe that God, because of Christ's satisfaction, will no more remember my sins, nor my sinful nature, against which I have to struggle all my life, but He will graciously grant me the righteousness of
Christ, that I may never come into condemnation.
 Ps. 103:3, 4, 10, 12; Mic. 7:18, 19; II Cor. 5:18-21; I John 1:7; 2:2.  Rom. 7:21-25.  John 3:17, 18; 5:24; Rom. 8:1, 2.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 19
50. Question: Why is it added, ‘And sits at the right hand of God’?
Answer: Christ ascended into heaven to manifest Himself there as Head of His Church, through whom the Father governs all things.
 Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:18.  Matt. 28:18; John 5:22, 23.
51. Question: How does the glory of Christ, our Head, benefit us?
Answer: First, by His Holy Spirit He pours out heavenly gifts upon us, His members. Second, by His
power He defends and preserves us against all enemies.
 Acts 2:33; Eph. 4:7-12.  Ps. 2:9; 110:1, 2; John 10:27-30; Rev. 19:11-16.
52. Question: What comfort is it to you that Christ will come to judge the living and the dead?
Answer: In all my sorrow and persecution I lift up my head and eagerly await as judge from heaven the very same person who before has submitted Himself to the judgment of God for my sake, and has removed all the curse from me. He will cast all His and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but He will take me and all His chosen ones to Himself into heavenly joy and glory.
 Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:22-25; Phil. 3:20,21; Tit. 2:13, 14.  Matt. 25:31-46; I Thess. 4:16, 17; II Thess. 1:6-10.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 18
46. Question: What do you confess when you say, He ascended into heaven?
Answer: That Christ, before the eyes of His disciples, was taken up from the earth into heaven, and that He is there for our benefit until He comes again to judge the living and the dead.
 Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50, 51; Acts 1:9-11.  Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:14; 7:23-25; 9:24.  Matt. 24:30; Acts 1:11.
47. Question: Is Christ, then, not with us until the end of the world, as He has promised us?
Answer: Christ is true man and true God. With respect to His human nature He is no longer on earth, but
with respect to His divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit He is never absent from us.
 Matt. 28:20.  Matt. 26:11; John 16:28; 17:11; Acts 3:19-21; Heb. 8:4.  Matt. 28:18-20; John 14:16-19; 16:13.
48. Question: But are the two natures in Christ not separated from each other if His human nature is not present wherever His divinity is?
Answer: Not at all, for His divinity has no limits and is present everywhere. So it must follow that His divinity is indeed beyond the human nature which He has taken on and nevertheless is within this human nature and remains personally united with it.
 Jer. 23:23, 24; Acts 7:48, 49.  John 1:14; 3:13; Col. 2:9.
49. Question: How does Christ's ascension into heaven benefit us?
Answer: First, He is our Advocate in heaven before His Father. Second, we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that He, our Head, will also take us, His members, up to Himself. Third, He sends us His Spirit as a
counter-pledge, by whose power we seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God, and not the things that are on earth.
 Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1.  John 14:2; 17:24; Eph. 2:4-6.  John 14:16; Acts 2:33; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5.  Col. 3:1-4.