The Heidelberg Catechism (1563)
Lord’s Day 1
1. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death,1 am not my own,2 but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ,3 who with His precious blood4 has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil;5 and so preserves me,6 that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head;7 indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation.8 Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,9 and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him.10
1 Rom 14:7-9; 2 1 Cor 6:19-20; 3 1 Cor 3:23; Tit 2:14; 41 Pt 1:18-19; 1 Jn 1:7, 2:2; 5 Jn 8:34-36; Heb 2:14-15; 1 Jn 3:8; 6 Jn 6:39-40, 10:27-30; 2 Thes 3:3; 1 Pt 1:5; 7 Mt 10:29-31; Lk 21:16-18; 8 Rom 8:28; 9 Rom 8:15-16; 2 Cor 1:21-22, 5:5; Eph 1:13-14; 10 Rom 8:14
2. How many things are necessary for you to know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Three things: first, the greatness of my sin and misery;1 second, how I am redeemed from all my sins and misery;2 third, how I am to be thankful to God for such redemption.3
1 Rom 3:9-10; 1 Jn 1:10; 2 Jn 17:3; Acts 4:12, 10:43; 3 Mt 5:16; Rom 6:13; Eph 5:8-10; 1 Pt 2:9-10
First Part: Man’s Guilt
Lord’s Day 2
3. From where do you know your sins and misery?
From the Law of God.1
1 Rom 3:20
4. What does the Law of God require of us?
Christ teaches us in sum in Matthew 22: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.1 This is the first and great commandment; and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."2
1 Deut 6:5; 2 Lev 19:18
5. Can you keep all this perfectly?
No,1 for I am by nature inclined to hate God and my neighbor.2
1 Rom 3:10, 23; 1 Jn 1:8, 10; 2 Gen 6:5, 8:21; Jer 17:9; Rom 7:23, 8:7; Eph 2:3; Tit 3:3
Lord’s Day 3
6. Did God, then, create man so wicked and perverse?
No, on the contrary, God created man good1 and in His own image,2 that is, in true righteousness and holiness;3 that he might rightly know God his Creator,4 heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness to praise and glorify Him.5
1 Gen 1:31; 2 Gen 1:26-27; 3 Eph 4:24; 4 Col 3:10; 5 Ps 8
7. From where, then, did man’s depraved nature come from?
From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,1 for there our nature became so corrupt2 that we are all conceived and born in sin.3
1 Gen 3; 2 Rom 5:12, 18-19; 3 Ps 51:5
8. But are we so depraved, that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil?
Yes;1 unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.2
1 Gen 6:5, 8:21; Job 14:4; Isa 53:6; 2 Jn 3:3-5
Lord’s Day 4
9. Is God, then, not unjust by requiring in His law what man cannot perform?
No, for God so created man that he could perform it;1 but man, through the instigation of the devil,2 by willful disobedience3 robbed himself and all his descendants of this power.
1Gen 1:31; 2 Gen 3:13; Jn 8:44; 1 Tim 2:13-14; 3 Gen 3:6; 4 Rom 5:12, 18-19
10. Will God allow such disobedience and apostasy to go unpunished?
By no means; but He is terribly displeased with our original sin as well as our actual sins, and will punish them in just judgment both now and eternally,1 as he has declared: Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them (Deut. 27:26).
1 Ex 34:7; Ps 5:4-6, 7:10; Nah 1:2; Rom 1:18, 5:12; Eph 5:6; Heb 9:27
11. Is then God not merciful?
God is indeed merciful,1 but He is also just;2 therefore His justice requires that sin, committed against the most high majesty of God, also be punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment both of body and soul.3
1 Ex 20:6, 34:6-7; Ps 103:8-9; 2 Ex 20:5, 34:7; Deut 7:9-11; Ps 5:4-6; Heb 10:30-31; 3 Mt 25:45-46
Second Part: God’s Grace
Lord’s Day 5
12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, how can we escape this punishment and be again received into favor?
God demands that His justice be satisfied,1 therefore we must make full satisfaction, either by ourselves or by another.2
1 Ex 20:5, 23:7; Rom 2:1-11; 2 Isa 53:11; Rom 8:3-4
13. Can we ourselves make this satisfaction?
By no means, on the contrary, we daily increase our guilt.1
1 Ps 130:3; Mt 6:12; Rom 2:4-5
14. Can any mere creature make satisfaction for us?
No. First, God will not punish another creature for the sin which man has committed;1 and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, and redeem others from it.2
1 Ezek 18:4, 20; Heb 2:14-18; 2 Ps 130:3; Nah 1:6
15. What kind of mediator and redeemer then must we seek?
One who is a true1 and sinless man,2 and yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is at the same time true God.3
1 1 Cor 15:21; Heb 2:17; 2 Isa 53:9; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 7:26; 3 Isa 7:14, 9:6; Jer 23:6; Jn 1:1; Rom 8:3-4
Lord’s Day 6
16. Why must He be a true and sinless man?
Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should make satisfaction for sin;1 but no man, being himself a sinner, could satisfy for others.2
1 Rom 5:12, 15; 1 Cor 15:21; Heb 2:14-16; 2 Heb 7:26-27; 1 Pt 3:18
17. Why must He be at the same time true God?
That by the power of His divine nature1 He might bear in His human nature the burden of God’s wrath2 and so obtain for and restore to us righteousness and life.3
1 Isa 9:5; 2 Deut 4:24; Nah 1:6; Ps 130:3; 3 Isa 53:5, 11; Jn 3:16; 2 Cor 5:21
18. But who is that Mediator, who is at the same time true God and a true, sinless man?
Our Lord Jesus Christ,1 who is freely given unto us for complete redemption and righteousness.2
1 Mt 1:21-23; Lk 2:11; 1 Tim 2:5, 3:16; 2 1 Cor 1:30
19. From where do you know this?
From the Holy Gospel, which God Himself first revealed in Paradise;1 afterwards proclaimed by the holy Patriarchs2 and Prophets,3 and foreshadowed by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the Law;4 and finally fulfilled by His well-beloved Son.5
1 Gen 3:15; 2 Gen 12:3, 22:18, 49:10; 3 Isa 53: Jer 23:5-6; Mic 7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Heb 1:1; 4 Lev 1:7; Jn 5:46; Heb 10:1-10; 5 Rom 10:4; Gal 4:4-5; Col 2:17
Lord’s Day 7
20. Are all men then saved by Christ, as they have perished in Adam?
No, only those are saved who by true faith are grafted into Him, and receive all His benefits.1
1 Mt 7:14; Jn 1:12, 3:16, 18, 36; Rom 11:16-21
21. What is true faith?
It is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I accept as true all that God has revealed to us in His Word;1 but also a deep-rooted assurance,2 created in me by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel,3 that not only to others, but to me also,4 forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation,5 are freely given by God, merely of grace, for the sake of Christ’s merits.
1 Jn 17:3, 17; Heb 11:1-3; Jas 2:19; 2 Rom 4:18-21, 5:1, 10:10; Heb 4:16; 3 Acts 16:14; Rom 1:16, 10:17; 1 Cor 1:21; 4 Gal 2:20; 5 Rom 1:17; Heb 10:10; 6 Rom 3:20-26; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-10
22. What, then, is necessary for a Christian to believe?
All that is promised us in the Gospel,1 which the articles of our catholic, undoubted Christian faith teach us in sum.
1 Mt 28:19; Jn 20:30-31
23. What are these Articles?
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; a holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen
Lord’s Day 8
24. How are these articles divided?
Into three parts: the first is about God the Father and our creation; the second, about God the Son and our redemption; the third, about God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.
25. Since there is only one God,1 why do you speak of three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Because God has so revealed Himself in His Word,2 that these three distinct Persons are the one, true, eternal God.
1 Deut 6:4; Isa 44:6, 45:5; 1 Cor 8:4, 6; 2 Gen 1:2-3; Isa 61, 63:8-10; Mt 3:16-17, 28:18-19; Lk 4:18; Jn 14:26, 15:26; 2 Cor 13:14; Gal 4:6; Tit 3:5-6
Lord’s Day 9
26. What do you believe when you say, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?"
That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created made heaven and earth, with all that is in them,1 who still upholds and governs them by His eternal counsel and providence,2 is for the sake of Christ His Son my God and my Father;3 in whom I so trust, as to have no doubt that He will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul;4 and further, that whatever evil He sends upon me in this vale of tears He will turn to my good;5 for He is able to do so as Almighty God,6 and willing as a faithful Father.7
1 Gen 1-2; Ex 20:11; Job 38-39; Ps 33:6; Isa 44:24; Acts 4:24, 14:15; 2 Ps 104:27-30; Mt 6:30, 10:29; Eph 1:11; 3 Jn 1:12-13; Rom 8:15-16; Gal 4:4-7; Eph 1:5; 4 Ps 55:22; Mt 6:25-26; Lk 12:22-31; 5 Rom 8:28; 6 Gen 18:14; Rom 8:31-39; 7 Mt 6:32-33, 7:9-11
Lord’s Day 10
27. What do you understand by the Providence of God?
It is the almighty everywhere present power of God,1 whereby, as with His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth, and all creatures;2 and so governs them, that leaf and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things come not by chance, but by His fatherly hand.
1 Jer 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28; 2 Heb 1:3; 3 Jer 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; Jn 9:3; Prov 22:2; 4 Prov 16:33; 5 Mt 10:29
28. How does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by His providence?
That we may be patient in adversity;1 thankful in prosperity;2 and for the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father, that no creature shall separate us from His love;3 since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.4
1 Job 1:21-22; Ps 39:10; Jas 1:3; 2 Deut 8:10; 1 Thes 5:18; 3 Ps 55:22; Rom 5:3-5, 8:38-39; 4 Job 1:12, 2:6; Prov 21:1; Acts 17:24-28
Lord’s Day 11
29. Why is the Son of God called "Jesus," that is, "Savior?"
Because He saves us from our sins;1 and because salvation is not to be sought or found in anyone else.2
1 Mt 1:21; Heb 7:25; 2 Isa 43:11; Jn 15:4-5; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Tim 2:5
30. Do those believe in the only Savior Jesus, who seek their salvation and well being from saints, themselves, or anywhere else?
No. Although they boast of Him in words, in fact they deny the only Savior Jesus.1 For either Jesus is not a complete Savior, or those who by true faith receive this Savior, must have in Him all that is necessary to their salvation.2
1 1 Cor 1:12-13; Gal 5:4; 2 Col 1:19-20, 2:10; 1 Jn 1:7
Lord’s Day 12
31. Why is He called "Christ," that is, "Anointed?"
Because He has been ordained by God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Spirit,1 to be our chief Prophet and Teacher,2 who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption;3 our only High Priest,4 who by the one sacrifice of His body has redeemed us,5 and who ever lives to make intercession for us with the Father;6 and our eternal King,7 who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us.8
1 Ps 45:7 (Heb 1:9); Isa 61:1 (Lk 3:21-22, 4:18); 2 Deut 18:15 (Acts 3:22); 3 Jn 1:18, 15:15; 4 Ps 110:4 (Heb 7:17); 5 Heb 9:12, 10:11-14; 6 Rom 8:34; Heb 9:24; 1 Jn 2:1; 7 Zech (Mt 21:5); Lk 1:33; 8 Mt 28:18-20; Jn 10:28; Rev 12:10-11
32. Why are you called a Christian?
Because by faith I am a member of Christ,1 and thus a partaker of His anointing;2 so that I also may confess His name;3 present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him;4 and with a free conscience fight against sin and the devil in this life,5 and hereafter, in eternity, reign with Him over all creatures.6
1 1 Cor 12:12-27; 2 Joel 2:28 (Acts 2:17); 1 Jn 2:27; 3 Mt 10:32; Rom 10:9-10; Heb 13:15; 4 R 12:1; 1 Pt 2:5, 9; 5 Gal 5:16-17; Eph 6:11; 1 Tim 1:18-19; 6 Mt 25:34; 2 Tim 2:12
Lord’s Day 13
33. Why is He called God’s "only begotten Son," since we also are the children of God?
Because Christ alone is the eternal, natural Son of God;1 but we are the children of God by adoption, through grace, for Christ’s sake.2
1 Jn 1:1-3, 14, 18, 3:16; Rom 8:32; Heb 1; 1 Jn 4:9; 2 Jn 1:12; Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:5-6
34. Why do you call Him "our Lord?"
Because, not with silver and gold, but with His precious blood,1 He has redeemed and purchased us, body and soul,2 from sin and from all the power of the devil, to be His own possession.3
1 1 Pt 1:18-19; 1 1 Cor 6:20; 1 Tim 2:5-6; 3 Col 1:13-14; Heb 2:14-15
Lord’s Day 14
35. What is the meaning of, "conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary?"
That the eternal Son of God, who is and continues true and eternal God,1 took upon Himself the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,2 by the work of the Holy Spirit;3 so that He also might be the true seed of David,4 like His brothers in all things,5 sin excepted.6
1 Jn 1:1, 10:30-36; Rom 1:3, 9:5; Col 1:15-17; 1 Jn 5:20; 2 Mt 1:18-23; Jn 1:1-4; Gal 4:4; Heb 2:14; 3 Lk 1:35; 4 2 Sam 7:12-16; Ps 132:11; Mt 1:1; Lk 1:32; Rom 1:3; 5 Php 2:7; Heb 2:17; 6 Heb 4:15, 7:26-27
36. What benefit do you receive from the holy conception and birth of Christ?
That He is our Mediator,1 and with His innocence and perfect holiness2 covers, in the sight of God, my sin, in which I was conceived.
1 1 Tim 2:5-6; Heb 9:13-15; 2 Rom 8:3-4; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 4:4-5; 1 Pt 1:18-19
Lord’s Day 15
37. What do you understand by the word, "suffered?"
That all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race;1 in order that by His passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice,2 He has redeemed our body and soul from everlasting damnation,3 and obtain for us the grace of God, righteousness, and eternal life.4
1 Isa 53; 1 Tim 2:6; 1 Pt 2:2-4, 3:18; 2 Rom 3:25; 1 Cor 5:7; Eph 5:2; Heb 10:14; 1 Jn 2:2, 4:10; 3 Rom 8:1-4; Gal 3:13; Col 1:13; Heb 9:12; 1 Pt 1:18-19; 4 Jn 3:16; Rom 3:24-26; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 9:15
38. Why did He suffer "under Pontius Pilate," as judge?
Though innocent, Christ was condemned by an earthly judge,1 to deliver us from the severe judgment of God that was to fall on us.2
1 Lk 23:13-24; Jn 19:4, 12-16; 2 Isa 53:4-5; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13
39. Does it have a special meaning that Christ was "crucified" and did not die in a different way?
Yes, for thereby I am assured, that He took upon Himself the curse which lay upon me; because the death of the cross was accursed of God.1
1 Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13
Lord’s Day 16
40. Why was it necessary for Christ to suffer death?
Because, by reason of the justice and truth of God,1 satisfaction for our sins could be made no other way than by the death of the Son of God.2
1 Gen 2:17; 2 Rom 8:3; Php 2:8; Heb 2:9, 14-15
41. Why was He "buried?"
To testify that He was really dead.1
1 Isa 53:9; Jn 19:38-42; Acts 13:29; 1 Cor 15:3-4
42. Since then Christ died for us, why do we still have to die?
Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but it puts an end to sin and is an entrance into eternal life.1
1 Jn 5:24; Php 1:21-23; 1 Thes 5:9-10
43. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
That by His power our old nature is crucified, put to death, and buried with Him;1 so that the evil lusts of the flesh may no more reign in us,2 but that we may offer ourselves unto Him as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.3
1 Rom 6:5-11; Col 2:11-12; 2 Rom 6:12-14; 3 Rom 12:1; Eph 5:1-2
44. Why is it added, "He descended into Hell?"
That in my greatest temptations I may be assured that Christ, my Lord, by His inexpressible anguish, pains, and terrors, which He endured throughout all His sufferings,1 but especially on the cross, has redeemed me from the anguish and torment of hell.2
1 Ps 18:5-6, 116:3; Mt 26:36-46; Heb 5:7-10; 2 Isa 53
Lord’s Day 17
45. What benefit do we receive from the resurrection of Christ?
First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, that He might make us partakers of the righteousness which He has obtained for us by His death.1 Second, we also are now by His power raised up to a new life.2 Third, the resurrection of Christ is to us a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.3
1 Rom 4:25; 1 Cor 15:16-20; 1 Pt 1:3-5; 2 Rom 6:5-11; Eph 2:4-6; Col 3:1-4; 3 Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 15:12-23; Php 3:20-21
Lord’s Day 18
46. How do you understand the words, "He ascended into heaven?"
That Christ, in sight of His disciples, was taken up from the earth into heaven;1 and that He is there for our benefit,2 until He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.3
1 Mk 16:19; Lk 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11; 2 Rom 8:34; Heb 4:14, 7:23-25, 9:24; 3 Mt 24:30; Acts 1:11
47. Is Christ, then, not with us unto the end of the world, as He has promised?1
Christ is true man and true God: according to His human nature, He is now not on earth;2 but according to His divine nature, majesty, grace, and Spirit, He is never absent from us.3
1 Mt 28:20; 2 Mt 26:11; Jn 16:28, 17:11; Acts 3:19-21; Heb 8:4; 3 Mt 28:18-20; Jn 14:16-19, 16:13
48. But are not the two natures in Christ separated from one another if the human nature is not wherever the divine nature is?
By no means; for since the divine nature is incomprehensible and everywhere present,1 it must follow that it is indeed beyond the bounds of the human nature, which He has taken on, nevertheless it is within this human nature and remains personally united to it.2
1 Jer 23:23-24; Acts 7:48-49; 2 Jn 1:14, 3:13; Col 2:9
49. What benefit do we receive from Christ’s ascension "into heaven?"
First, He is our Advocate in the presence of His Father in heaven.1 Second, we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge, that He, our Head, will also take us, His members, up to Himself.2 Third, He sends us His Spirit, as a down payment,3 by whose power we seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God, and not things on the earth.4
1 Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1; 2 Jn 14:2, 17:24; Eph 2:4-6; 3 Jn 14:16; Acts 2:33; 2 Cor 1:21-22, 5:5; 4 Col 3:1-4
Lord’s Day 19
50. Why is it added, "And sits on the right hand of God?"
Because Christ ascended into heaven for this end, that He might there appear as Head of His Church,1 through whom the Father governs all things.2
1 Eph 1:20-23; Col 1:18; 2 Mt 28:18; Jn 5:22-23
51. What benefit do we receive from this glory of Christ, our Head?
First, that by His Holy Spirit He pours out heavenly gifts upon us, His members.1 Second, that by His power He defends and preserves us against all enemies.2
1 Acts 2:33; Eph 4:7-12; 2 Ps 2:9, 110:1-2; Jn 10:27-30; Rev 19:11-16
52. What comfort is it to you, that Christ "shall come again to judge the living and the dead?"
That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head, I eagerly await as judge from heaven the very same person who has before offered Himself for me to the judgment of God and removed from me all the curse;1 who shall cast all His and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall take me, with all His chosen ones, to Himself into heavenly joy and glory.2
1 Lk 21:28; Rom 8:22-25; Php 3:20-21; Tit 2:13-14; 2 Mt 25:31-46; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 2 Thes 1:6-10
Lord’s Day 20
53. What do you believe concerning the "Holy Spirit?"
First, that He is co-eternal God with the Father and the Son.1 Second, that He is also given to me;2 to make me by true faith a partaker in Christ and all His benefits;3 to comfort me;4 and to remain with me forever.5
1 Gen 1:1-2; Mt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 1:21-22; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:13; 3 Gal 3:14; 1 Pt 1:2; 4 Jn 15:26; Acts 9:31; 5 Jn 14:16-17; 1 Pt 4:14
Lord’s Day 21
54. What do you believe concerning the "holy catholic Church?"
That, out of the whole human race,1 from the beginning to the end of the world,2 the Son of God,3 by His Spirit and Word,4 gathers, defends and preserves for Himself5 unto everlasting life,6 a chosen communion, in the unity of the true faith;7 and that I am,8 and forever shall remain, a living member of it.9
1 Gen 26:4; Rev 5:9; 2 Isa 59:21; 1 Cor 11:26; 3 Jn 10:11; Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11-13; Col 1:18; 4 Rom 1:16, 10:14-17; Eph 5:26; 5 Ps 129:1-5; Mt 16:18; Jn 10:28-30; 6 Rom 8:29; Eph 1:3-14; 7 Acts 2:42-47; Eph 4:1-6; 8 1 Jn 3:14, 19-21; 9 Ps 23:6; Jn 10:27-28; 1 Cor 1:4-9; 1 Pt 1:3-5
55. What do you understand by the "communion of saints?"
First, that believers, all and everyone, as members of Christ have communion in Him and in all His treasures and gifts;1 secondly, that everyone is bound to use his gifts, readily and cheerfully, for the benefit and welfare of other members.2
1 Rom 8:32; 1 Cor 6:17, 12:4-7, 12-13; 1 Jn 1:3; 2 Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:20-27, 13:1-7; Php 2:4-8
56. What do you believe concerning the "forgiveness of sins?"
That God, because of Christ’s satisfaction, will no longer remember my sins,1 nor my sinful nature, against which I have to struggle all my life;2 but He graciously imputes to me the righteousness of Christ, that I may never come into condemnation.3
1 Ps 103:3-4, 10, 12; Mic 7:18-19; 2 Cor 5:18-21; 1 Jn 1:7, 2:2; 2 Rom 7:21-25; 3 Jn 3:17-18, 5:24; Rom 8:1-2
Lord’s Day 22
57. What comfort does the "resurrection of the body" give you?
That not only my soul, after this life, shall be immediately taken up to Christ my Head;1 but also that this my body, raised by the power of Christ, shall again be united with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body.2
1 Lk 16:22, 23:43; Php 1:21-23; 2 Job 19:25-26; 1 Cor 15:20, 42-46, 54; Php 3:21; 1 Jn 3:2
58. What comfort do you receive from the article about the "life everlasting?"
That, as I now already feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy,1 I shall after this life possess complete blessedness, such as eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man; in which to praise God forever.2
1 Jn 17:3; Rom 14:17; 2 Cor 5:2-3; 2 Jn 17:24; 1 Cor 2:9
Lord’s Day 23
59. But how does it help you now that you believe all this?
That I am righteous in Christ before God, and an heir of eternal life.1
1 Hab 2:4; Jn 3:36; Rom 1:17, 5:1-2
60. How are you righteous before God?
Only by true faith in Jesus Christ;1 that is, although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, have never kept any of them,2 and that I am still inclined always to all evil,3 yet God, without any merit of my own,4 out of mere grace,5 imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ,6 as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me,7 if only I accept this gift with a believing heart.8
1 Rom 3:21-28; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-9; Php 3:8-11; 2 Rom 3:9-10; 3 Rom 7:23; 4 Deut 9:6; Ezek 36:22; Tit 3:4-5; 5 Rom 3:24; Eph 2:8; 6 Rom 4:3-5; 2 Cor 5:17-19; 1 Jn 2:1-2; 7 Rom 4:24-25; 2 Cor 5:21; 8 Jn 3:18; Acts 16:30-31; Rom 3:22
61. Why do you say that you are righteous only by faith?
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,1 and I can receive this righteousness and make it my own only by faith.2
1 1 Cor 1:30-31, 2:2; 2 Rom 10:10; 1 Jn 5:10-12
Lord’s Day 24
62. But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?
Because the righteousness which can stand before the judgment-seat of God must be perfect throughout and wholly conformable to the Law of God;1 whereas even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.2
1 Deut 27:26; Gal 3:10; 2 Isa 64:6
63. How is it that our good works merit nothing, while yet it is God’s will to reward them in this life and in that which is to come?
The reward comes not of merit,1 but of grace.2
1 Mt 5:12; Heb 11:6; 2 Lk 17:10; 2 Tim 4:7-8
64. But does not this doctrine make men careless and wicked?
No, for it is impossible that those who are grafted into Christ by true faith should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness.1
1 Mt 7:18; Lk 6:43-45; Jn 15:5
Lord’s Day 25
65. Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, where does this faith come from?
The Holy Spirit creates it in our hearts1 by the preaching of the Gospel,2 and confirms it by the use of the Holy Sacraments.3
1 Jn 3:5; 1 Cor 2:10-14; Eph 2:8; Php 1:29; 2 Rom 10:17; 1 Pt 1:23-25; 3 Mt 28:19-20; 1 Cor 10:16
66. What are the sacraments?
The sacraments are holy, visible signs and seals, instituted by God so that by their use He might the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the Gospel;1 namely, that He grants us out of free grace the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life, because of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.2
1 Gen 17:11; Deut 30:6; Rom 4:11; 2 Mt 26:27-28; Acts 2:38; Heb 10:10
67. Are both the Word and the Sacraments intended to direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?
Yes indeed; for the Holy Spirit teaches us in the Gospel, and by the Holy Sacraments assures us, that our whole salvation rests on the one sacrifice of Christ made for us on the cross.1
1 Rom 6:3; 1 Cor 11:26; Gal 3:27
68. How many Sacraments has Christ instituted in the New Covenant?
Two: Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper.1
1 Mt 28:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26
Lord’s Day 26
69. How does holy baptism signify and seal to you that the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross benefits you?
In this way: that Christ has instituted this outward washing with water,1 and has joined with it this promise, that as surely as I am washed outwardly with water, whereby commonly the filthiness of the body is taken away, so certainly I am washed with His blood and Spirit from the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins.2
1 Mt 28:19; 2 Mt 3:11; Mk 16:16; Jn 1:33; Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-4; 1 Pt 3:21
70. What does it mean to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
It is to have the forgiveness of sins from God, through grace, because of Christ’s blood, which He shed for us in His sacrifice on the cross;1 and also, to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die to sin, and lead holy and blameless lives.2
1 Ezek 36:25; Zech 13:1; Eph 1:7; Heb 12:24; 1 Pt 1:2; Rev 1:5, 7:14; 2 Jn 3:5-8; Rom 6:4; 1 Cor 6:11; Col 2:11-12
71. 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?
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."1 "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be damned."2 This promise is also repeated where the Scripture calls baptism "the washing of regeneration" and "the washing away of sins."3
1 Mt 28:19; 2 Mk 16:16; 3 Tit 3:5; Acts 22:16
Lord’s Day 27
72. Is then the outward washing with water itself the washing away of sins?
No; for only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.1
1 Mt 3:11; 1 Pt 3:21; 1 Jn 1:7
73. Why, then, does the Holy Spirit call baptism "the washing of regeneration" and "the washing away of sins?"
God speaks in this way for a good reason. He wants to teach us that the blood and Spirit of Christ remove our sins just as water takes away dirt from the body;1 but more importantly, He wants to assure us by this divine pledge and sign that we are as truly washed from our sins spiritually, as our bodies are washed with water.2
1 1 Cor 6:11; Rev 1:5, 7:14; 2 Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27
74. Are infants also to be baptized?
Yes, since they, as well as their parents, belong to the covenant and people of God,1 and both redemption from sin and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith, are through the blood of Christ promised to them no less than to their parents.2 Therefore, by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, they must be grafted into the Christian Church, and distinguished from the children of unbelievers,3 as was done in the Old Covenant by circumcision,4 in place of which in the New Covenant baptism was instituted.5
1 Gen 17:7; Mt 19:14; 2 Ps 22:11; Isa 44:1-3; Acts 2:38-39, 16:31; 3 Acts 10:47; 1 Cor 7:14; 4 Gen 17:9-14; 5 Col 2:11-13
Lord’s Day 28
75. How does the Lord’s Supper signify and seal to you that you share in the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross and all His benefits?
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:1 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 shed for me on the cross. Second, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that, with His crucified body and shed blood, He Himself feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life as certainly as I receive from the hand of the minister, and taste with my mouth, the bread and cup of the Lord, which are given me as certain tokens of the body and blood of Christ.
1 Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25
76. What does it mean to eat the crucified body and drink the shed blood of Christ?
It is not only to embrace with a believing heart all the suffering and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain the forgiveness of sins and eternal life;1 but moreover also, to be so united more and more to His sacred body by the Holy Spirit, who dwells both in Christ and in us,2 that although He is in heaven,3 and we on the earth, we are nevertheless flesh of His flesh and bone of His bones,4 and live and are governed forever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.5
1 Jn 6:35, 40, 50-54; 2 Jn 6:55-56; 1 Cor 12:13; 3 Acts 1:9-11, 3:21; 1 Cor 11:26; Col 3:1; 4 1 Cor 6:15, 17; Eph 5:29-30; 1 Jn 4:13; 5 Jn 6:56-58, 15:1-6; Eph 4:15-16; 1 Jn 3:24
77. Where has Christ promised that He will thus feed and nourish believers with His body and blood, as certainly as they eat of this broken bread and drink of this cup?
In the institution of the Supper: "The Lord Jesus Christ on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the New Covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes."1 This promise is repeated by St. Paul, where he says, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread."2
1 1 Cor 11:23-26; 2 1 Cor 10:16-17
Lord’s Day 29
78. Do then the bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ?
No, but as the water, in baptism, is not changed into the blood of Christ, nor becomes the washing away of sins itself, being only God’s sign and pledge,1 so also, in the Lord’s Supper, the sacred bread does not become the body of Christ itself,2 though agreeably to the nature and usage of sacraments3 it is called the body of Christ.4
1 Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; 2 Mt 26:26-29; 3 Gen 17:10-11; Ex 12:11, 13; 1 Cor 10:3-4; 1 Pt 3:21; 4 1 Cor 10:16-17, 11:26-28
79. Why then does Christ call the bread His body, and the cup His blood, or the New Covenant in His blood; and why does St. Paul speak of a communion of the body and blood of Christ?
Christ speaks in this way for a good reason. He wants to teach us by His Supper that as bread and wine sustain us in this temporal life, so His crucified body and shed blood are the true food and drink of our souls to eternal life.1 But, much more, by this visible sign and pledge He wants to assure us, first, through the working of the Holy Spirit we are really partakers of His true body and blood as surely as we receive by the mouth these holy signs in remembrance of Him;2 and second, that all His sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had ourselves suffered and done all in our own person.3
1 Jn 6:51, 55; 2 1 Cor 10:16-17, 11:26; 3 Rom 6:5-11
Lord’s Day 30
80. What difference is there between the Lord’s Supper and the Popish Mass?
The Lord’s Supper testifies to us, that we have complete forgiveness of all our sins by the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which He Himself has once accomplished on the cross;1 and that by the Holy Spirit we are grafted into Christ,2 who with His true body is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father,3 and is to be worshipped there4. But the Mass teaches, that the living and the dead do not have forgiveness of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ He is still daily offered for them by the priests; and that Christ is bodily present under the form of bread and wine, and is therefore to be worshipped in them. Therefore, the Mass is basically nothing but a denial of the one sacrifice and passion of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.
1 Mt 26:28; Jn 19:30; Heb 7:27, 9:12, 10:10-18; 2 1 Cor 6:17, 10:16-17; 3 Jn 20:17; Acts 7:55-56; Heb 1:3, 8:1; 4 Jn 4:21-24; Php 3:20; Col 3:1; 1 Thes 1:10
81. Who are to come to the table of the Lord?
Those who are displeased with themselves for their sins, yet trust that these are forgiven them, and that their remaining infirmity is covered by the passion and death of Christ; who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and amend their life. But the impenitent and hypocrites eat and drink judgment to themselves.1
1 1 Cor 10:19-22, 11:26-32
82. Are they then also to be admitted to this Supper, who show themselves to be, by their confession and life, unbelieving and ungodly?
No, for by this the covenant of God is profaned, and His wrath provoked against the whole congregation;1 wherefore the Christian Church is bound, according to the order of Christ and His Apostles, by the office of the keys to exclude such persons, until they amend their life.
1 Ps 50:16; Isa 1:11-17; 1 Cor 11:17-34
Lord’s Day 31
83. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
The Preaching of the Holy Gospel and Church Discipline. By these two the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and closed to unbelievers.1
1 Mt 16:19; Jn 20:21-23
84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and closed by the preaching of the holy Gospel?
In this way: that according to the command of Christ, it is proclaimed and openly witnessed to believers, one and all, that as often as they accept with true faith the promise of the Gospel, all their sins are really forgiven them of God for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary, to all unbelievers and hypocrites, that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation abide on them, so long as they are not converted; according to which witness of the Gospel, will be the judgment of God both in this life and in that which is to come.1
1 Mt 16:19; Jn 3:31-36, 20:21-23
85. How is the kingdom of heaven closed opened by Church discipline?
In this way: that according to the command of Christ, if any under the Christian name show themselves unsound either in doctrine or life, and after repeated brotherly admonition refuse to turn from their errors of evil ways, they are complained of to the Church or to its proper officers, and, if they neglect to hear them also, are by them excluded from the holy sacraments and the Christian communion, and by God Himself from the kingdom of Christ;1 and if they promise and show real amendment, they are again received as members of Christ and His Church.2
1 Mt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:3-5, 11-13; 2 Thes 3:14-15; 2 Lk 15:20-24; 2 Cor 2:6-11
Third Part: Man’s Gratitude
Lord’s Day 32
86. Since then we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we do good works?
Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, renews us also by His Holy Spirit after His own image, that with our whole life we may show ourselves thankful to God for His blessings,1 and that He may be glorified through us;2 then also, that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by its fruits,3 and by our godly walk may win others also to Christ.4
1 Rom 6:13, 12:1-2; 1 Pt 2:5-10; 2 Mt 5:16; 1 Cor 6:19-20; 3 Mt 7:17-18; Gal 5:22-24; 2 Pt 1:10-11; 4 Mt 5:14-16; Rom 14:17-19; 1 Pt 2:12, 3:1-2
87. Can those who do not turn to God from their unthankful and impenitent life be saved?
By no means; Scripture says "no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber," or any such, "shall inherit the kingdom of God."1
1 1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5-6; 1 Jn 3:14
Lord’s Day 33
88. In how many things does true repentance or conversion consist?
In two things: the dying away of the old nature, and the coming to life of the new.1
1 Rom 6:1-11; 1 Cor 5:7; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:22-24; Co 3:5-10
89. What is the dying away of the old nature?
It is heartfelt sorrow for sin; causing us to hate and turn from it always more and more.1
1 Ps 51:3-4, 17; Joel 2:12-13; Rom 8:12-13; 2 Cor 7:10
90. What is the coming to life the new nature?
It is heartfelt joy in God;1 causing us to take delight in living according to the will of God in all good works.2
1 Ps 51:8, 12; Isa 57:15; Rom 5:1, 14:17; 2 Rom 6:10-11; Gal 2:20
91. But what are good works?
Only those which are done from true faith,1 according to the Law of God,2 for His glory;3 and not those based on our own opinion, or the commandments of men.4
1 Jn 15:5; Rom 14:23; Heb 11:6; 2 Lev 18:4; 1 Sam 15:22; Eph 2:10; 3 1 Cor 10:31; 4 Deut 12:32; Ezek 20:18-19; Mt 15:7-9
Lord’s Day 34
92. What is the Law of God?
"God spake all these words, saying,
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; you shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.1
1 Ex 20:1-17; Deut 5:6-21
93. How are these commandments divided?
Into two tables: the first teaches us duties we owe to God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor.1
1 Mt 22:37-40
94. What does God require in the first commandment?
That, on peril of my soul’s salvation, I avoid and flee all idolatry,1 sorcery, superstition,2 prayer to saints or of other creatures;3 and that I rightly acknowledge the only true God,4 trust in Him alone,5 with all humility6 and patience7 expect all good from Him only,8 and love,9 fear10 and honor Him11 with my whole heart; so as rather to renounce all creatures than do the least thing against His will.12
1 1 Cor 6:9-10, 10:5-14; 1 Jn 5:21; 2 Lev 19:31; Deut 18:9-12; 3 Mt 4:10; Rev 19:10, 22:8-9; 4 Jn 17:3; 5 Jer 17:5, 7; 6 1 Pt 5:5-6; 7 Rom 5:3-4; 1 Cor 10:10; Php 2:14; Col 1:11; Heb 10:36; 8 Ps 104:27-28; Isa 45:7; Jas 1:17; 9 Deut 6:5 (Mt 22:37); 10 Deut 6:2; Ps 111:10; Prov 1:7, 9:10; Mt 10:28; 1 Pt 1:17; 11 Deut 6:13 (Mt 4:10), 10:20; 12 Mt 5:29-30, 10:37-39; Acts 5:29
95. What is idolatry?
Idolatry is having or invented something in which to put our trust, instead of, or in addition to, the only true God who has revealed Himself in His Word.1
1 1 Chron 16:26; Gal 4:8-9; Eph 5:5; Php 3:19
Lord’s Day 35
96. What does God require in the second commandment?
That we in no way make any image of God,1 nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded in His Word.2
1 Deut 4:15-19; Isa 40:18-25; Acts 17:29; Rom 1:23; 2 Lev 10:1-7; Deut 12:30; 1 Sam 15:22-23; Mt 15:9; Jn 4:23-24
97. May we then not make any image at all?
God may not and cannot be visibly portrayed in any way; as for creatures, though they may indeed be visibly portrayed, yet God forbids the making or keeping any likeness of them, either to worship them, or by them to serve Himself.1
1 Ex 34:13-14, 17; Num 33:52; 2 Kgs 18:4-5; Isa 40:25
98. But may not images be tolerated in churches as "books for the laity?"
No, for we should not be wiser than God, who will not have His people taught by images which cannot speak,1 but by the lively preaching of His Word.2
1 Jer 10:8; Hab 2:18-20; 2 Rom 10:14-15, 17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pt 1:19
Lord’s Day 36
99. What is required in the third commandment?
That we must not by cursing,1 or by false swearing,2 nor yet by unnecessary oaths,3 profane or abuse the name of God; nor even by our silence4 and connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and in sum, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence,5 so that He may be rightly confessed6 and worshipped by us,7 and be glorified in all our words and works.8
1 Lev 24:10-17, 2 Lev 19:12; 3 Mt 5:37; Jas 5:12; 4 Lev 5:1; Prov 29:24; 5 Ps 99:1-5; Is 45:23; Jer 4:2; 6 Mt 10:32-33; Rom 10:9-10; 7 Ps 50:14-15; 1 Tim 2:8; 8 Rom 2:24; Col 3:17; 1 Tim 6:1
100. Is then the blaspheming of God’s name by swearing and cursing so grievous a sin that His wrath is kindled against those who do not seek, as much as they can, to prevent and forbid it?
Certainly,1 for no sin is greater or provokes God’s wrath than blaspheming His name. That is why He commanded it to be punished with death.2
1 Lev 5:1; 2 Lev 24:16
Lord’s Day 37
101. But may we not swear by the name of God in a religious manner?
Yes; when the magistrate requires it, or it may be needful otherwise to maintain and promote fidelity and truth, to the glory of God and our neighbor’s good. For such swearing is grounded in God’s Word,1 and therefore was rightly used by the saints in the Old and New Testaments.2
1 Deut 6:13, 10:20; Jer 4:1-2; Heb 6:16; 2 Gen 21:24, 31:53; Josh 9:15; 1 Sam 24:22; 1 Kgs 1:29-30; Rom 1:9; 2 Cor 1:23
102. May we swear by the saints or any other creatures?
No. A lawful oath is a calling upon God, who alone knows the heart, to bear witness to the truth, and to punish me if I swear falsely;1 which honor is due no creature.2
1 Rom 9:1; 2 Cor 1:23; 2 Mt 5:34-37, 23:16-22; Jas 5:12
Lord’s Day 38
103. What does God require in the fourth commandment?
In the first place, that the ministry of the Gospel and schools be maintained;1 and that I, especially on the day of rest, diligently attend Church2 to learn the Word of God,3 to use the holy sacraments,4 to call publicly upon the Lord,5 and to give Christian alms.6 In the second place, that all the days of my life I rest from my evil works, allow the Lord to work in me by His Spirit, and thus begin in this life the everlasting Sabbath.7
1 Deut 6:4-9, 20-25; 1 Cor 9:13-14; 2 Tim 2:2; 3:13-17; Tit 1:5; 2 Deut 12:5-12; Ps 40:9-10, 68:26; Acts 2:42-47; Heb 10:23-25; 3 Rom 10:14-17; 1 Cor 14:26-33; 1 Tim 4:13; 4 1 Cor 11:23-24; 5 Col 3:16; 1 Tim 2:1; 6 Ps 50:14; 1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 8-9; 7 Isa 66:23; Heb 4:9-11
Lord’s Day 39
104. What does God require in the fifth commandment?
That I show all honor, love and faithfulness to my father and mother, and to all in authority over me; submit myself with due obedience to all their good instruction and correction;1 and also bear patiently with their infirmities:2 since it is God's will to govern us by their hand.3
1 Ex 21:17; Prov 1:8, 4:1; Rom 13:1-2; Eph 5:21-22; 6:1-9; Col 3:18-4:1; 2 Prov 20:20, 23:22; 1 Pt 2:18; 3 Mt 22:21, Rom 13:1-8; Eph 6:1-9; Col 3:18-21
Lord’s Day 40
105. What does God require in the sixth commandment?
That I neither in thought, nor in word or look, much less in deed, revile, hate, insult or kill my neighbor, whether by myself or by another;1 but lay aside all desire of revenge;2 moreover, that I harm not myself,3 nor wilfully run into any danger. Wherefore also, to restrain murder, the magistrate is armed with the sword.4
1 Gen 9:6; Lev 19:17-18; Mt 5:21-22; 26:52; 2 Prov 25:21-22; Mt 18:35; Rom 12:19; Eph 4:26; 3 Mt 4:7; 26:52; Rom 13:11-14; 4 Gen 9:6; Ex 21:14; Rom 13:4
106. But does this commandment only speak of killing?
In forbidding this, however, God means to teach us that He abhors the root of murder, namely, envy, hatred, anger, and desire of revenge;1 and that all these are in His sight hidden murder.2
1 Prov 14:30; Rom 1:29; 12:19; Gal 5:19-21; Jas 1:20; 1 Jn 2:9-11; 2 1 Jn 3:15
107. Is it then enough that we do not kill our neighbor in any such way?
No: for in condemning envy, hatred, and anger, God requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves,1 to show patience, peace, meekness, mercy and kindness towards him,2 and, so far as we have power, to prevent his hurt; also to do good even unto our enemies.3
1 Mt 7:12; 22:39; Rom 12:10; 2 Mt 5:5; Lk 6:36; Rom 12:10, 18; Gal 6:1-2; Eph 4:2; Col 3:12; 1 Pt 3:8; 3 Ex 23:4-5; Mt 5:44-45; Rom 12:20
Lord’s Day 41
108. What does the seventh commandment teach us?
That all unchastity is accursed of God;1 and that we should therefore loathe it from the heart,2 and live chastely and modestly whether in holy wedlock or single life.3
1 Lev 18:30; Eph 5:3-5; 2 Jude 22-23; 3 1 Cor 7:1-9; 1 Thes 4:3-8; Heb 13:4
109. Does God in this commandment forbid nothing more than adultery and such like gross sins?
Since our body and soul are both temples of the Holy Spirit, it is His will that we keep both pure and holy; for which reason He forbids all unchaste actions, gestures, words, thoughts, desires,1 and whatever may entice thereto.2
1 Mt 5:27-29; 1 Cor 6:18-20; Eph 5:3-4; 2 1 Cor 15:33; Eph 5:18
Lord’s Day 42
110. What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?
Not only such theft and robbery1 as are punished by the magistrate; but God views as theft all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we seek to draw to ourselves our neighbor’s goods, whether by force or with show of right,2 such as unjust weights, ells, measures, wares, coins, usury,3 or any means forbidden of God; so moreover all covetousness,4 and all useless waste of His gifts.5
1 Ex 22:1; 1 Cor 5:9-10; 6:9-10; 2 Mic 6:9-11; Lk 3:14; Jas 5:1-62; 3 Deut 25:13-16; Ps 15:5; Prov 11:1; 12:22; Ez 45:9-12; Lk 6:35; 4 Lk 12:15; Eph 5:5; 5 Prov 21:20; 23:20-21; Lk 16:10-13
111. But what does God require of you in this commandment?
That I further my neighbor’s good, where I can and may; deal with him as I would have others deal with me; and labor faithfully, that I may be able to help the poor in their need.1
1 Isa 58:5-10; Mt 7:12; Gal 6:9-10; Eph 4:28
Lord’s Day 43
112. What is required in the ninth commandment?
That I bear false witness against no one; twist no one’s words; not gossip or slanderer; join in condemning no one unheard and rashly;1 but that I avoid, on penalty of God’s heavy wrath,2 all lying and deceit, as being the proper works of the devil; in matters of judgment and justice and in all other affairs love, honestly speak and confess the truth;3 and, so far as I can, defend and promote my neighbor’s good name.4
1 Ps 15; Prov 19:5, 9, 21:28; Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37; Rom 1:28-32; 2 Lev 19:11-12; Prov 12:22, 13:5; Jn 8:44; Rev 21:8; 3 1 Cor 13:6; Eph 4:25; 4 1 Pt 3:8-9, 4:8
Lord’s Day 44
113. What is required in the tenth commandment?
That not even the least thought or desire against any of God’s commandments should ever arise in our heart; but that, with our whole heart, we continually hate all sin, and take pleasure in all righteousness.1
1 Ps 19:7-14, 139:23-24; Rom 7:7-8
114. Can those who are converted to God keep these commandments perfectly?
No, but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience;1 nevertheless, with earnest purpose they do begin to live, not only according to some, but according to all the commandments of God.2
1 Ecc 7:20; Rom 7:14-15; 1 Cor 13:9; 1 Jn 1:8; 2 Ps 1:1-2; Rom 7:22-25; Php 3:12-16
115. Why then does God have them preached so strictly if in this life no one can keep them perfectly?
First, that throughout our life we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature, and therefore seek more earnestly the forgiveness of sins and righteousness in Christ;1 second, that we may be zealous for good deeds and constantly pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that He may more and more renew us after God’s image, until after this life we reach the goal of perfection.2
1 Ps 32:5; Rom 3:19-26, 7:7, 24-25; 1 Jn 1:9; 2 1 Cor 9:24; Php 3:12-14; 1 Jn 3:1-3
Lord’s Day 45
116. Why is prayer necessary for Christians?
Because it is the chief part of the thankfulness which God requires of us;1 and because God will give His grace and Holy Spirit only to those who earnestly and without ceasing, ask Him for these gifts and thank Him for them.2
1 Ps 50:14-15, 116:12-19; 1 Thes 5:16-18; 2 Mt 7:7-8; Lk 11:9-13
117. What belongs to a prayer which pleases God and is heard by Him?
First, that from the heart we call only upon the one true God, who has revealed Himself to us in His word, for all that He has commanded us to ask of Him.1 Second, that we thoroughly know our need and misery, so that we may humble ourselves before the face of His Divine Majesty.2 Third, that we be firmly assured, although we do not deserve it, God will certainly hear our prayer for the sake of Christ our Lord, as He has promised us in His word.3
1 Ps 145:18-20; Jn 4:22-24; Rom 8:26-27; Jas 1:5; 1 Jn 5:14-15; Rev 19:10; 2 2 Chron 7:14, 20:12; Ps 2:11, 34:18, 62:8; Isa 66:2; Rev 4; 3 Dan 9:17-19; Mt 7:8; Jn 14:13-14, 16:23; Rom 10:13; Jas 1:6
118. What has God commanded us to ask of Him?
All things necessary for body and soul,1 as included in the prayer which Christ our Lord Himself has taught us.1
1 Mt 6:33; Jas 1:17
119. What is the Lord’s Prayer?
"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen."1
1 Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4
Lord’s Day 46
120. Why has Christ commanded us to address God as, "Our Father?"
To awaken in us, at the very beginning of our prayer, that childlike reverence and trust toward God, which is the ground of our prayer; namely, that God has become our Father through Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in faith, than our parents refuse us earthly things.1
1 Mt 7:9-11; Lk 11:11-13
121. Why is it added, "Who art in heaven?"
That we may have no earthly thought of the heavenly majesty of God;1 and may expect from His almighty power all things necessary for body and soul.2
1Jer 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-25; 2 Mt 6:25-34; Rom 8:31-32
Lord’s Day 47
122. What is the first petition?
"Hallowed be Thy name." That is, enable us rightly to know You,1 and to hallow, magnify and praise You in all Your works, in which shine forth Your power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth;2 and likewise so to order our whole life, in thought, word and deed, that Your name may not be blasphemed, but honored and praised on our account.3
1 Jer 9:23-24, 31:33-34; Mt 16:17; Jn 17:3; 2 Ex 34:5-8; Ps 145; Jer 32:16-20; Lk 1:46-55, 68-75; Rom 11:33-36; 3 Ps 115:1; Mt 5:16
Lord’s Day 48
123. What is the second petition?
"Thy kingdom come." That is, so rule us by Your word and Spirit, that we submit ourselves unto You always more and more;1 preserve and increase Your Church;2 destroy the works of the devil, every power that raises itself against You, and all wicked devices formed against Your holy word,3 until the full coming of Your kingdom, wherein You shall be all in all.4
1 Ps 119:5, 105; 143:10; Mt 6:33; 2 Ps 51:18, 122:6-9; Mt 16:18; Acts 2:42-47; 3 Rom 16:20; 1 Jn 3:8; 4 Rom 8:22-23; 1 Cor 15:28; Rev 22:17, 20
Lord’s Day 49
124. What is the third petition?
"Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." That is, grant that we and all men may renounce our own will, and obey, without murmuring, Your will which alone is good;1 that so every one may fulfill his office and calling,2 as willingly and truly as the angels do in heaven.3
1 Mt 7:21, 16:24-26; Lk 22:42; Rom 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-12; 2 1 Cor 7:17-24; Eph 6:5-9; 3 Ps 103:20-21
Lord’s Day 50
125. What is the fourth petition?
"Give us this day our daily bread." That is, be pleased to provide for all our bodily needs;1 that we may thereby know that You are the only fountain of all good,2 and that without Your blessing, neither our care and labor, nor Your gifts can profit us;3 and may therefore withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place it alone in You.4
1 Ps 104"27-30, 145:15-16; Mt 6:25-34; 2 Acts 14:17, 17:25; Jas 1:17; 3 Deut 8:3; Ps 37:16, 127:1-2; 1 Cor 15:58; 4 Ps 55:22; 62; 146; Jer 17:5-8, Heb 13:5-6
Lord’s Day 51
126. What is the fifth petition?
"And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." That is, for the sake of Christ’s blood, do not impute to us, miserable sinners, our many transgressions, nor the evil which still clings to us,1 as we also find this evidence of Your grace in us, that we are fully determined wholeheartedly to forgive our neighbor.2
1 Ps 51:1-7, 143:2; Rom 8:1; 1 Jn 2:1-2; 2 Mt 6:14-15, 18:21-35
Lord’s Day 52
127. What is the sixth petition?
"And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." That is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand for a moment;1 while our sworn enemies, the devil,2 the world,3 and our own flesh,4 assail us without ceasing; be pleased to preserve and strengthen us by the power of your Holy Spirit, that we may make firm stand against them, and not sink in this spiritual war,5 until we finally obtain complete victory.6
1 Ps 103:14-16; Jn 15:1-5; 2 2 Cor 11:14; Eph 6:10-13; 1 Pt 5:8; 3 Jn 15:18-21; 4 Rom 7:23; Gal 5:17; 5 Mt 10:19-20, 26:41; Mk 13:33; Rom 5:3-5; 6 1 Cor 10:13; 1 Thes 3:13, 5:23
128. How do you close your prayer?
"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." That is, all this we ask of You, because, as our King, having power over all things, You are both willing and able to give us all that is good;1 and that thereby not we, but Your holy Name may be glorified for ever.2
1 Rom 10:11-13; 2 Pt 2:9; 2 Ps 115:1; Jer 33:8-9; Jn 14:13
129. What does the word "Amen" mean?
"Amen" means, "it is true and certain." For God has much more certainly heard my prayer than I feel in my heart that I desire this these things of Him.1
1 Isa 65:24; 2 Cor 1:20; 2 Tim 2:13