The Justice of God

cross2The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 4

9. Question: Is God, then, not unjust by requiring in His law what man cannot
do?

Answer: No, for God so created man that he was able to do it.[1] But man, at
the instigation of the devil,[2] in deliberate disobedience[3] robbed himself
and all his descendants of these gifts.[4]

[1] Gen. 1:31. [2] Gen. 3:13; John 8:44; I Tim. 2:13, 14. [3] Gen. 3:6. [4] Rom. 5:12, 18, 19.

10. Question: Will God allow such disobedience and apostasy to go unpunished?

Answer: Certainly not. He is terribly displeased with our original sin as well as our actual sins. Therefore He will punish them by a just judgment both now and eternally,[1] as He has declared:[2] Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them (Galatians 3:10).

[1] Ex. 34:7; Ps. 5:4-6; 7:10; Nah. 1:2; Rom. 1:18; 5:12; Eph. 5:6; Heb. 9:27. [2] Deut. 27:26.

11. Question: But is God not also merciful?

Answer: God is indeed merciful,[1] but He is also just.[2] His justice requires that sin committed against the most high majesty of God also be punished with the most severe, that is, with everlasting, punishment 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] Matt. 25:45,46.

The Cause of Our Sin and Misery

Gods GloryThe Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 3


6. Question: Did God, then, create man so wicked and perverse?

Answer: No, on the contrary, God created man good[1] and in His image,[2] that is, in true righteousness and holiness,[3] so 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. Question: From where, then, did man’s depraved nature come?

Answer: From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,[1] for there our nature became so corrupt[2] that we are all conceived and born in sin.[3]

[1] Gen. 3. [2] Rom. 5:12, 18, 19. [3] Ps. 51:5.


8. Question: But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil?

Answer: Yes,[1] unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.[2]

[1] Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Is. 53:6. [2] John 3:3-5.

Knowledge of Sin and Misery

Catechism1

The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 2


3.Question: From where do you know your sins and misery?

Answer: From the law of God.[1]

[1] Rom. 3: 20;


4. Question: What does God’s law require of us?

Answer: Christ teaches us this in a summary in Matthew 22: You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.[1] This is the great and first commandment. And a 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. Question: Can you keep all this perfectly?

Answer: No,[1] I am inclined by nature to hate God and my neighbor.[2]

[1] Rom. 3:10, 23; I John 1:8, 10. [2] Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 7:23; 8:7; Eph. 2:3; Tit. 3:3.

My Only Comfort in Life and Death

Catechism1The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 1


1. Question: What is your only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I am not my own,[1] but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death,[2] to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.[3] He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil.[5] He also preserves me in such a way[6] that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head;[7] indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.[8] Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life[9] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.[10]

[1] I Cor. 6:19, 20 [2] Rom. 14:7-9. [3] I Cor. 3:23; Tit. 2:14. [4] I Pet. 1:18, 19; I John 1:7; 2:2. [5] John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14, 15; I John 3:8. [6] John 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; II Thess. 3:3; I Pet. 1:5. [7] Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18. [8] Rom. 8:28. [9] Rom. 8:15, 16; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13, 14. [10] 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;[1] second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery;[2] third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.[3]

[1] Rom. 3:9, 10; I John 1:10. [2] John 17:3; Acts 4:12; 10:43. [3] Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 5:8-10; I Pet. 2:9, 10.