Heidelberg Catechism

  1. 1 - What is your only comfort in life and in death?
    That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul,in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my headwithout the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him,Christ, by his Holy Spirit,assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
  2. 2 - What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
    Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.
  3. 3 - How do you come to know your misery?
    The law of God tells me.
  4. 4 - What does God's law require of us?
    Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22— Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
  5. 5 - Can you live up to all this perfectly?
    No. I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.
  6. 6 -Did God create people so wicked and perverse?
    No. God created them good and in his own image, that is, in true righteousness and holiness, so that they might truly know God their creator, love him with all their heart, and live with him in eternal happiness or his praise and glory.
  7. 7 - Then where does this corrupt human nature come from?
    From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise. This fall has so poisoned our nature that we are born sinners—corrupt from conception on.
  8. 8 - But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined toward all evil?
    Yes, unless we are born again, by the Spirit of God.
  9. 9 - But doesn't God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do?
    No, God created humans with the ability to keep the law. They, however, tempted by the devil, in reckless disobedience, robbed themselves and all their descendants of these gifts.
  10. 10 - Will God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
    Certainly not. He is terribly angry about the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit. As a just judge he punishes them now and in eternity. He has declared: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.
  11. 11 - But isn't God also merciful?
    God is certainly merciful, but he is also just. His justice demands that sin, committed against his supreme majesty, be punished with the supreme penalty— eternal punishment of body and soul.
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Heidelberg Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism