The Heidelberg Catechism
Lord's Day 09 (Q & A 26)
Lord's Day 10 (Q & A 27 28)

Part II: Deliverance: God the Father
Lord's Day 9
Q & A 26
Q. What do you believe when you say,
"I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth"?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who out of nothing created heaven and earth
and everything in them,^1
who still upholds and rules them
by his eternal counsel and providence,^2
is my God and Father
because of Christ his Son.^3

I trust him so much that I do not doubt
he will provide
whatever I need
for body and soul,^4
and he will turn to my good
whatever adversity he sends me
in this sad world.^5

He is able to do this because he is almighty God;^6
he desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.^7

^1 Gen. 1 & 2; Ex. 20:11; Ps. 33:6; Isa. 44:24; Acts 4:24; 14:15
^2 Ps. 104; Matt. 6:30; 10:29; Eph. 1:11
^3 John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 1:5
^4 Ps. 55:22; Matt. 6:25-26; Luke 12:22-31
^5 Rom. 8:28
^6 Gen. 18:14; Rom. 8:31-39
^7 Matt. 7:9-11

Lord's Day 10
Q & A 27
Q. What do you understand by the providence of God?

A. Providence is
the almighty and ever present power of God^1
by which he upholds, as with his hand,
heaven
and earth
and all creatures,^2
and so rules them that
leaf and blade,
rain and drought,
fruitful and lean years,
food and drink,
health and sickness,
prosperity and poverty—^3
all things, in fact, come to us
not by chance^4
but from his fatherly hand.^5

^1 Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28
^2 Heb. 1:3
^3 Jer. 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; John 9:3; Prov. 22:2
^4 Prov. 16:33
^5 Matt. 10:29

Q & A 28
Q. How does the knowledge
of God's creation and providence
help us?

A. We can be patient when things go against us,^1
thankful when things go well,^2
and for the future we can have
good confidence in our faithful God and Father
that nothing will separate us from his love.^3
All creatures are so completely in his hand
that without his will
they can neither move nor be moved.^4

^1 Job 1:21-22; James 1:3
^2 Deut. 8:10; 1 Thess. 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

Part II: Deliverance: God the Son
Lord's Day 11
Q & A 29
Q. Why is the Son of God called "Jesus,"
meaning "savior"?

A. Because he saves us from our sins.^1
Salvation cannot be found in anyone else;
it is futile to look for any salvation elsewhere.^2

^1 Matt. 1:21; Heb. 7:25
^2 Isa. 43:11; John 15:5; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 2:5

Q & A 30
Q. Do those who look for
their salvation and security
in saints, in themselves, or elsewhere
really believe in the only savior Jesus?

A. No.
Although they boast of being his,
by their deeds they deny
the only savior and deliverer, Jesus.^1

Either Jesus is not a perfect savior,
or those who in true faith accept this savior
have in him all they need for their salvation.^2

^1 1 Cor. 1:12-13; Gal. 5:4
^2 Col. 1:19-20; 2:10; 1 John 1:7

Lord's Day 12
Q & A 31
Q. Why is he called "Christ," meaning "anointed"?

A. Because he has been ordained by God the Father
and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit^1
to be
our chief prophet and teacher^2
who perfectly reveals to us
the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance;^3
our only high priest^4
who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body,^5
and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;^6
and our eternal king^7
who governs us by his Word and Spirit,
and who guards us and keeps us
in the freedom he has won for us.^8

^1 Luke 3:21-22; 4:14-19 (Isa. 61:1); Heb. 1:9 (Ps. 45:7)
^2 Acts 3:22 (Deut. 18:15)
^3 John 1:18; 15:15
^4 Heb. 7:17 (Ps. 110:4)
^5 Heb. 9:12; 10:11-14
^6 Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24
^7 Matt. 21:5 (Zech. 9:9)
^8 Matt. 28:18-20; John 10:28; Rev. 12:10-11

Q & A 32
Q. But why are you called a Christian?

A. Because by faith I am a member of Christ^1
and so I share in his anointing.^2
I am anointed
to confess his name,^3
to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks,^4
to strive with a good conscience against sin and the devil
in this life,^5
and afterward to reign with Christ
over all creation
for all eternity.^6

^1 1 Cor. 12:12-27
^2 Acts 2:17 (Joel 2:28); 1 John 2:27
^3 Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 13:15
^4 Rom. 12:1; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9
^5 Gal. 5:16-17; Eph. 6:11; 1 Tim. 1:18-19
^6 Matt. 25:34; 2 Tim. 2:12

Lord's Day 13
Q & A 33
Q. Why is he called God's "only Son"
when we also are God's children?

A. Because Christ alone is the eternal, natural Son of God.^1
We, however, are adopted children of God—
adopted by grace through Christ.^2

^1 John 1:1-3, 14, 18; Heb. 1
^2 John 1:12; Rom. 8:14-17; Eph. 1:5-6

Q & A 34
Q. Why do you call him "our Lord"?

A. Because—
not with gold or silver,
but with his precious blood—^1
he has set us free
from sin and from the tyranny of the devil,^2
and has bought us,
body and soul,
to be his very own.^3

^1 1 Pet. 1:18-19
^2 Col. 1:13-14; Heb. 2:14-15
^3 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Tim. 2:5-6

Lord's Day 14
Q & A 35
Q. What does it mean that he
"was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary"?

A. That the eternal Son of God,
who is and remains
true and eternal God,^1
took to himself,
through the working of the Holy Spirit,^2
from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,^3
a truly human nature
so that he might become David's true descendant,^4
like his brothers in every way^5
except for sin.^6

^1 John 1:1; 10:30-36; Acts 13:33 (Ps. 2:7); Col. 1:15-17; 1 John 5:20
^2 Luke 1:35
^3 Matt. 1:18-23; John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 2:14
^4 2 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 132:11; Matt. 1:1; Rom. 1:3
^5 Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:17
^6 Heb. 4:15; 7:26-27

Q & A 36
Q. How does the holy conception and birth of Christ
benefit you?

A. He is our mediator,^1
and with his innocence and perfect holiness
he removes from God's sight
my sin—mine since I was conceived.^2

^1 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 9:13-15
^2 Rom. 8:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 4:4-5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19

Lord's Day 15
Q & A 37
Q. What do you understand
by the word "suffered"?

A. That during his whole life on earth,
but especially at the end,
Christ sustained
in body and soul
the anger of God against the sin of the whole human race.^1

This he did in order that,
by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,^2
he might set us free, body and soul,
from eternal condemnation,^3
and gain for us
God's grace,
righteousness,
and eternal life.^4

^1 Isa. 53; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18
^2 Rom. 3:25; Heb. 10:14; 1 John 2:2; 4:10
^3 Rom. 8:1-4; Gal. 3:13
^4 John 3:16; Rom. 3:24-26

Q & A 38
Q. Why did he suffer
"under Pontius Pilate" as judge?

A. So that he,
though innocent,
might be condemned by a civil judge,^1
and so free us from the severe judgment of God
that was to fall on us.^2

^1 Luke 23:13-24; John 19:4, 12-16
^2 Isa. 53:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13

Q & A 39
Q. Is it significant
that he was "crucified"
instead of dying some other way?

A. Yes.
This death convinces me
that he shouldered the curse
which lay on me,
since death by crucifixion was accursed by God.^1

^1 Gal. 3:10-13 (Deut. 21:23)

Lord's Day 16
Q & A 40
Q. Why did Christ have to go all the way to death?

A. Because God's justice and truth demand it:^1
only the death of God's Son could pay for our sin.^2

^1 Gen. 2:17
^2 Rom. 8:3-4; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 2:9

Q & A 41
Q. Why was he "buried"?

A. His burial testifies
that he really died.^1

^1 Isa. 53:9; John 19:38-42; Acts 13:29; 1 Cor. 15:3-4

Q & A: 42
Q. Since Christ has died for us,
why do we still have to die?

A. Our death does not pay the debt of our sins.^1
Rather, it puts an end to our sinning
and is our entrance into eternal life.^2

^1 Ps. 49:7
^2 John 5:24; Phil. 1:21-23; 1 Thess. 5:9-10

Q & A 43
Q. What further advantage do we receive
from Christ's sacrifice and death on the cross?
A. Through Christ's death
our old selves are crucified, put to death, and buried with him,^1
so that the evil desires of the flesh
may no longer rule us,^2
but that instead we may dedicate ourselves
as an offering of gratitude to him.^3

^1 Rom. 6:5-11; Col. 2:11-12
^2 Rom. 6:12-14
^3 Rom. 12:1; Eph. 5:1-2

Q & A 44
Q. Why does the creed add,
"He descended to hell"?

A. To assure me in times of personal crisis and temptation
that Christ my Lord,
by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul,
especially on the cross but also earlier,
has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell.^1

^1 Isa. 53; Matt. 26:36-46; 27:45-46; Luke 22:44; Heb. 5:7-10

Lord's Day 17
Q & A 45
Q. How does Christ's resurrection
benefit us?

A. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death,
so that he might make us share in the righteousness
he won for us by his death.^1

Second, by his power we too
are already now resurrected to a new life.^2

Third, Christ's resurrection
is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.^3

^1 Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:16-20; 1 Pet. 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; Phil. 3:20-21

Lord's Day 18
Q & A 46
Q. What do you mean by saying,
"He ascended to heaven"?

A. That Christ,
while his disciples watched,
was lifted up from the earth to heaven^1
and will be there for our good^2
until he comes again
to judge the living and the dead.^3

^1 Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11
^2 Rom. 8:34; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 7:23-25; 9:24
^3 Acts 1:11

Q & A 47
Q. But isn't Christ with us
until the end of the world
as he promised us?^1

A. Christ is truly human and truly God.
In his human nature Christ is not now on earth;^2
but in his divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit
he is not absent from us for a moment.^3

^1 Matt. 28:20
^2 Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21
^3 Matt. 28:18-20; John 14:16-19

Q & A 48
Q. If his humanity is not present
wherever his divinity is,
then aren't the two natures of Christ
separated from each other?

A. Certainly not.
Since divinity
is not limited
and is present everywhere,^1
it is evident that
Christ's divinity is surely beyond the bounds of
the humanity he has taken on,
but at the same time his divinity is in
and remains personally united to
his humanity.^2

^1 Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 7:48-49 (Isa. 66:1)
^2 John 1:14; 3:13; Col. 2:9

Q & A 49
Q. How does Christ's ascension to heaven
benefit us?

A. First, he pleads our cause
in heaven
in the presence of his Father.^1

Second, we have our own flesh in heaven—
a guarantee that Christ our head
will take us, his members,
to himself in heaven.^2

Third, he sends his Spirit to us on earth
as a further guarantee.^3
By the Spirit's power
we make the goal of our lives,
not earthly things,
but the things above where Christ is,
sitting at God's right hand.^4

^1 Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1
^2 John 14:2; 17:24; Eph. 2:4-6
^3 John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5
^4 Col. 3:1-4

Lord's Day 19
Q & A 50
Q. Why the next words:
"and is seated at the right hand of God"?

A. Christ ascended to heaven,
there to show that he is head of his church,^1
and that the Father rules all things through him.^2

^1 Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:18
^2 Matt. 28:18; John 5:22-23

Q & A 51
Q. How does this glory of Christ our head
benefit us?

A. First, through his Holy Spirit
he pours out his gifts from heaven
upon us his members.^1

Second, by his power
he defends us and keeps us safe
from all enemies.^2

^1 Acts 2:33; Eph. 4:7-12
^2 Ps. 110:1-2; John 10:27-30; Rev. 19:11-16

Q & A 52
Q. How does Christ's return
"to judge the living and the dead"
comfort you?

A. In all my distress and persecution
I turn my eyes to the heavens
and confidently await as judge the very One
who has already stood trial in my place before God
and so has removed the whole curse from me.^1
All his enemies and mine
he will condemn to everlasting punishment:
but me and all his chosen ones
he will take along with him
into the joy and the glory of heaven.^2

^1 Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:22-25; Phil. 3:20-21; Tit. 2:13-14
^2 Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:6-10

Lord's Day 20
Q & A 53
Q. What do you believe
concerning "the Holy Spirit"?

A. First, he, as well as the Father and the Son,
is eternal God.^1

Second, he has been given to me personally,^2
so that, by true faith,
he makes me share in Christ and all his blessings,^3
comforts me,^4
and remains with me forever.^5

^1 Gen. 1:1-2; Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4
^2 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Gal. 4:6
^3 Gal. 3:14
^4 John 15:26; Acts 9:31
^5 John 14:16-17; 1 Pet. 4:14

Lord's Day 21
Q & A 54
Q. What do you believe
concerning "the holy catholic church"?

A. I believe that the Son of God
through his Spirit and Word,^1
out of the entire human race,^2
from the beginning of the world to its end,^3
gathers, protects, and preserves for himself
a community chosen for eternal life^4
and united in true faith.^5
And of this community I am^6 and always will be^7
a living member.

^1 John 10:14-16; Acts 20:28; Rom. 10:14-17; Col. 1:18
^2 Gen. 26:3b-4; Rev. 5:9
^3 Isa. 59:21; 1 Cor. 11:26
^4 Matt. 16:18; John 10:28-30; Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-14
^5 Acts 2:42-47; Eph. 4:1-6
^6 1 John 3:14, 19-21
^7 John 10:27-28; 1 Cor. 1:4-9; 1 Pet. 1:3-5

Q & A 55
Q. What do you understand by
"the communion of saints"?

A. First, that believers one and all,
as members of this community,
share in Christ
and in all his treasures and gifts.^1

Second, that each member
should consider it a duty
to use these gifts
readily and cheerfully
for the service and enrichment
of the other members.^2

^1 Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 6:17; 12:4-7, 12-13; 1 John 1:3
^2 Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:20-27; 13:1-7; Phil. 2:4-8

Q & A: 56
Q. What do you believe
concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?

A. I believe that God,
because of Christ's atonement,
will never hold against me
any of my sins^1
nor my sinful nature
which I need to struggle against all my life.^2

Rather, in his grace
God grants me the righteousness of Christ
to free me forever from judgment.^3

^1 Ps. 103:3-4, 10, 12; Mic. 7:18-19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; 1 John 1:7; 2:2
^2 Rom. 7:21-25
^3 John 3:17-18; Rom. 8:1-2

Lord's Day 22
Q & A 57
Q. How does "the resurrection of the body"
comfort you?

A. Not only my soul
will be taken immediately after this life
to Christ its head,^1
but even my very flesh, raised by the power of Christ,
will be reunited with my soul
and made like Christ's glorious* body.^2

^1 Luke 23:43; Phil. 1:21-23
^2 1 Cor. 15:20, 42-46, 54; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2

Q & A 58
Q. How does the article
concerning "life everlasting"
comfort you?

A. Even as I already now
experience in my heart
the beginning of eternal joy,^1
so after this life I will have
perfect blessedness such as
no eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no human heart has ever imagined:
a blessedness in which to praise God eternally.^2

^1 Rom. 14:17
^2 John 17:3; 1 Cor. 2:9
*The first edition had here the German word for "holy." This was later corrected to the German word for "glorious."

Lord's Day 23
Q & A 59
Q. What good does it do you, however,
to believe all this?

A. In Christ I am right with God
and heir to life everlasting.^1

^1 John 3:36; Rom. 1:17 (Hab. 2:4); Rom. 5:1-2

Q & A: 60
Q. How are you right with God?

A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.^1

Even though my conscience accuses me
of having grievously sinned against all God's commandments
and of never having kept any of them,^2
and even though I am still inclined toward all evil,^3
nevertheless,
without my deserving it at all,^4
out of sheer grace,^5
God grants and credits to me
the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,^6
as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner,
as if I had been as perfectly obedient
as Christ was obedient for me.^7

All I need to do
is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.^8

^1 Rom. 3:21-28; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil 3:8-11
^2 Rom. 3:9-10
^3 Rom. 7:23
^4 Tit. 3:4-5
^5 Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8
^6 Rom. 4:3-5 (Gen. 15:6); 2 Cor. 5:17-19; 1 John 2:1-2
^7 Rom. 4:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:21
^8 John 3:18; Acts 16:30-31

Q & A 61
Q. Why do you say that
by faith alone
you are right with God?


A. It is not because of any value my faith has
that God is pleased with me.
Only Christ's satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness
make me right with God.^1
And I can receive this righteousness and make it mine
in no other way than
by faith alone.^2

^1 1 Cor. 1:30-31
^2 Rom. 10:10; 1 John 5:10-12

Lord's Day 24
Q & A 62
Q. Why can't the good we do
make us right with God,
or at least help make us right with him?

A. Because the righteousness
which can pass God's scrutiny
must be entirely perfect
and must in every way measure up to the divine law.^1
Even the very best we do in this life
is imperfect
and stained with sin.^2

^1 Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:10 (Deut. 27:26)
^2 Isa. 64:6

Q & A 63
Q. How can you say that the good we do
doesn't earn anything
when God promises to reward it
in this life and the next?^1

A. This reward is not earned;
it is a gift of grace.^2

^1 Matt. 5:12; Heb. 11:6
^2 Luke 17:10; 2 Tim. 4:7-8

Q & A 64
Q. But doesn't this teaching
make people indifferent and wicked?
A. No.
It is impossible
for those grafted into Christ by true faith
not to produce fruits of gratitude.^1

^1 Luke 6:43-45; John 15:5