The Heidelberg Catechism

400px-Heidelberger_Katechismus_1563Turns out it’s not just us folk in the 21st century who have to break things down into smaller chunks to keep them in our heads! The Heidelberg Catechism, commissioned by Elector Frederick III back in the 16th century, has been used since those Reformation times to help believers through the ages to learn, dwell on and enjoy some of the richest teachings of the Christian faith. Pretty cool, huh? It’s handily arranged in a Q&A format, and full of juicy doctrine to make you marvel at who God is. Not my usual reading, but having been challenged to “keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds”, as C.S. Lewis put it, I’m branching out.

Here’s how it kicks off… if this doesn’t make you want to read on, I don’t know what will!

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

A. 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.

You can read the whole thing (all 129 questions!) online!

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