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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 21

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 21

54.
Q. What do you believe concerning the “Holy Catholic Church”?
A. I believe that, from the beginning to the end of the world, and from among the whole human race, the Son of God, by his Spirit and his Word, gathers, protects, and preserves for himself, in the unity of the true faith, a congregation chosen for eternal life. Moreover, I believe that I am and forever will remain a living member of it.

55.
Q. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?
A. First, that believers one and all, as partakers of the Lord Christ, and all his treasures and gifts, shall share in one fellowship. Second, that each one ought to know that he is obliged to use his gifts freely and with joy for the benefit and welfare of other members.

56.
Q. What do you believe concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?
A. That, for the sake of Christ’s reconciling work, God will no more remember my sins or the sinfulness with which I have to struggle all my life long; but that he graciously imparts to me the righteousness of Christ so that I may never come into condemnation.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 20

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 20

53.
Q. What do you believe concerning the “Holy Spirit”?
A. First, that, with the Father and the Son, he is equally eternal God; second, that God’s Spirit is also given to me, preparing me through a true faith to share in Christ and all his benefits, that he comforts me and will abide with me forever.


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On Needing Resurrection Power To Endure Suffering

In John 13 Jesus tells Peter “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Jesus is speaking of his death on the cross and the resurrection life that will be shared as a result.
Peter will learn that his own suffering would consume him without resurrection life within him.

Paul speaks of this in Philippians 3 when he writes in verse 10 “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”.
Jesus suffers, and is resurrected.
Because of his suffering and resurrection, for Jesus’ disciples the order is reversed.
We know the power of his resurrection, and because of that we are able to endure the sufferings that follow.

We could not endure going where he went, until he had first gone there alone.
Having gone and triumphed, we can now go there in his power.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 19

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 19

50.
Q. Why is there added: “And sits at the right hand of God”?
A. Because Christ ascended into heaven so that he might manifest himself there as the Head of his Church, through whom the Father governs all things.

51.
Q. What benefit do we receive from this glory of Christ, our Head?
A. First, that through his Holy Spirit he pours out heavenly gifts upon us, his members. Second, that by his power he defends and supports us against all our enemies.

52.
Q. What comfort does the return of Christ “to judge the living and the dead” give you?
A. That in all affliction and persecution I may await with head held high the very Judge from heave who has already submitted himself to the judgment of God for me and has removed all the curse from me; that he will cast all his enemies and mine into everlasting condemnation, but he shall take me, together with all his elect, to himself into heavenly joy and glory.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 18

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 18

46.
Q. How do you understand the words: “He ascended into heaven”?
A. That Christ was taken up from the earth into heaven before the eyes of his disciples and remains there on our behalf until he comes again to judge the living and the dead.

47.
Q. Then, is not Christ with us unto the end of the world, as he has promised us?
A. Christ is true man and true God. As a man he is no longer on earth, but in his divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit, he is never absent from us.

48.
Q. But are not the two natures in Christ separated from each other in this way, if the humanity is not wherever the divinity is?
A. Not at all; for since divinity is incomprehensible and everywhere present, it must follow that the divinity is indeed beyond the bounds of the humanity which it assumed, and is nonetheless ever in that humanity as well, and remains personally united to it.

49.
Q. What benefit do we receive from Christ’s ascension into heaven?
A. First, that he is our Advocate in the presence of his Father in heaven. Second, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he, as the Head, will also take us, his members, up to himself. Third, the he sends us his Spirit as a counterpledge by whose power we seek what is above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God, and not things that are on earth.


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The Character Of Jesus Revealed On The Cross (via Fleming Rutledge)

Fleming Rutledge on Jesus’ remaining completely in character while on the cross.
And what a character it is.

Jesus waging a battle on the cross. The whole business of the two thrives dramatises the intensity of his struggle to absorb into himself the malice of those who were reviling him, while at the same time turning his attention toward the one who was looking for a work of redemption. Jesus, in his death as in his life, was entirely directed to the ultimate welfare of others. His entire ministry was directed outward from himself. The kinds of things that preoccupy you and me apparently did not enter his mind. Things like, how am I doing, did I get enough praise today, does that person appreciate me, is that other person over there getting ahead of me, am I slipping behind, am I letting people walk over me – these kinds of things had no hold on him. He was so utterly secure in himself that he was free for others in a way we can scarcely imagine. Therefore, it is exactly in character for him even in the midst of his agony to be mindful of the criminal hanging nearby. Such a thing appears to have been in his nature.

Fleming Rutledge, The Seven Last Words From The Cross, Eerdmans, 2005, p. 75.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

45.
Q. What benefit do we receive from “the resurrection” of Christ?
A. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death that he might make us share in the righteousness which he has obtained for us through his death. Second, we too are now raised by his power to a new life. Third, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection.