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The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 21

 

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 life4

          and united in true faith.5

And of this community I am6 and always will be7

     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

 

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 his 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

 

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 sins1

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  

 

 

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