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The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 24


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


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


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  



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