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The Heidelberg Catechism

The Sacraments

 

Lord's Day 25

 

65   Q.    You confess that by faith alone you share in Christ and all his blessings: where does that faith come from?

 

       A.    The Holy Spirit produces it in our hearts1

     by the preaching of the holy gospel,2

and confirms it

     through our use of the holy sacraments.3

 

1 John 3:5; 1 Cor. 2:10-14; Eph. 2:8

2 Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25

3 Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:16

 

66. Q.    What are sacraments?

 

       A.    Sacraments are holy signs and seals for us to see.

They were instituted by God so that

     by our use of them

he might make us understand more clearly

     the promise of the gospel,

and might put his seal on that promise.1

 

And this is God's gospel promise:

     to forgive our sins and give us eternal life

by grace alone

because of Christ's one sacrifice

finished on the cross.2

 

1 Gen. 17:11; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 4:11

2 Matt. 26:27-28; Acts 2:38; Heb. 10:10

 

67   Q.    Are both the word and the sacraments then intended to focus our faith on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?

 

       A.    Right!

              In the gospel the Holy Spirit teaches us

and through the holy sacraments he assures us

that our entire salvation

rests on Christ's one sacrifice for us on the cross.1

 

1 Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 11:26; Gal. 3:27

 

68   Q.    How many sacraments did Christ institute in the New Testament?

 

       A.    Two: baptism and the Lord's Supper.1

 

1 Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26

 

 

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