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The Blue Letter Bible

Heidelberg Catechism of 1563: The Third Part - Of Thankfulness

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32nd Lord’ Day

Question 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?

Answer: Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude to God for his blessings,a and that he may be praised by us;b also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith,c by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ.d

(a) Rom 6:13; Rom 12:1-2; 1Pe 2:5; 1Pe 2:9-10; 1Co 6:20
(b) Mat 5:16; 1Pe 2:12; 1Pe 1:6-7;
(c) 2Pe 1:10; Mat 7:17; Gal 5:6; Gal 5:22-23;
(d) 1Pe 3:1-2; Rom 14:19

Question 87. Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?

Answer: By no means; for the holy scripture declares that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.a

(a) 1Co 6:9-10; Eph 5:5-6; 1Jo 3:14

33rd Lord’ Day

Question 88. Of how many parts does the true conversion of man consist?

Answer: Of two parts; of the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man.a

(a) Rom 6:1; Rom 6:4-6; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10; 1Co 5:7; 2Co 7:10

Question 89. What is the mortification of the old man?

Answer: It is a sincere sorrow of heart, that we have provoked God by our sins; and more and more to hate and flee from them.a

(a) Rom 8:13; Joe 2:13; Hsa 6:1

Question 90. What is the quickening of the new man?

Answer: It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ,a and with love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works.b

(a) Rom 5:1; Rom 14:17; Isa 57:15
(b) Rom 6:10-11; Gal 2:20

Question 91. But what are good works?

Answer: Only those which proceed from a true faith,a are performed according to the law of God,b and to his glory;c and not such as are founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.d

(a) Rom 14:23
(b) Lev 18:4; 1Sa 15:22; Eph 2:10
(c) 1Co 10:31
(d) Deu 12:32; Eze 20:18-19; Isa 29:13 Mat 15:7-9

34th Lord’s Day

Question 92. What is the law of God?

Answer: God spake all these words, Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, saying:

  • I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
  • 1st commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  • 2nd commandment: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth Gen ration of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  • 3rd commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  • 4th commandment: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  • 5th commandment: Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
  • 6th commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
  • 7th commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • 8th commandment: Thou shalt not steal.
  • 9th commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  • 10th commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Question 93. How are these commandments divided?

Answer: Into two tables;a the first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbour.b

(a) Exd 34:28; Deu 4:13; Deu 10:3-4
(b) Mat 22:37-40

Question 94. What does God enjoin in the first commandment?

Answer: That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry,a sorcery, soothsaying, superstition,b invocation of saints, or any other creatures;c and learn rightly to know the only true God;d trust in him alone,e with humilityf and patience submit to him;g expect all good things from him only;h love,i fear,j and glorify him with my whole heart;k so that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than commit even the least thing contrary to his will.l

(a) 1Jo 5:21; 1Co 6:9-10; 1Co 10:7; 1Co 10:14
(b) Lev 19:31; Deu 18:9; Deu 18:10-12
(c) Mat 4:10; Rev 19:10; Rev 22:8-9
(d) Jhn 17:3
(e) Jer 17:5; Jer 17:7
(f) 1Pe 5:5-6
(g) Hbr 10:36; Col 1:11; Rom 5:3-4; 1Co 10:10; Phl 2:14
(h) Psa 104:27-30; Isa 45:7; Jam 1:17
(i) Deu 6:5; Mat 22:37
(j) Deu 6:2; Psa 111:10; Pro 1:7; Pro 9:10; Mat 10:28
(k) Mat 4:10; Deu 10:20-21;
(l) Mat 5:29-30; Mat 10:37; Act 5:29

Question 95. What is idolatry?

Answer: Idolatry is, instead of, or besides that one true God, who has manifested himself in his word, to contrive, or have any other object, in which men place their trust.a

(a) Eph 5:5; 1Ch 16:26; Phl 3:19; Gal 4:8; Eph 2:12; 1Jo 2:23; 2Jo 1:9; Jhn 5:23

35th Lord’s Day

Question 96. What does God require in the second commandment?

Answer: That we in no wise represent God by images,a nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word.b

(a) Deu 4:15-19; Isa 40:18-25; Rom 1:23-24; Act 17:29;
(b) 1Sa 15:23; Deu 12:30-32; Mat 15:9

Question 97. Are images then not at all to be made?

Answer: God neither can, nor may be represented by any means:a but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them or to serve God by them.b

(a) Isa 40:25
(b) Exd 23:24-25; Exd 34:13-14; Exd 34:17; Num 33:52; Deu 7:5; Deu 12:3; Deu 16:21; 2Ki 18:3-4

Question 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?

Answer: No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people taught, not by dumb images,a but by the lively preaching of his word.b

(a) Jer 10:8; Hab 2:18-19
(b) Rom 10:14-15; Rom 10:17; 2Pe 1:19; 2Ti 3:16-17

36th Lord’ Day

Question 99. What is required in the third commandment?

Answer: That we, not only by cursinga or perjury,b but also by rash swearing,c must not profane or abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others;d and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence;e so that he may be rightly confessedf and worshipped by us,g and be glorified in all our words and works.h

(a) Lev 24:11-16
(b) Lev 19:12
(c) Mat 5:37; Jam 5:12
(d) Lev 5:1; Pro 29:24
(e) Jer 4:2; Isa 45:23
(f) Rom 10:9-10; Mat 10:32
(g) Psa 50:15; 1Ti 2:8
(h) Rom 2:24; 1Ti 6:1; Col 3:16-17

Question 100. Is then the profaning of God’s name, by swearing and cursing, so heinous a sin, that his wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavour, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?

Answer: It undoubtedly is,a for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning of his name; and therefore he has commanded this sin to be punished with death.b

(a) Pro 29:24; Lev 5:1
(b) Lev 24:15-16

37th Lord’ Day

Question 101. May we then swear religiously by the name of God?

Answer: Yes: either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm a fidelity and truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbour: for such an oath is founded on God’s word,a and therefore was justly used by the saints, both in the Old and New Testament.b

(a) Deu 6:13; Deu 10:20; Isa 48:1; Hbr 6:16
(b) Gen 21:24; Gen 31:53-54; Jos 9:15; Jos 9:19; 1Sa 24:22; 2Sa 3:35; 1Ki 1:28-30; Rom 1:9; 2Co 1:23

Question 102. May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?

Answer: No; for a lawful oath is calling upon God, as the only one who knows the heart, that he will bear witness to the truth, and punish me if I swear falsely;a which honour is due to no creature.b

(a) 2Co 1:23; Rom 9:1
(b) Mat 5:34-36; Jam 5:12

38th Lord’ Day

Question 103. What does God require in the fourth commandment?

Answer: First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained;a and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest, diligently frequent the church of God,b to hear his word,c to use the sacraments,d publicly to call upon the Lord,e and contribute to the relief of the poor.f Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by his Holy Spirit in me: and thus begin in this life the eternal sabbath.g

(a) Tts 1:5; 2Ti 3:14-15; 1Ti 5:17; 1Co 9:11; 1Co 9:13-14; 2Ti 2:2
(b) Psa 40:10-11; Psa 68:27; Act 2:42; Act 2:46
(c) 1Ti 4:13; 1Co 14:19; 1Co 14:29; 1Co 14:31
(d) 1Co 11:33
(e) 1Ti 2:1-3; 1Ti 2:8-11; 1Co 14:16
(f) 1Co 16:2
(g) Isa 66:23

39th Lord’ Day

Question 104. What does God require in the fifth commandment?

Answer: That I show all honour, love and fidelity, to my father and mother, and all in authority over me, and submit myself to their good instruction and correction, with due obedience;a and also patiently bear with their weaknesses and infirmities,b since it pleases God to govern us by their hand.c

(a) Eph 5:22; Eph 6:1-5; Col 3:18; Col 3:20-24; Pro 1:8; Pro 4:1; Pro 15:20; Pro 20:20; Exd 21:17; Rom 13:1-7
(b) Pro 23:22; Gen 9:24-25; 1Pe 2:18
(c) Eph 6:4; Eph 6:9; Col 3:19-21; Rom 13:2-3; Mat 22:21

40th Lord’ Day

Question 105. What does God require in the sixth commandment?

Answer: That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonour, hate, wound, or kill my neighbour, by myself or by another:a but that I lay aside all desire of revenge:b also, that I hurt not myself, nor wilfully expose myself to any danger.c Wherefore also the magistrate is armed with the sword, to prevent murder.d

(a) Mat 5:21-22; Mat 26:52; Gen 9:6
(b) Eph 4:26; Rom 12:19; Mat 5:25; Mat 18:35
(c) Rom 13:14; Col 2:23; Mat 4:7
(d) Gen 9:6; Exd 21:14; Mat 26:52; Rom 13:4

Question 106. But this commandment seems only to speak of murder?

Answer: In forbidding murder, God teaches us, that he abhors the causes thereof, such as envy,a hatred,b anger,c and desire of revenge; and that he accounts all these as murder.d

(a) Pro 14:30; Rom 1:29
(b) 1Jo 2:9; 1Jo 2:11
(c) Jam 1:20; Gal 5:19-21
(d) 1Jo 3:15

Question 107. But is it enough that we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above?

Answer: No: for when God forbids envy, hatred, and anger, he commands us to love our neighbour as ourselves;a to show patience, peace, meekness, mercy, and all kindness, towards him,b and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies;c and that we do good, even to our enemies.d

(a) Mat 7:12; Mat 22:39 Rom 12:10
(b) Eph 4:2; Gal 6:1-2; Mat 5:5; Mat 5:7; Mat 5:9; Rom 12:18; Luk 6:36; 1Pe 3:8; Col 3:12; Rom 12:10; Rom 12:15
(c) Exd 23:5
(d) Mat 5:44-45; Rom 12:20-21

41st Lord’ Day

Question 108. What does the seventh commandment teach us?

Answer: That all uncleanness is accursed of God:a and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same,b and live chastely and temperately,c whether in holy wedlock, or in single life.d

(a) Lev 18:27-28
(b) Jud 1:23
(c) 1Th 4:3-5
(d) Hbr 13:4; 1Co 7:7-9; 1Co 7:27

Question 109. Does God forbid in this commandment, only adultery, and such like gross sins?

Answer: Since both our body and soul are temples of the holy Ghost, he commands us to preserve them pure and holy: therefore he forbids all unchaste actions, gestures, words,a thoughts, desires,b and whatever can entice men thereto.c

(a) Eph 5:3-4; 1Co 6:18-20
(b) Mat 5:27-28
(c) Eph 5:18; 1Co 15:33

42nd Lord’ Day

Question 110. What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?

Answer: God forbids not only those thefts,a and robberies,b which are punishable by the magistrate; but he comprehends under the name of theft all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we design to appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbour:c whether it be by force, or under the appearance of right, as by unjust weights, ells, measures, fraudulent merchandise,d false coins, usury,e or by any other way forbidden by God; as also all covetousness,f all abuse and waste of his gifts.g

(a) 1Co 6:10
(b) 1Co 5:10; Isa 33:1
(c) Luk 3:14; 1Th 4:6
(d) Pro 11:1; Pro 16:11; Eze 45:9-12; Deu 25:13-16
(e) Psa 15:5; Luk 6:35
(f) 1Co 6:10
(g) Pro 23:20-21 Pro 21:20

Question 111. But what does God require in this commandment?

Answer: That I promote the advantage of my neighbour in every instance I can or may; and deal with him as I desire to be dealt with by others:a further also that I faithfully labour, so that I may be able to relieve the needy.b

(a) Mat 7:12
(b) Eph 4:28

43rd Lord’ Day

Question 112. What is required in the ninth commandment?

Answer: That I bear false witness against no man,a nor falsify any man’s words;b that I be no backbiter, nor slanderer;c that I do not judge, nor join in condemning any man rashly, or unheard;d but that I avoid all sorts of lies and deceit, as the proper works of the devil,e unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God;f likewise, that in judgment and all other dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly and confess it;g also that I defend and promote, as much as I am able, the horror and good character of my neighbour.h

(a) Pro 19:5; Pro 19:9; Pro 21:28
(b) Psa 15:3; Psa 50:19-20
(c) Rom 1:29-30
(d) Mat 7:1-2; Luk 6:37
(e) Jhn 8:44
(f) Pro 12:22; Pro 13:5
(g) 1Co 13:6; Eph 4:25
(h) 1Pe 4:8

44th Lord’ Day

Question 113. What does the tenth commandment require of us?

Answer: That even the smallest inclination or thought, contrary to any of God’s commandments, never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness.a

(a) Rom 7:7

Question 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?

Answer: No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience;a yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all the commandments of God.b

(a) 1Jo 1:8-10; Rom 7:14-15; Ecc 7:20; 1Co 13:9
(b) Rom 7:22; Psa 1:2; Jam 2:10

Question 115. Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?

Answer: First, that all our lifetime we may learn more and more to knowa our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the remission of sin, and righteousness in Christ;b likewise, that we constantly endeavour and pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us, in a life to come.c

(a) Rom 3:20; 1Jo 1:9; Psa 32:5
(b) Mat 5:6; Rom 7:24-25
(c) 1Co 9:24; Phl 3:11-14

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