The Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism (HC) has been recognized as a simple, straightforward and faithful summary of the Christian faith. It is warm, personal, balanced, and Scripturally faithful. The genius of the HC is captured by the Latin phrase suavitur in modo, fortiter in re (“gentle in persuasion, powerful in substance”). The HC, written in 1563, has stood the test of time as a primer on the Christian faith. Its 129 questions and answers can be divided into three basic categories: sin, salvation, service. A favorite of many is HC Q&A 1 which begins on a note of the Christian’s comfort in life and in death.

At Phoenix United, we use the HC as a guide for discipling new believers, teaching children, instructing teens (theology and apologetics) and as an outline for preaching in our evening worship services.

If you are new to the HC, welcome! Read. Learn. Enjoy.

I. Lord's Day

  • Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
  • Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

THE FIRST PART--OF THE MISERY OF MAN

II. Lord's Day

  • Question 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?
  • Question 4. What doth the law of God require of us?
  • Question 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?

III. Lord's Day

  • Question 6. Did God then create man so wicked and perverse?
  • Question 7. Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature?
  • Question 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?

IV. Lord's Day

  • Question 9. Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in his low, that which he cannot perform?
  • Question 10. Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
  • Question 11. Is not God then also merciful?

THE SECOND PART--OF MAN'S DELIVERANCE

V. Lord's Day

  • Question 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserved temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favor?
  • Question 13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?
  • Question 14. Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?
  • Question 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?

VI. Lord's Day

  • Question 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?
  • Question 17. Why must he in one person be also very God?
  • Question 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, and a real righteous man?
  • Question 19. Whence knowest thou this?

VII. Lord's Day

VIII. Lord's Day

  • Question 24. How are these articles divided?
  • Question 25. Since there is but one only  divine essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

OF GOD THE FATHER

IX. Lord's Day

  • Question 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"?

X. Lord's Day

  • Question 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?
  • Question 28. What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence doth still uphold all things?

OF GOD THE SON

XI. Lord's Day

  • Question 29. Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is a Savior?
  • Question 30. Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?

XII. Lord's Day

XIII. Lord's Day

  • Question 33. Why is Christ called the only begotten Son of God, since we are also the children of God?
  • Question 34. Wherefore callest thou him our Lord?

XIV. Lord's Day

  • Question 35. What is the meaning of these words-"He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary"?
  • Question 36. What profit dost thou receive by Christ's holy conception and nativity?

XV. Lord's Day

  • Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, "He suffered"?
  • Question 38. Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge?
  • Question 39. Is there anything more in his being crucified, than if he had died some other death?

XVI. Lord's Day

  • Question 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even unto death?
  • Question 41. Why was he also "buried"?
  • Question 42. Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?
  • Question 43. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
  • Question 44. Why is there added, "he descended into hell"?

XVII. Lord's Day

  • Question 45. What doth the resurrection of Christ profit us?

XVIII. Lord's Day

  • Question 46. How dost thou understand these words, "he ascended into heaven"?
  • Question 47. Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as he hath promised?
  • Question 48. But if his human nature is not present wherever his Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?
  • Question 49. Of what advantage to us is Christ's ascension into heaven?

XIX. Lord's Day

  • Question 50. Why is it added, "and sitteth at the right hand of God"?
  • Question 51. What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?
  • Question 52. What comfort is it to thee that "Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead"?

OF GOD THE HOLY GHOST

XX. Lord's Day

  • Question 53. What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?

XXI. Lord's Day

  • Question 54. What believest thou concerning the "holy catholic church" of Christ?
  • Question 55. What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?
  • Question 56. What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?

XXII. Lord's Day

  • Question 57. What comfort doth the "resurrection of the body" afford thee?
  • Question 58. What comfort takest thou from the article of "life everlasting"?

XXIII. Lord's Day

  • Question 59. But what doth is profit thee now that thou believest all this?
  • Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?
  • Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?

XXIV. Lord's Day

  • Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?
  • Question 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
  • Question 64. But doth not this doctrine make men careless and profane?

OF THE SACRAMENTS

XXV. Lord's Day

  • Question 65. Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence doth this faith proceed?
  • Question 66. What are the sacraments?
  • Question 67. Are both word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?
  • Question 68. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?

OF HOLY BAPTISM

XXVI. Lord's Day

  • Question 69. How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?
  • Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
  • Question 71. Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?

XXVII. Lord's Day

  • Question 72. Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
  • Question 73. Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism "the washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of sins"?
  • Question 74. Are infants also to be baptized?

OF THE HOLY SUPPER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTXXVIII. Lord's Day

    • Question 75. How are thou admonished and assured in the Lord's Supper, that thou are a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?
    • Question 76. What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?
    • Question 77. Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and blood, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?

XXIX. Lord's Day

      • Question 78. Do then the bread and win become the very body and blood of Christ?
      • Question 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread his body, and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood; and Paul the "communion of the body and blood of Christ"?

XXX. Lord's Day

    • Question 80. What difference is there between the Lord's supper and the popish mass?
    • Question 81. For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?
    • Question 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?

THE THIRD PART--OF THANKFULNESS

XXXI. Lord's Day

  • Question 83. What are  the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
  • Question 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?
  • Question 85. How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian discipline?

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

XXXIII. Lord's Day

XXXIV. Lord's Day

XXXV. Lord's Day

  • Question 96. What doth God require in the second commandment?
  • Question 97. Are images then not at all to be made?
  • Question 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?

XXXVI. Lord's Day

  • Question 99. What is required in the third commandment?
  • 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 endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?

XXXVII. Lord's Day

  • Question 101. May we then swear religiously by the name of God?
  • Question 102. May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?

XXXVIII. Lord's Day

  • Question 103. What doth God require in the fourth commandment?

XXXIX. Lord's Day

  • Question 104. What doth God require in the fifth commandment?

XL. Lord's Day

  • Question 105. What doth God require in the sixth commandment?
  • Question 106. But this commandment seems only to speak of murder?
  • Question 107. But is it enough that we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above?

XLI. Lord's Day

  • Question 108. What doth the seventh commandment teach us?
  • Question 109. Doth God forbid in this commandment, only adultery, and such like gross sins?

XLII. Lord's Day

  • Question 110. What doth God forbid in the eighth commandment?
  • Question 111. But what doth God require in this commandment?

XLIII. Lord's Day

XLIV. Lord's Day

  • Question 113. What doth the tenth commandment require of us?
  • Question 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?
  • Question 115. Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?

OF PRAYER

XLV. Lord's Day

  • Question 116. Why is prayer necessary for christians?
  • Question 117. What are the requisites of that prayer, which is acceptable to God, and which he will hear?
  • Question 118. What hath God commanded us to ask of him?
  • Question 119. What are the words of that prayer?

XLVI. Lord's Day

  • Question 120. Why hath Christ commanded us to address God thus: "Our Father"?
  • Question 121. Why is it here added, "Which art in heaven"?

XLVII. Lord's Day

XLVIII. Lord's Day

XLIX. Lord's Day

L. Lord's Day

LI. Lord's Day

LII. Lord's Day