Introduction If you believe in Jesus, you share in all his benefits, said the catechism. But what are those benefits? What things do you get from God when you are a believer? There are many such things; the Apostles’ Creed mentions three, and on top of the list is the forgiveness of sins. The Heidelberg … Continue reading Forgiven! (LD 21, q&a 56)
Introduction In the last several lessons we discussed the identity of our Redeemer. He is Jesus, Saviour; he is Christ, the Anointed One; he is the only-begotten Son of the Father, and he is our Lord. As we continue along in the Apostles’ Creed, we now discuss his work and life. Traditionally, we divide the … Continue reading Heaven and earth meet (LD 14, q&a 35-36)
In the old King James Bible, Isaiah 45:7 read: “I [the LORD] create evil.” The Hebrew word for “evil”, ra`, means “bad” in a broad sense. Modern Bible versions tend to narrow it down by translating “adversity”, “calamity”, etc. But what about morally bad things? Does God have a hand in wickedness? Did he create … Continue reading Does God create evil?
Introduction Conclusion Questions Reading/listening questions Discussion questions In what way are we like Adam and Eve before their fall? In what way are we different?How do we learn to sin?Is it fair to say that we are “totally unable to do any good”?How does this teaching of “original sin” and “total depravity” help us when … Continue reading Our corruption (LD 3, q&a 7-8)
Following the teaching of the Bible, we confess that we are sinners from the very beginning of our lives. It is important to know this because it proves our deep need for a Saviour. We speak of original sin, or inherited sin, because our sinfulness can be traced back to Adam. But this raises the … Continue reading The transmission of sin
Introduction I am not able to keep God’s law perfectly. Without my saviour, I am a miserable sinner, in the power of the devil. This is true for me, for you, for all people. I am inclined by nature to hate God and my neighbour. That was the teaching of Lord’s Day 2—see the previous … Continue reading The image of God (LD 3, q&a 6)
Introduction “What do you need in order to know to live and to die in the joy of the comfort that you belong to Jesus?” The catechism asked this in q&a 2. Its answer was: “First, how great my sins and misery are.” Only if we know how miserable we would be without Jesus, can … Continue reading The law of love (LD 2, q&a 3-5)
The law should drive us to Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation. “The law is a kind of mirror,” wrote John Calvin (Inst. 2.7.7). In the light of its perfection we see our sin and failure. The church father Augustine wrote: “If the Spirit of grace is absent, the law is present only … Continue reading The three “uses of the law”