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THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM

1563

 
Introduction:

On this page we present this catechism because it asks and answers some great questions with very good responses. We present this catechism to help you grow in your faith and to help you develop better responses for when unbelievers ask you tough questions. we do not suggest that you use these answers word for word but let the Holy Spirit guide you in what you should learn and use.

We hope you will use this information wisely, including teaching your children about their faith. This information was taken from the Ages Christian Library Series, Vol. 18 titled Classic Theological Collection, electronic edition, 2006.
 

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer. That I with1 body and soul, both in life and death,2 am not my

own, but belong3 unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his

precious4 blood, hath fully5 satisfied for all my sins, and delivered 6 me

from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me7 that without the will

of my heavenly Father, not a hair8 can fall from my head; yea, that all

things must be9 subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy

Spirit, he also assures me10 of eternal life, and makes11 me sincerely willing

and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
 

Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou,

enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

Answer. Three;12 the first, how great13 my sins and miseries are; the

second, how I may be delivered14 from all my sins and miseries; the third,

how I shall express my gratitude15 to God for such deliverance.
 
THE FIRST PART — OF THE MISERY OF MAN
 
2. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?

Answer. Out of the law of God.1
 

Question 4. What doth the law of God require of us?

Answer. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matthew 22:37-40, “Thou shalt

love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all

thy mind, and with all thy strength.2 This is the first and the great

commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor

as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the

prophets.”
 

Question 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?

Answer. In no wise;3 for I am prone by nature to hate God and my

neighbor.4
 
3. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 6. Did God then create man so wicked and perverse?

Answer. By no means; but God created man good,1 and after his own

image, in2 true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God

his Creator, heartily love him and live with him in eternal happiness to

glorify and praise him.3
 

Question 7. Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature?

Answer. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and

Eve, 4 in Paradise; hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all

conceived and born in sin.5
 

Question 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing

any good, and inclined to all wickedness?

Answer. Indeed we are;6 except that we are regenerated by the Spirit of

God.7
 
4. 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?

Answer. Not at all;1 for God made man capable2 of performing it; but man,

by the instigation3 of the devil, and his own willful disobedience, 4

deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.
 

Question 10. Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go

unpunished?

Answer. By no means;5 but is terribly displeased6 with our original was

well as actual sins; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally

and eternally, and he hath declared,7 “Cursed is every one that continueth

not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
 

Question 11. Is not God then also merciful?

Answer. God is indeed merciful,8 but also just;9 therefore his justice

requires,10 that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of

God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting11 punishment

of body and soul.
 
THE 2ND PART — OF MAN’S DELIVERANCE
 
5. 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?

Answer. God will have his justice1 satisfied; and therefore we must make

this full2 satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another.
 

Question 13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?

Answer. By no means;3 but on the contrary we4 daily increase our debt.
 

Question 14. Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature,

able to satisfy for us?

Answer. None; for, first, God will not5 punish any other creature for the sin

which man hath committed; and further, no mere creature can sustain the

burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, so as to6 deliver others from it.
 

Question 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?

Answer. For one who is very man,7 and perfectly righteous; and yet more

powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very8 God.
 
6. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?

Answer. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature

which hath sinned, should1 likewise make satisfaction for sin; and one,

who is himself a sinner,2 cannot satisfy for others.
 

Question 17. Why must he in one person be also very God?

Answer. That he might, by the power of his Godhead3 sustain in his

human nature, the burden of God’s wrath; and might4 obtain for, and

restore to us, righteousness and life.
 

Question 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very

God, and a real righteous man?

Answer. Our Lord Jesus Christ:5 “who of God is made unto6 us wisdom,

and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
 

Question 19. Whence knowest thou this?

Answer. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in

Paradise; 7 and afterwards published by the patriarchs8 and prophets, and

represented by the sacrifices9 and other ceremonies of the law; and lastly,

has fulfilled it10 by his only begotten Son.
 
7. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 20. Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by

Christ?

Answer. No; only1 those who are ingrafted into him,2 and receive all his

benefits, by a true faith.
 

Question 21. What is true faith?

Answer. True faith is not only a certain knowledge,3 whereby I hold for

truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured4

confidence, which the Holy5 Ghost works by the gospel,6 in my heart; that

not only the others, but to me also,7 remission of sin, everlasting

righteousness8 and salvation, are freely given by God,9 merely of grace,

only for the sake of Christ’s merits.
 

Question 22. What is then necessary for a christian to believe?

Answer. All things10 promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our

catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.
 

Question 23. What are these articles?

Answer.

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He

descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the

Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe an holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

11. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting.

AMEN.
 
8. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 24. How are these articles divided?

Answer. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; 1

the second of God the Son, and our redemption;2 the third of God the

Holy Ghost, and our sanctification.3
 

Question 25. Since there is but one only4 divine essence, why speakest

thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

Answer. Because God hath so5 revealed himself in his word, that these

three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.
 

OF GOD THE FATHER

 

9. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the

Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

Answer. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who1 of nothing

made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; who likewise upholds and 2

governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) is for the sake of

Christ his Son, my God and my Father; on whom I rely so entirely, that I

have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary3 for soul

and body: and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me,

in this valley of tears4 turn out to my advantage; for he is able to do it,

being Almighty5 God, and willing, being a6 faithful Father.
 
10. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?

Answer. The almighty and everywhere present power of God;1 whereby,

as it were by his hand, he2 upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all

creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain3 and drought, fruitful4 and barren

years, meat and drink,5 health and sickness,6 riches and poverty, yea, and

all things7 come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.
 

Question 28. What advantage is it to us to know that God has created,

and by his providence doth still uphold all things?

Answer. That we may be patient in adversity8; thankful9 in prosperity;

and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm10

trust, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful

God and Father, that nothing shall11 separate us from his love; since all

creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they12 cannot so much as

move.
 
OF GOD THE SON
 
11. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 29. Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is a Savior?

Answer. Because he saveth us, and delivereth us from our1 sins; and

likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find2 salvation in any

other.
 

Question 30. Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek

their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?

Answer. They do not; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds

they deny3 Jesus the only deliverer and Savior; for one of these two things

must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Savior; or that they, who

by a true faith receive this Savior, must find all things in him 4 necessary to

their salvation.
 
12. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 31. Why is he called Christ, that is anointed?

Answer. Because he is ordained of God the Father, and1 anointed with the

Holy Ghost, to be our2 chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed

to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and to

be our only High Priest,3 who by the one sacrifice of his body, has

redeemed us, and makes continual4 intercession with the Father for us; and

also to be our eternal King,5 who governs us by his word and Spirit, and

who defends and6 preserves us in (the enjoyment of) that salvation, he has

purchased for us.
 

Question 32. But why art thou called a christian?

Answer. Because I am a member of Christ7 by faith, and thus am partaker8

of his anointing; that so I may9 confess his name, and present myself a

living10 sacrifice of thankfulness to him: and also that with a free and good

conscience I may fight against sin and11 Satan in this life: and afterwards12

reign with him eternally, over all creatures.
 
13. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 33. Why is Christ called the only begotten Son of God, since we

are also the children of God?

Answer. Because Christ alone is the eternal and natural Son of1 God; but

we are children2 adopted of God, by grace, for his sake.
 

Question 34. Wherefore callest thou him our Lord?

Answer. Because he hath redeemed us, both soul and body, from all our

sins, not with gold or silver,3 but with his precious blood, and hath

delivered us from all the power of the devil; and thus hath made us his own

property

.

14. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 35. What is the meaning of these words-”He was conceived by

the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary”?

Answer. That God’s eternal Son, who1 is, and continueth true and eternal 2

God, took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood3 of the

Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost;4 that he might also be

the true seed of David,5 like unto his brethren in all things,6 sin excepted.
 

Question 36. What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception

and nativity?

Answer. That he is our7 Mediator; and with His innocence and perfect

holiness, covers in the sight of8 God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and

brought forth.
 
15. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, “He suffered”?

Answer. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the

end of his life,1 sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the

sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only2 propitiatory sacrifice,

he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain

for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.
 

Question 38. Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge?

Answer. That he, being innocent, and yet condemned3 by a temporal

judge, might thereby free us from the severe judgment of God to which we

were exposed.4
 

Question 39. Is there anything more in his being crucified, than if he had

died some other death?

Answer. Yes; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse

which lay upon me; for the death of the cross was5 accursed of God.
 
16. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even

unto death?

Answer. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, satisfaction

for our sins could be made1 no otherwise, than by the death of the Son 2 of

God.
 

Question 41. Why was he also “buried”?

Answer. Thereby to prove that he3 was really dead.
 

Question 42. Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?

Answer. Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but only an abolishing

of sin, and a passage into4 eternal life.
 

Question 43. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and

death of Christ on the cross?

Answer. That by virtue thereof, our old man is crucified, dead and5 buried

with him; that so the corrupt inclinations of the flesh may no more 6 reign

in us; but that we may7 offer ourselves unto him a sacrifice of

thanksgiving.
 

Question 44. Why is there added, “he descended into hell”?

Answer. That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly

comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by his inexpressible

anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which he was plunged during

all his sufferings, but especially on the cross, hath8 delivered me from the

anguish and torments of hell.
 
17. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might1

make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by

his death; secondly, we are also by his power2 raised up to a new life; an

lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a3 sure pledge of our blessed

resurrection.
 
18. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 46. How dost thou understand these words, “he ascended into

heaven”?

Answer. That Christ, in sight of his disciples, was1 taken up from earth

into heaven; and that he continues2 there for our interest, until he comes

again to judge the quick and the dead.
 

Question 47. Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as

he hath promised?

Answer. Christ is very man and very God; with respect to his3 human

nature, he is no more on earth; but with respect to his Godhead, majesty,

grace and spirit, he is at no time absent from us.
 

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?

Answer. Not at all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and4 omnipresent,

it must necessarily follow that5 the same is beyond the limits of the human

nature he assumed, and yet is nevertheless in this human nature, and

remains personally united to it.
 

Question 49. Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension into heaven?

Answer. First, that he is our7 advocate in the presence of his Father in

heaven; secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he,

as the head, will also8 take up to himself, us, his members; thirdly, that he9

sends us his Spirit as an earnest, by whose power we “seek the things

which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God,10 and not

things on earth.”
 
19. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 50. Why is it added, “and sitteth at the right hand of God”?

Answer. Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that he

might1 appear as head of his church, by whom the Father2 governs all

things.
 

Question 51. What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?

Answer. First, that by his Holy Spirit he3 pours our heavenly graces upon

us his members; and then that by his power he defends4 and preserves us

against all enemies.
 

Question 52. What comfort is it to thee that “Christ shall come again to

judge the quick and the dead”?

Answer. That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head5 I

look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to

the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge

from heaven: who shall cast all his6 and my enemies into everlasting

condemnation, but shall translate7 me with all his chosen ones to himself,

into heavenly joys and glory.
 
OF GOD THE HOLY GHOST
 
20. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. First, that he is true and co-eternal God with the Father and the 1

Son; secondly, that he is also given2 me, to3 make me by a true faith, partaker

of Christ and all his benefits, that he may4 comfort me and5 abide with me for ever.
 
21. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 54. What believest thou concerning the “holy catholic church”

of Christ?

Answer. That the Son of God1 from the2 beginning to the end of the world,

gathers,3 defends, and4 preserves to himself by his5 Spirit and word, out of

the6 whole human race, a7 church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true

faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a8 living member thereof.
 

Question 55. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?

Answer. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of

Christ, are in common,9 partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts;

secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and10

cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other

members.
 

Question 56. What believest thou concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?

Answer. That God, for the sake of11 Christ’s satisfaction will no more12

remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to

struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness

of Christ; that I may never be13 condemned before the tribunal of God.
 
22. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 57. What comfort doth the “resurrection of the body” afford

thee?

Answer. That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken1

up to Christ its head; but also, that this my body, being raised by the

power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and2 made like unto the

glorious body of Christ.
 

Question 58. What comfort takest thou from the article of “life

everlasting”?

Answer. That3 since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy,

after this life,4 I shall inherit perfect salvation, which5 “eye hath not seen,

nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man” to conceive,

and that, to praise God therein for ever.
 

Question 59. But what doth is profit thee now that thou believest all this?

Answer. That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life.1
 

Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?

Answer. Only2 by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that though my

conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the

commandments of God, and3 kept none of them, and am still4 inclined to

all evil; notwithstanding, God, without any5 merit of mine, but only of

mere6 grace, grants7 and8 imputes to me, the perfect9 satisfaction,

righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor

committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully10 accomplished all that obedience

which Christ has accomplished for me;11 inasmuch as I embrace such

benefit with a believing heart.
 

Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?

Answer. Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the12 worthiness

of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness

of Christ, is my righteousness before13 God; and that I cannot receive14 and

apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only.
 
24. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of

our righteousness before God?

Answer. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before

the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects1

conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are

all imperfect and2 defiled with sin.
 

Question 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will

reward in this and in a future life?

Answer. This reward is not of merit, but of grace.3
 

Question 64. But doth not this doctrine make men careless and profane?

Answer. By no means: for it is impossible that those, who are implanted

into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of4 thankfulness.
 

OF THE SACRAMENTS

 

25. 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?

Answer. From the Holy Ghost, who works1 faith in our hearts by the

preaching of the gospel, and2 confirms it by the use of the sacraments.
 

Question 66. What are the sacraments?

Answer. The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of

God for this end, that by the use thereof, he may the more fully declare

and seal to us the promise of the gospel, vis., that he grants us freely the

remission of sin, and3 life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of

Christ, accomplished on the cross.
 

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?

Answer. Yes, indeed: for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and

assures us by the sacraments,4 that the whole of our salvation depends

upon that one sacrifice of Christ which he offered for us on the cross.
 

Question 68. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new

covenant, or testament?

Answer. Two5: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.
 
OF HOLY BAPTISM
 
26. 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?

Answer. Thus: That Christ appointed1 this external washing with water,

adding thereto this2 promise, that I am as certainly washed by his blood

and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, form all my sins, as I

am3 washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is

commonly washed away.
 

Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?

Answer. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of

Christ’s blood, which he4 shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; and also

to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that

so we may more and more die unto sin, and5 lead holy and unblamable lives.
 

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?

Answer. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed:6 “Go ye,

therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,

and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost7,” “he that believeth, and is

baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.” This

promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism the8 washing of

regeneration, and the washing9 away of sins.
 
27. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 72. Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of

sin itself?

Answer. Not at all: for the1 blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy

Ghost cleanse us from all2 sin.
 

Question 73. Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism “the washing

of regeneration,” and “the washing away of sins”?

Answer. God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only

thereby to teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water,

so our sins are3 removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; but

especially that by4 this divine pledge and sign he may assure us, that we

are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really, as we are externally washed

with water.
 

Question 74. Are infants also to be baptized?

Answer. Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the5

covenant and6 church of God; and since7 redemption from sin by the blood

of Christ, and the8 Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no

less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the

covenant, be also admitted into the christian church; and be distinguished9

from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or

testament by10 circumcision, instead of which11 baptism is instituted in the

new covenant.
 

OF THE HOLY SUPPER OF OUR

LORD JESUS CHRIST
 
28. 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?

Answer. Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of

this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him,1 adding

these promises: first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross

for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the

bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and

further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his

crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of

the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as

certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.
 

Question 76. What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed

blood of Christ?

Answer. It is only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and

death of Christ, and thereby to2 obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal;

but also, besides that, to become more and more3 united to his sacred

body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us;4 so that

we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding “Flesh

of his flesh, and bone5 of his bone”; and that we live,6 and are governed

forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.
 

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?

Answer. In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed:7 “The

Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and

when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: eat, this is my body,

which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same

manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: this8 cup is the

new testament in my blood;9 this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in

remembrance of me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,

ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” This promise is repeated by the

holy apostle Paul, where he says:10 “The cup of blessing which we bless,

is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break,

is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are

one bread and one body; because we are all partakers of that one bread.”
 
29. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 78. Do then the bread and wine become the very body and

blood of Christ?

Answer. Not at all:1 but as the water in baptism is not changed into the

blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the

sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread in the Lord’s

supper is not changed into the very2 body of Christ; though agreeable to

the3 nature and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ

Jesus.
 

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”?

Answer. Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only

thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so

his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our

souls are4 fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and

pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and

blood (by the operation of the Holy Ghost) as we5 receive by the mouths

of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and that all his

sufferings6 and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own

persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.
 
30. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 80. What difference is there between the Lord’s supper and the

popish mass?

Answer. The Lord’s supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of

all sin1 by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once

accomplished on the cross; and, that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted2

into Christ, who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in

3 heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, and will there4 be

worshipped by us: - but the mass teaches, that the living and dead have

not the pardon of sins though the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is also

daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is bodily

under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped in

them; so that the mass, as bottom, is nothing else than a5 denial of the one

sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.
 

Question 81. For whom is the Lord’s supper instituted?

Answer. For those who are truly sorrowful7 for their sins, and yet that

these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining

infirmities8 are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly 9

desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more

holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat

and10 drink judgment to themselves.
 

Question 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by

confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?

Answer. No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his

wrath11 kindled against the whole congregation; therefore it is the duty of

the christian church, according to the appointment of12 Christ and his

apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven,

till they show amendment of life.
 
31. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 83. What are1 the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

Answer. The preaching2 of the holy gospel, and christian discipline,3 or

excommunication out of the christian church; by these two, the kingdom of

heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.
 

Question 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the

preaching of the holy gospel?

Answer. Thus: when according to the command of4 Christ, it is declared

and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they5

receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins are really

forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary,

when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers, and such as do not

sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God, and eternal6

condemnation, so long as they are7 unconverted: according to which

testimony of the gospel, God will judge them, both in this, and in the life

to come.
 

Question 85. How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian

discipline?

Answer. Thus: when according8 to the command of Christ, those, who

under the name of christians, maintain doctrines, or practices9 inconsistent

therewith, and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished,

renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the

church,10 or to those, who are thereunto11 appointed by the church; and if

they despise their admonition,12 are by them forbidden the use of the

sacraments; whereby they are excluded from the christian church, and by

God himself from the kingdom of Christ; and when they promise and

show real amendment, are again13 received as members of Christ and his

church.
 
THE THIRD PART — OF THANKFULNESS
 
32. 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?

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 gratitude1 to God for his

blessings, and that he may be2 praised by us; also, that every one may be3

assured in himself of his faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly

conversation, others may be4 gained to Christ.
 

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 declares5 that no unchaste

person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer,

robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
 
33. LORD’S DAY
 

Question 88. Of how many parts doth the true conversion of man

consist?

Answer. Of two parts; of1 the mortification of the old, and the quickening

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

Answer. It is a2 sincere sorrow of heart, that we have provoked God by

our sins; and more and more to hate and flee from them.
 

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

Answer. It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ,3 and with love

and4 delight to live according to the will of God in all good works.
 

Question 91. But what are good works?

Answer. Only those which proceed from a true5 faith, are performed

according to the6 law of God, and to his7 glory; and not such as are 8

founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.
 
34. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 92. What is the law of God?

Answer. God spake all these words, Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, saying: I

am the Lord thy God, which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt,

out of the house of bondage.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, nor the likeness

of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in

the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down 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

generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto

thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

3. 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

.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor

and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord

thy God; in it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, nor thy son,

nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, 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.

5. Honor thy father and they mother, that thy days may be long in the

land which the Lord they God giveth thee.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy

neighbor’s wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his

ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
 

Question 93. How are these commandments divided?

Answer. Into two1 tables; the2 first of which teaches us how we must

behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor.
 

Question 94. What doth 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,3 sorcery,4 soothsaying, superstition,5

invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn6 rightly to know the

only true God;7 trust in him alone, with humility8 and patience 9 submit to

him;10 expect all good things from him only;11 love,12 fear, and13 glorify him

with my whole heart; so that I renounce14 and forsake all creatures, rather

than15 commit even the least thing contrary to his will.
 

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.16
 
35. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. That we in no wise1 represent God by images, nor worship2 him

in any other way than he has commanded in his word.
 

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

Answer. God neither can, nor3 may be represented by any means: 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 them4 or to serve

God by them.
 

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 people5 taught, not by dumb images,6 but by the lively preaching of his

word.
 
36. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 99. What is required in the third commandment?

Answer. That we, not only by cursing or1 perjury, but also by2 rash

swearing, must not profane or abuse the name of3 God; nor by silence or

connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly, that

we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence;

so that he may be rightly4 confessed and5 worshipped by us, and be

glorified in all our words and works.
 

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?

Answer. It undoubtedly is,6 for there is no sin greater or more provoking

to God, than the profaning of his name; and therefore he has commanded

this 7 sin to be punished with death.
 
37. LORD’S 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 confirm1 fidelity and truth to the

glory of God, and the safety of our neighbor: for such an oath is2 founded

on God’s word, and therefore was justly3 used by the saints, both in the

Old and New Testament.
 

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 4 falsely; which honor is5 due to no creature.
 
38. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be1

maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath,2 that is, on the day of

rest,3 diligently frequent4 the church of God, to hear his word, to use the

sacraments,5 publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of

the6 poor, as becomes a christian. 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 thus7 begin in this life the eternal sabbath.
 
39. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. That I show all honor, love and fidelity, to my father and mother,

and all in authority over me, and1 submit myself to their good instruction

and correction, with due obedience; and also patiently bear with their2

weaknesses and infirmities, since it pleases3 God to govern us by their

hand.
 
40. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in

deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or1 kill my neighbor, by myself or by

another; but that I lay2 aside all desire of revenge: also, that I3 hurt not

myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger. Wherefore also the

magistrate4 is armed with the sword, to prevent murder.
 

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 as5 envy,6 hatred, anger, and desire of revenge; and that7 he

accounts all these as murder.
 

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 8 love our neighbor as ourselves; to show9 patience, peace,10

meekness,11 mercy, and all kindness, towards him,12 and prevent his hurt

as much as in us lies’ and that we13 do good, even to our enemies.
 
41. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 108. What doth the seventh commandment teach us?

Answer. That all uncleanness is accursed1 of God: and that therefore we

must with all our hearts2 detest the same, and live3 chastely and

temperately, whether in4 holy wedlock, or in single life.
 

Question 109. Doth 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,5 gestures, words, thoughts,6 desires, and whatever 7 can

entice men thereto.
 
42. LORD’S DAY.
 

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

Answer. God forbids not only those1 thefts, and2 robberies, which are

punishable by the magistrate; but he comprehends under the name of theft

all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we design to3 appropriate to

ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbor: whether it be by force,

or under the appearance of right, as by unjust4 weights, ells,5 measures,

fraudulent merchandise, false coins,6 usury, or by any other way forbidden

by God; as also all7 covetousness, all abuse and waste of his gifts.
 

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

Answer. That I promote the advantage of my neighbor in every instance I

can or may; and deal with him as I8 desire to be dealt with by others: further

also that I faithfully labor, so that I9 may be able to relieve the needy.
 
43. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 112. What is required in the ninth commandment?

Answer. That I bear false witness1 against no man, nor falsify2 any man’s

words; that I be no backbiter,3 nor slanderer; that I do not judge, nor join4

in condemning any man rashly, or unheard; but that I5 avoid all sorts of lies

and deceit, as the proper works6 of the devil, unless I would bring down

upon me the heavy wrath of God; likewise, that in judgment and all other

dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly7 and confess it; also that I

defend and promote,8 as much as I am able, the honor and good character

of my neighbor.
 
44. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 113. What doth 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,1 and delight in all righteousness.
 

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 this2 obedience; yet so, that with a3 sincere resolution they

begin to live, not only according to some, but all of the commandments of

God.
 

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 learn4 more and more to know

our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the

remission of sin,5 and righteousness in Christ; likewise, that we constantly

endeavor and pry 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.6
 
OF PRAYER
 
45. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 116. Why is prayer necessary for christians?

Answer. Because it is the chief part of1 thankfulness which God requires

of us: and also, because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those

only, who with sincere desires continually ask them of him, and2 are

thankful for them.
 

Question 117. What are the requisites of that prayer, which is acceptable

to God, and which he will hear?

Answer. First, that we from the heart pray to the one true God only, who

hath3 manifested himself in his word, for all things, he hath commanded us

to ask of him;4 secondly, that we rightly and thoroughly know our need

and misery, that so we may5 deeply humble ourselves in the presence of

his divine majesty; thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that he,

notwithstanding that we are6 unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ

our Lord, certainly7 hear our prayer, as he has8 promised us in his word.
 

Question 118. What hath God commanded us to ask of him?

Answer. All9 things necessary for soul and body; which Christ our Lord

has comprised in that prayer he himself10 has taught us.
 

Question 119. What are the words of that prayer?

Answer. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy

kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this

day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the

kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
 
46. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 120. Why hath Christ commanded us to address God thus:

“Our Father”?

Answer. That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, he might

excite in us a childlike reverence for, and confidence in God, which are the

foundation of our prayer: namely, that God is become our Father in Christ,

1 and will much less deny us what we ask of him in true faith, than our

parents2 will refuse us earthly things.
 

Question 121. Why is it here added, “Which art in heaven”?

Answer. Lest we should form any3 earthly conceptions of God’s heavenly

majesty, and that we4 may expect from his almighty power all things

necessary for soul and body.
 
47. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 122. Which is the first petition?

Answer.1 “Hallowed be thy name”; that is, grant us, first, rightly2 to know

thee, and to3 sanctify, glorify and praise thee, in all thy works, in which

thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth, are clearly

displayed; and further also, that we may so order and direct our whole

lives, our thoughts, words and actions, that thy name may never be

blasphemed, but rather4 honored and praised on our account.
 
48. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 123. Which is the second petition?

Answer.1 “Thy kingdom come”; that is, rule us so by thy word and Spirit,

that we may2 submit ourselves more and more to thee; preserve and3

increase thy church; destroy the4 works of the devil, and all violence which

would exalt itself against thee; and also, all wicked counsels devised against

thy holy word; till the full5 perfection of thy kingdom take place,6 wherein

thou shalt be all in all.
 
49. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 124. Which is the third petition?

Answer.1 “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”; that is, grant that

we and all men may renounce2 our own will, and without murmuring3 obey

thy will, which is only good; that so every one may attend to, and4 perform

the duties of his station and calling, as willingly and faithfully as the5 angels

do in heaven
 
50. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 125. Which is the fourth petition?

Answer.1 “Give us this day our daily bread”; that is, be pleased to provide

us with all things2 necessary for the body, that we may thereby

acknowledge thee to be the only fountain of all3 good, and that neither our

care nor industry, nor even thy gifts, can4 profit us without thy blessing;

and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and

place5 it alone in thee.
 
51. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 126. What is the fifth petition?

Answer.1 “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”; that is, be

pleased for the sake of Christ’s blood,2 not to impute to us poor sinners,

our transgressions, nor that depravity, which always cleaves to us; even as

we feel this evidence of thy grace in us, that it is our firm resolution from

the heart to3 forgive our neighbor.
 
52. LORD’S DAY.
 

Question 127. Which is the sixth petition?

Answer.1 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”; that

is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand2 a moment; and

besides this, since our mortal enemies,3 the devil, the4 world, and our own5

flesh, cease not to assault us, do thou therefore preserve and strength us

by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this

spiritual warfare,5 but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till

at last we6 obtain a complete victory.
 

Question 128. How dost thou conclude thy prayer?

Answer.7 “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for

ever”; that is, all these we ask of thee, because thou, being our King and

almighty, art willing and able to8 give us all good; and all this we pray for,

that thereby not we, but thy holy name,9 may be glorified for ever.
 

Question 129. What doth the word “Amen” signify?

Answer.10 “Amen” signifies, it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer

is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these

things of him.