Skip to content

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

16/05/2014

LORD’S DAY 8

Before you begin: Read: Deut. 6:4. Mt. 3:16-17; 28:19; I Jn. 5:7; II Cor. 13:14

Q24. How are these articles divided?
Into three parts: the first is of God the Father and our creation; the second, of God the Son and our redemption; the third, of God the Holy Ghost and our sanctification.(1)
(1)I Pet. 1:2; I Jn. 5:7.

The Catechist describes the works of the persons within the Godhead, father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Father: CREATOR
The Son: REDEEMER
The Holy Spirit: SANCTIFIER.
However, Ursinus himself (The Heidelberg author) is careful, in his own commentary on the catechism, to point out that these roles within the Godhead are not mutually exclusive. For example, the Father is the Creator, but he is also the ‘redeemer’ in the sense that redemption is His plan, and he SENT his Son into the world for that purpose.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Similarly, the Father is involved in our sanctification.

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Likewise, both the Son and the Holy Spirit are seen to be involved in creations.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
John 1:1-4. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

In all of these descriptions of ‘roles’ within the Godhead, we must never forget that the Triune Godhead is ONE GOD, in three distinct PERSONS.   We must not assume, either that the activities of the Three Persons described in Heidelberg are their ONLY roles. Our Creator is also our Sustainer, and our Father. Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer, but He is also our Mediator… etc.

-oOOo-

25. Since there is but one Divine Being,(1) why do you speak of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
Because God has so revealed Himself in His Word,,(2) that these three distinct persons are the one, true, eternal God.
(1)Deut. 6:4. (2)Isa. 61:1; Ps. 110:1; Mt. 3:16-17; 28:19; I Jn. 5:7; II Cor. 13:14.

The Trinity
Nearly every cult that has departed from the evangelical Christian faith has either begun from someone trying to explain the Trinity or a perversion of that doctrine has been close to the centre of that cult.  Write out these references:-

1. There is Only One True God
Deut 32:39 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Isa 45:18 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Isa 43:10 1 Tim 2:5 John 17:3. In the Old Testament, the characteristic name He used with His covenant people was YHWH Exodus 3:14: Jehovah owes His existence to no one or nothing.

2. Plurality
Within the One True God Exists a Plurality of Persons. There are plural terms and names applied to God. The most prevalent in the Bible is the Hebrew Elohim.
Gen 1:25 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Genesis 11:6-8 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Isaiah 6:8 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Isaiah 48:16-17……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
The New Testament speaks of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the same context, and with an obvious view to distinction between them.
Matthew 3:16-17. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

3. The Father is God
This should go without saying, but for clarity we say,
* Jesus is repeatedly called the Son of God, therefore God is a Father, and the Father is God.
* There is no Scripture that even hints that the Father ever ceases to be a separate person.
John 17:1-5………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Heb 1:1-14, John 14:28, Phil. 2:5-11.

4. Jesus Christ is God
He is not just the Son of God, but He is God the Son. John 8:24 Unless God redeems us Himself, we cannot be redeemed (see Psa 49:7, 15)! He is CALLED GOD. (John 1:1) Hebrews 1:4-14
John 20: 28, ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Jesus is WORSHIPPED AS GOD! Acts 7:59-60, Rev. 5:6-14, Isaiah 42:8, & Exodus 20:3
Phil. 2:9-10, ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
THE WORKS OF GOD ARE ASCRIBED TO HIM!
Creation (John 1:3, Heb 1:2) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Preservation of the universe (Col. 1:17, Heb 1:2-3) Sending of the Spirit of God (John 16:7) The forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:30-31) The giving of eternal life (John 17:2-3)
HE EXHIBITED DIVINE POWER! He demonstrated His power over nature, over disease, demon powers, even over death
HE POSSESSES DIVINE ATTRIBUTES!
Self existence (John 5:26), ………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Eternity (John 1:2), Omniscience (John 1:48), Omnipresence (Matt 18:20 Immutability (Heb 13:8), Sovereignty (Matt 11:27) Omnipotence (Matt 28:18-20). Absolute Deity of Messiah in Jeremiah 23:5-6:

5. The Holy Spirit is God
The Holy Spirit is a Person, not a force, influence, etc.
The Holy Spirit is God, just as the Father is God, and the Son is God, in some way One True God, but also in a way unfathomable to our human minds, a separate person within the Trinity. He comforts, Jn. 14: 16-17; He guides Jn. 16:13; He speaks Acts13:2-4; Leads into all truth; Talks to us about Jesus. Jn 15:26; Encourages the church Acts 9:31; Lives within us 1 Cor 3:16.

In Biblical Christianity, every sin is paid for because an infinite Being, the God-man, died as a substitute for sinners. All those who become His by faith partake in His price of redemption. The mystery of the Cross is that God (The Father) poured out His wrath on God (The Son), yet there is only one God. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:19
This is the only way redemption could be carried out with justice. No Trinity–no redemption. We worship a Triune God. We cannot understand it; we marvel at it; there is no human explanation for it–but it is the Truth. Anything less is not Christianity.

Think about it!
Why is it important that the hymns and songs we sing are correct in doctrine, as well as just being nice tunes?
Jesus is FULLY MAN and FULLY GOD. Can we ever fully understand this? Shorter Catechism:

Q. 21. Who is the redeemer of God’s elect?
A. The only redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.

According to the Bible and His own testimony, is Jesus the Eternal God? Find at least two Bible verses that support the Godhood of Jesus.
Find at least one verse that shows the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit manifesting at the same time.
Is the Holy Spirit a Person? Find at least two Bible verses that support that answer.

Talk About it!
Speak to 4 or 5 Christians you know and ask them these three questions.

a. Do you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity?

b. Is Christ Jesus The Eternal God?

c. Is the Holy Spirit a Person?

Then ask them when was the last time their minister preached or taught on the Trinity!

Pray About It!
Thank God:
* For the Divine Nature of Christ.
* For men and women in bygone days who defended the faith against error.
Pray that we will also be faithful to God’s truth, revealed in the Scriptures, in our day.

The Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: