Every Sunday, we will be going through one of the fifty-two Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism. Written in the year 1563, the Heidelberg still remains a popular confession of faith in many churches to this day. You can find the full text here.
Lord’s Day Four
Question 9: But does not God do man an injustice by requiring in his law what man cannot do?
for God so created man
that he was able to do it. 1
But man, at the instigation of the devil, 2
in deliberate disobedience 3
robbed himself and all his descendants
of these gifts. 4
2.Gen 3:13; Jn 8:44; 1 Tim 2:13, 14.
4.Rom 5:12, 18, 19.
Question 10: Will God allow such disobedience and apostasy to go unpunished?
Answer: Certainly not.
He is terribly displeased
with our original sin
as well as our actual sins.
Therefore he will punish them
by a just judgment
both now and eternally, 1
as he has declared: 2
Cursed is everyone
who does not continue to do everything
written in the Book of the Law (Gal 3:10).
1.Gen 2:17; Ex 34:7; Ps 5:4-6; 7:11; Nahum 1:2; Rom 1:18; 5:12;
1.Eph 5:6; Heb 9:27.
Question 11: But is God not also merciful?
Answer: God is indeed merciful, 1
but he is also just. 2
His justice requires
that sin committed
against the most high majesty of God
also be punished with the most severe,
that is, with everlasting,
punishment of body and soul. 3
1.Ex 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps 103:8, 9.
2.Ex 20:5; 34:7; Deut 7:9-11; Ps 5:4-6; Heb 10:30, 31.
3.Mt 25:45, 46.
The first four Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg focus on our sin and misery. If you managed to make it through the first three days with any hope left of earning your own righteousness before God, the forth day will swiftly, and violently, put that idea to death. A popular idea of who merits getting into heaven is that there are scales that measure out your good deeds versus your bad deeds, and if the good outweigh the bad, then you’re in! Now, you will be measured, but it won’t be your good or bad deeds. It will be you who is measured against the holiness and righteousness of God. And unless you have the holiness and righteousness of Christ, you will be found lacking…
…and you DO NOT want to be found lacking.
The Lord is holy, righteous, and just. And because he is those things, sin cannot be overlooked or swept under the rug. Sin will be punished and eternally dealt with. You can either believe that Jesus is Lord and that he took the wrath for your sins…or you can pay for them. To have any hope, you must be totally and utterly dependent on Christ.
“You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” -Jonathan Edwards