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 Eight
Question 24: How are these articles divided?
Answer: Into three parts:
the first is about God the Father and our creation;
the second about God the Son and our redemption;
the third about God the Holy Spirit
and our sanctification.
Question 25: Since there is only one God, 1
why do you speak of three persons,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Answer: 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; Is 44:6; 45:5; 1 Cor 8:4, 6.
2.Gen 1:2, 3; Is 61:1; 63:8-10; Mt 3:16, 17; 28:18, 19; Lk 4:18; Jn 14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor 13:14; Gal 4:6; Tit 3:5, 6.
Last week, Lord’s Day Seven ended with the Apostles’ Creed as a summary of what Christians believe. This was our first glimpse at the creed, but it will not be our last, as the writers of the Heidelberg take us on an in-depth look at the Apostles’ Creed over the next fifteen Lord’s Days.
The Apostles’ Creed is broken up into three parts: Father, Son, and Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity is a foundational doctrine to Christianity. At the same time, trying to fully explain the God that spoke galaxies into being with just His words is impossible. There are several illustrations that people will try to use, like the egg (the shell, the white, and the yolk make up one egg) or water (can exist in three states: solid, liquid, and gas), but they all eventually fail at one point or another. The doctrine states that there is one God who exists eternally as three distinct Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son or the Spirit. The Son is not the Spirit or the Father. The Spirit is not the Father or the Son. Each Person of the Trinity is fully God (The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God) but They are not three separate Gods, as They are one in essence.
When speaking of the Triune God, we must understand that all attempts to fully describe and understand Him will ultimately fail because there is no one and nothing like Him. Our pathetic words fall dreadfully short and our finite minds cannot comprehend that which is infinite. But we are not without hope. God doesn’t require us to have a seminary degree in order to know that He is worthy to be worshipped and that all glory and honor belong to Him. Praise the Father, Son, and Spirit for our creation, redemption, and sanctification!
“It was the whole Trinity, which at the beginning of creation said, ‘Let Us make man’. It was the whole Trinity again, which at the beginning of the Gospel seemed to say, ‘Let Us save man’.” J.C. Ryle