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 11
Question 29: Why is the Son of God called “Jesus,”
Answer: Because he saves us from our sins,1
and because salvation should not be sought
and cannot be found in anyone else.2
1. Matt. 1:21; Heb. 7:25
2. Isa. 43:11; John 15:5; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 2:5
Questions 30: Do those who look for
their salvation in saints,
in themselves, or elsewhere
really believe in the only savior Jesus?
Although they boast of being his,
by their actions they deny
the only savior, Jesus.1
Either Jesus is not a perfect savior,
or those who in true faith accept this savior
have in him all they need for their salvation.2
1. 1 Cor. 1:12-13; Gal. 5:4
2. Col. 1:19-20; 2:10; 1 John 1:7
As the Heidelberg writers continue to dive in the the Apostles’ Creed, we turn our attention to God the Son, Jesus. The Apostles’ Creed states:
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
We start by simply looking at His name…Jesus. Why is His name “Jesus”? In Matthew 1:21, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and confirms Mary’s story about how she became pregnant. The angel tells Joseph, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus’ name means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation”. Jesus is where salvation is found. It is not found in any other place, person, or “god”. Acts 4:12 says “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” It is this idea that causes so much controversy with non-Christians. But it is this idea that is essential in salvation. This is why Jesus makes such bold statements about who He is:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved” John 10:9
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25
There are not many ways to God.
There are not many doors that lead to God.
There is not a good deed you can do or payment you can make.
There are no dead saints or false gods that can save you.
There is only one way.
There is only one door.
There is only Jesus, or, as the Reformers would say “Solus Christus”.
“If we seek salvation, the very name of Jesus teaches us that he possesses it.” Sinclair B. Ferguson