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 33
Question 88: What is involved
in genuine repentance or conversion?
Answer: Two things:
the dying-away of the old self,
and the rising-to-life of the new.1
1. Rom. 6:1-11; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:5-10
Question 89: What is the dying-away of the old self?
Answer: To be genuinely sorry for sin
and more and more to hate
and run away from it.1
1. Ps. 51:3-4, 17; Joel 2:12-13; Rom. 8:12-13; 2 Cor. 7:10
Question 90: What is the rising-to-life of the new self?
Answer: Wholehearted joy in God through Christ1
and a love and delight to live
according to the will of God
by doing every kind of good work.2
1. Ps. 51:8, 12; Isa. 57:15; Rom. 5:1; 14:17
2. Rom. 6:10-11; Gal. 2:20
Question 91: What are good works?
Answer: Only those which
are done out of true faith,1
conform to God’s law,2
and are done for God’s glory;3
and not those based
on our own opinion
or human tradition.4
1. John 15:5; Heb. 11:6
2. Lev. 18:4; 1 Sam. 15:22; Eph. 2:10
3. 1 Cor. 10:31
4. Deut. 12:32; Isa. 29:13; Ezek. 20:18-19; Matt. 15:7-9
Genuine repentance is a mark of a resurrected life. Our old self, who loved our sin and dove headlong into it, has died and has been replaced. Our new self is genuinely sorry for our sin and our hatred grows more and more for the sinful desires that once ran rampant. We now can experience wholehearted joy in God through Christ and love and delight for the will of God. It is only after this that we are able to produce true good works. These are not works based on what we or the world thinks are best, but rather only those which are done out of true faith, conform to God’s law, and are done for God’s glory.
“Repentance is as much a mark of a Christian, as faith is. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a true Christian.” – Charles Spurgeon