His Gospel Word
HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 6
Why must he be truly human and truly righteous?
God’s justice demands that human nature, which has sinned, must pay for its sin; but a sinner could never pay for others.
Why must he also be true God?
So that, by the power of his divinity, he might bear the weight of God’s anger in his humanity and earn for us and restore to us righteousness and life.
And who is this mediator – true God and at the same time truly human and truly righteous?
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was given us to set us completely free and to make us right with God.
How do you come to know this?
His Gospel Word
Monday, February 6: 2 Peter 1:12-21
The holy gospel tells me. God began to reveal the gospel already in paradise; later, he proclaimed it by the holy patriarchs and prophets, and portrayed it by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; finally, he fulfilled it through his own dear Son.
The Reformed faith is emphatic about the authoritative role of the Bible in faith and life. It reveals true life and, therefore, calls for our obedient response. The Belgic Confession states: “We receive all these books and these only as holy and canonical for the regulating, founding, and establishing of our faith” (Article 5). The Heidelberg says it this way: “The holy gospel tells me” that Jesus Christ “was given to us to set us completely free and to make us right with God.” The Bible, the holy gospel, is the foundation of living faith. This is good news. God has spoken and God still speaks. The holy gospel, however, is unlike anything else. It is not an ideology, just another idea in the seas of opinion. It is not therapy, just another tool to put us in touch of the why of our feelings. It is not a political agenda, a tool to justify our republican or democratic idiosyncrasies. The Bible is exponentially more than that. It is God’s revelation that comes with supernatural power to conquer and create – to conquer sin and its disabling power and to create life enabled by the Spirit to do His good: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). We are told that God’s Word is light that dispels darkness and reveals God’s path (Psalm 119:105), is nourishment so His purpose blossoms in human lives (Isaiah 55:10-12), is the Spirit’s CPR that rescues and restores bedraggled lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17), is the Spirit’s sword that conquers the powers of evil (Ephesians 6:17), and is a surgeon’s scalpel that removes sin’s tumors and brings healing to hearts (Hebrews 4:12-13)! Will you receive the Bible for the foundation and regulation of your faith? Will you allow it to conquer your sin and create new life in you? Most of all, will you surrender to the life-giving breath of the Spirit that revives you as the Father’s new creation in Christ?
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn