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Heidelberg Catechism

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Request-based 1-on-one Discipleship Training

Heidelberg Catechism as one of three confessions (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and Canons of Dort) of Christian Reformed Church in North America was written by Zacharius Ursinus, leader of theologian group, Casper Olivianus, leader of pastor group, ordered by Fredrick III. The catechism is composed of 52 Lord's Day and 129 Q&A, intended to teach one per week for 52 weeks in a year.

This training is divided into eight classes, covering the 52 Lord's Days.

The first class teaches about the historical context of the Heidelberg catechism and its structure. This understanding of its structure provides a reformed theological foundation and a meta-narrative understanding of the catechism.

The second class focuses on the key phrase "Only Comfort" in the Heidelberg catechism. It explains that our only comfort, in life and in death, in good and in bad, is that we belong to Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Q&A 1). The class also covers the meaning of "comfort" in Heidelberg catechism.

The third class teaches that to live and die in the joy of this comfort, we need to know three things:

1) Our sin and misery (Q&A 3-11)

2) Deliverance through faith in Jesus (Q&A 12-85)

3) Life of Gratitude after deliverance (Q&A 86-129)

This understanding helps us to comprehend our own misery.

The fourth class teaches us about the comfort we receive from Jesus Christ, our only Mediator. After learning about our misery in sin and our sinful nature in Q&A 3-11 of the third class, we realize that we need a mediator who is a true and righteous human for the vicarious atonement of our sin, and also a true God who can bear the weight of the infinite wrath of God (Q&A 12-23).

The fifth class teaches us that the only way to receive all the benefits that Jesus Christ earned through His humiliation (incarnation, suffering, death, burial, descending to hell) and exaltation (resurrection, ascension, session in the right hand of God, coming again to judge) - which in the love of God the Father will be applied to His chosen by the work of the Holy Spirit - is through true faith in Jesus Christ. True faith is sure knowledge and wholehearted trust (Q&A 21), and the content of the faith is the Apostles' Creed (Q&A 24-64).

The sixth class teaches us about the life of the Church, including the declaration of the Good News, the sacraments, and the discipline of the Church. In this class, we learn how God cultivates our faith, which was initiated and will be perfected by Jesus Christ, through the means of grace. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us more and more through the two means of grace: God's word and the Holy Sacraments - Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The Holy Spirit uses God's word, which is written in the Bible, preached in the pulpit, and spiritually present in God the Logos, for our sanctification. The sacraments are visible signs of the invisible grace of God. Baptism shows us how the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is applied to us through our union with Him in Baptism. Sinking down into the water represents our death to our old selves, and rising from the water shows us our regeneration to new selves. In the Lord's Supper, as our physical body is nourished by food and drink, the blood and body of Christ will nourish our souls by the work of the Holy Spirit, using God's word to strengthen our faith. Additionally, the Church, as the mother of all the godly, uses discipline to correct and ask for repentance from believers who commit sins (Q&A 65-85).

The seventh class teaches us how to live a life of gratitude by obeying the will of God. After we are saved by His grace without any merit of our own, we choose to live the life of gratitude as God works in us to desire and to work according to His pleasing will. The life of gratitude has two parts. The first part is living according to His will, which is for us to live a godly life and to love God and our neighbors, as given through the Ten Commandments. (Q&A 86-115)

The eighth class teaches us Lord's prayer which teaches us how to express our gratitude through our words, as the second part of life of gratitude.(Q&A 116-129)

I pray that we may meet in one-on-one discipleship training for Heidelberg catechism.

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