Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23
Q59. What good does it do you, however,
to believe all this?
A59. In Christ I am righteous before God
and heir to life everlasting.
Q60. How are you righteous before God?
A60. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.
Even though my conscience accuses me
of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments,
of never having kept any of them,
and of still being inclined toward all evil,
without any merit of my own,
out of sheer grace,
God grants and credits to me
the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,
as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner,
and as if I had been as perfectly obedient
as Christ was obedient for me.
All I need to do
is accept this gift with a believing heart.
Q61. Why do you say that
through faith alone
you are righteous?
A61. Not because I please God
by the worthiness of my faith.
It is because only Christ’s satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness
make me righteous before God,
and because I can accept this righteousness and make it mine
in no other way
than through faith.