Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32 image

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32

[Last week it was a question nobody asks; this week, it's a question that everybody asks. If rescue in Christ is truly without merit, but by grace alone, then on what basis should we do good works? This was the Roman Catholic question in the Reformation, obviously, but it remains today in debates about antinomianism, the "free grace" or "hyper-grace" movements, and even some forms of the "Father's heart" teachings. Heidelberg gives four answers: (1) because Christ is restoring us not just redeeming us, so (2) because works show our gratitude and praise to God, (3) because good works assure us of our faith, and (4) because good works win our neighbours. Nice.

The second question, on whether people can be saved without repentance, is also well worth considering.]

Q86. Since we have been delivered
from our misery
by grace through Christ
without any merit of our own,
why then should we do good works?

A86. Because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood,
is also restoring us by his Spirit into his image,
so that with our whole lives
we may show that we are thankful to God
for his benefits,
so that he may be praised through us,
so that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits,
and so that by our godly living
our neighbors may be won over to Christ.

Q87. Can those be saved
who do not turn to God
from their ungrateful
and unrepentant ways?

A87. By no means.
Scripture tells us that
no unchaste person,
no idolater, adulterer, thief,
no covetous person,
no drunkard, slanderer, robber,
or the like
will inherit the kingdom of God.

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