449 Years of Our “Only Comfort in Life and Death”

A Wordle of the Catechism

On January 19, 1563 the first edition of the Heidelberg Catechism was sent to the printers by Elector Frederick III. The catechism, penned by Zacharius Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, has served as a masterpiece of theological and pastoral wisdom from God’s Word for Reformed Christians for centuries.

Q. 60 How are you righteous before God?

A. Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that – though my conscience daily accuses me, that I have greatly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil – nevertheless, God, without any merit of mine, but only by His mere grace, grants and imputes to me: the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefits with a believing heart.

What’s so great about the Heidelberg Catechism? Here are ten characteristics for you:
It’s Personal
It’s Devotional
It’s Practical
It’s Biblical
It’s Ecumenical
It’s Irenic
It’s Pastoral
It’s Didactic
It’s Confident
It’s Dense
See Fred Sanders explain each of these.

And of course, best of all it is free: see the Catechism at CCEL.

1 thought on “449 Years of Our “Only Comfort in Life and Death”

  1. God will judge – may we be sober in our lives here &, with His mercy, be found worthy when we stand before Him. Because he loves mankind, He has given us free will – to choose life or choose death. He has given us Jesus, His own son – the Messiah – the icon of God – the true Adam. All of history foreshadows & culminates in the revealing of the God-man Jesus & His healing of the condition of mankind. All of scripture & creation itself points toward & encourages men to choose Life… Christ died for the sins of the world – His work has been completed; however, we must appropriate it individually. “Each of us who sins with his own free will chooses punishment. The blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame.” – Clement of Alexandria Only in the Last Judgment will the righteous be revealed, so we are to be vigilant (as in the parables i.e. the ten virgins, etc.) & fight the good-fight, run the race so as to win…

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