Last year, we finished with our review of Spurgeon’s Catechism as published each Sunday on the back of our bulletin.
Beginning this year, 2020, we will be taking a look at one or more questions in the Heidelberg Catechism in the same fashion. It is our firm belief that consistent review of orthodox Christian beliefs, by way of a “question-and-answer” format, will help us gain a greater understanding and appreciation of Bible truths.
“till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13-15)
For the week beginning Sunday, August 1:
LORD’S DAY 31
Q83. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
A83. The preaching of the holy gospel and church discipline. By these two the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and closed to unbelievers.*1
1. Mt 16:19; Jn 20:21-23.
Q84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and closed by the preaching of the gospel?
A84. According to the command of Christ, the kingdom of heaven is opened when it is proclaimed and publicly testified to each and every believer that God has really forgiven all their sins for the sake of Christ’s merits, as often as they by true faith receive the promise of the gospel. The kingdom of heaven is closed when it is proclaimed and testified to all unbelievers and hypocrites that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation rest on them as long as they do not repent. According to this testimony of the gospel, God will judge both in this life and in the life to come.*1
1. Mt 16:19; Jn 3:31-36; 20:21-23.
Q85. How is the kingdom of heaven closed and opened by church discipline?
A85. According to the command of Christ, people who call themselves Christians but show themselves to be un-Christian in doctrine or life are first repeatedly admonished in a brotherly manner. If they do not give up their errors or wickedness, they are reported to the church, that is, to the elders. If they do not heed also their admonitions, they are forbidden the use of the ordinances, and they are excluded by the elders from the Christian congregation, and by God Himself from the kingdom of Christ.*1 They are again received as members of Christ and of the church when they promise and show real amendment.*2
1. Mt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:3-5; 11-13; 2 Thess 3:14, 15. 2. Lk 15:20-24; 2 Cor 2:6-11.
Handout A for Lord’s Day 31
A Catechism For Boys and Girls
Parents help children find references in Bible and read to (or with) them.
Q55. How did godly persons saved before the coming of Christ show their faith?
A55. By offering sacrifices on God’s altar.
**Exodus 24:3-8; 1 Chronicles 29:20-25; Hebrews 9:19-23; 10:1; 11:28.
Q56. What did these sacrifices represent?
A56. Christ, the Lamb of God, who was to die for sinners.
**Exodus 12:46; cf. John 19:36; Hebrews 9 & 10; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:19.
(Learn each verse completely before moving on to memorize the next verse.)
29 The next day
John saw Jesus coming toward him,
and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world!”