The Heidelberg Catechism has been divided into three sections: sin, salvation, and service (or guilt, grace, and gratitude). The traditional titles for the questions and answers were renamed and reframed to fit the urban context. The sin section of the catechism speaks to life as it lived on the street and in the neighborhood. The writers of the catechism were not afraid to be honest about human life. A few examples were changing question three: "how do you know your misery?” I changed it to “what’s your ghetto report card?” Question seven was changed from “then where does this corrupt human nature come from?” to “naughty by nature”. Question ten has “will God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished” with “will we pay the cost to be the boss?”
The salvation section introduces the rescue plan of God found in Jesus Christ. The road of deliverance takes us through many stops on the salvation train. In question thirteen, we asked, “do I have enough to cover the cost”. Our response can only be “not even close our guilt increases every minute, every day”. For question nineteen, I translated it to ask “how will the revolution be televised” It can be viewed from God’s whole story of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. Jesus's resurrection and ascension are building blocks of dealing with the human condition of failure, misery and strife and pulls us into salvation countryside.
Lord’s Day 17
Q & A 45 CAN GOD COME OUT OF THE CLOSET?
On the third day Jesus came back to life.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU AND ME?
First, Jesus died because he was taking the punishment for our
sins, so when he came back to life he showed that the punishment was fulfilled and now we can be holy in God’s sight.
Romans 4:25 Jesus was handed over to die for our sins. He was raised to life in order to make us right with God.
1 Peter 1:3-5 - 3Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a hope that is alive. It is alive because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. 4 He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. It is a gift that can never be destroyed. It can never spoil or even fade away. It is kept in heaven for you. 5 Through faith you are kept safe by God's power. Your salvation is going to be completed. It is ready to be shown to you in the last days.
Second, by his power we can live a new life right now.
Romans 6:5-11 By being baptized, we have been joined with him in his death. We will certainly also be joined with him in his resurrection. 6 We know that what we used to be was nailed to the cross with him. That happened so our sinful bodies would lose their power. We are no longer slaves of sin. 7 Those who have died have been set free from sin. We died with Christ. So we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ was raised from the dead and will never die again. Death doesn't control him anymore. 10 When he died, he died once and for all time as far as sin is concerned. Now that he lives, he lives as far as God is concerned.
In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead as far as sin is concerned. Now that you believe in Christ Jesus, consider yourselves to be alive as far as God is concerned.
Colossians 3:1-4 You have been raised up with Christ. So think about things that are in heaven. That is where Christ is. He is sitting at God's right hand. Think about things that are in heaven. Don't think about things that are on earth. You died. Now your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life. When he appears again, you also will appear with him in heaven's glory.
Third, Jesus resurrection is a promise to us that we can be raised from the dead and live forever with him in heaven.
Romans 8:11 The Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. So the God who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your bodies, which are going to die. He will do this by the power of his Spirit, who lives in you.
Lord’s Day 18-19
Q & A 46 HEAVEN SENT?
Yes, while his disciples stood watching, Jesus ascended up to heaven. He is living there working on our behalf, until Judgement Day.
Acts 1:9-11 After Jesus said this, he was taken up to heaven. They watched until a cloud hid him from their sight. While he was going up, they kept on looking at the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothing stood beside them."Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. But he will come back in the same way you saw him go."
49 What is Jesus doing up there SO LONG?
1st – He “has our backs” with God the Father.
2nd – His presence in heaven guarantees that he will bring us there to be with him.
3rd – He sent his Spirit to us on earth to remind us to keep our focus on things of God, not things of earth.
1 - 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I'm writing this to you so that you will not sin. But suppose someone does sin. Then we have one who speaks to the Father for us. He stands up for us. He is Jesus Christ, the Blameless One.
2 - John 14:2 There are many rooms in my Father's house. If this were not true, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3 - 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 He makes both us and you stand firm because we belong to Christ. He anointed us. He put his Spirit in our hearts and marked us as his own. We can now be sure that he will give us everything he promised us.
50 WHAT IS HIS POSITION?
He is sitting on a throne at the right of God the Father, because he is the head of his church, and the Father rules all things through him.
Ephesians 1:20-23 He seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom. There Christ sits far above all who rule and have authority. He also sits far above all powers and kings. He is above every title that can be given in this world and in the world to come. God placed all things under Christ's rule. He appointed him to be ruler over everything for the church. The church is Christ's body. It is filled by Christ. He fills everything in every way.
51 WANNA GIFT?
Two gifts in fact:
1 – He gave us his Spirit,
Acts 2:33 Jesus has been given a place of honor at the right hand of God.
He has received the Holy Spirit from the Father. This is what God had
promised. It is Jesus who has poured out what you now see and hear.
2 – He defends us and keeps us safe from enemies.
John 10:27-30 "My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they will never die. No one can steal them out of
my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than anyone.
No one can steal them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
52 HOW IS JESUS’ COMING BACK TO EARTH A GOOD THING FOR ME?
When things get hard in life, I can remember that Jesus took my punishment for me so I am saved; and that all evil people will be condemned to hell; and Jesus is coming back to take who believes to heaven to be with him.
Romans 8:22-25 We know that all that God created has been groaning. It is in pain as if it were giving birth to a child. The created world continues to groan even now. And that's not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves as we look forward to the time when God will adopt us as full members of his family. Then he will give us everything he has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them.
That's the hope we had when we were saved. But hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? We hope for what we don't have yet. So we are patient as we wait for it.
Matthew 25:31-46 The Son of Man will come in all his glory. All the angels will come with him. Then he will sit on his throne in the glory of heaven. All the nations will be gathered in front of him. He will separate the people into two groups. He will be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep to his right and the goats to his left.
Then the King will speak to those on his right. He will say, 'My Father has blessed you. Come and take what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.'
Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. 'Lord,' they will ask, 'when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
The King will reply, 'What I'm about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'You are cursed! Go away from me into the fire that burns forever. It has been prepared for the devil and his angels. I was hungry. But you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty. But you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger. But you did not invite me in. I needed clothes. But you did not give me any. I was sick and in prison. But you did not take care of me.'
They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and not help you? When did we see you as a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and not help you?'
He will reply, 'What I'm about to tell you is true. Anything you didn't do for one of the least important of these, you didn't do for me.'
Then they will go away to be punished forever. But those who have done what is right will receive eternal life."