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; in fact, our guilt increases every minute, every day." For question nineteen, I translated it to ask “How will the revolution be televised?” The answer: It can be viewed from God’s whole story of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation.
Can the Heidelberg Catechism be useful in any context? Absolutely, if teachers, pastors, and lay leaders willingly translate the catechism to speak to the hopes and fears of people in their actual contexts. I heard the Catechism for the first time in 1977. I didn’t take to its rich themes at first glance. But once I had young people who wanted to know if there was a text, other than the bible, that was helpful for their lives. I found the Heidelberg Catechism can be a relevant and helpful option if translated for the contexts where life is lived at street level with a text unafraid to take it on.
SALVATION: GOD THE FATHER
Lord’s Day 9 & 10
Q & A 26 IS GOD ALMIGHTY, OR SHOULD WE LOOK FOR SOMEONE ELSE?
Our God IS almighty, he created the whole universe – out of nothing! And now He continues to oversee everything he created. He rules it, nurtures it, cares for it, and manages it, and us.
Because I know this, I can trust him completely, knowing that he will provide everything I need for my body and my soul. I can trust that if he allows me to go through struggles, he will turn them to my good.
He is able to do this because he is almighty God. He desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.
Luke 12:22-31 Then Jesus spoke to his disciples.
He said, "I tell you, do not worry. Don't worry about your life and what you will eat. And don't worry about your body and what you will wear. There is more to life than eating. There are more important things for the body than clothes. Think about the ravens. They don't plant or gather crops. They don't have any storerooms at all. But God feeds them. You are worth much more than birds! Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying? You can't do that very little thing. So why worry about the rest? Think about how the lilies grow. They don't work or make clothing. But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon in all of his glory was dressed like one of those flowers. If that is how God dresses the wild grass, how much better will he dress you! After all, the grass is here only today. Tomorrow it is thrown into the fire. Your faith is so small! Don't spend time thinking about what you will eat or drink. Don't worry about it. People who are ungodly run after all of those things. Your Father knows that you need them. But put God's kingdom first. Then those other things will also be given to you.”
Romans 8:28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. He appointed them to be saved in keeping with his purpose.
27 & 28 IS GOD REALLY IN CONTROL?
(Testimony: Someone who has gone through a crisis of faith and emerged stronger because of it. Ask them to describe how they’ve questioned God’s control over what was happening in his or her life, then how he or she survived the crisis.)
SALVATION: GOD THE SON
Lord’s Day 11 – 13
Q & A 29 WHY DO WE CALL HIM “JESUS”?
Because Jesus means “savior” and he saves us from our sin. No one or nothing else can save us.
Matthew 1:21 She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That is because he will save his people from their sins.
Isaiah 43:11 I am the one and only Lord. I am the only one who can save you.
31 WHY DO WE CALL HIM “CHRIST”?
Because Christ means “Messiah” or “Anointed One”. Christ has been ordained by God the Father and anointed with the Holy Spirit to be:
-PROPHET—he reveals God to us
-PRIEST—he brings us safely to the Father, and keeps us there
-KING—he rules over us forever, by his Word and Spirit.
32 WHY ARE YOU CALLED CHRISTIAN?
A Christian is a “little Christ” because by faith we have not only been forgiven, but we are also made new by the Spirit to
testify to God’s power and love,
to live a life of thankfulness for what Jesus did for me,
and to fight against sin and the devil in this world.
Afterward we will reign in heaven with Christ forever, because we are also Prophets, Priests, and Kings and Queens.
33 WHY DO WE CALL HIM GOD’S “ONLY SON” WHEN WE ARE ALSO CALLED GOD’S CHILDREN?
Because Jesus is the very precious eternal, and natural Son of God; and we are adopted children of God.
Ephesians 1:5-6 So he decided long ago to adopt us as his children. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. 6 All those things bring praise to his glorious grace. God freely gave us his grace because of the One he loves.
34 WHY IS JESUS CALLED LORD?
Jesus is Lord or Master of our lives because he bought me with his blood when he died for me.
Possible dramas or skits ideas:
What keeps us from committing to Christ?
What other things do we look to for our salvation?
What are some other gods in our lives?
Lord’s Day 14
Q & A 35 VIAGRA OR THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The baby Jesus was conceived in the uterus of a young virgin girl named Mary, by the work of the Holy Spirit. Through this Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took on himself a human nature, so he might be David’s descendent and able to fulfill the requirements to pay the penalty for man’s sin.
36 HOW DOES THE CONCEPTION AND BIRTH OF JESUS BENEFIT ME?
Jesus had to be fully God and fully human because a perfect human being was required to take the punishment for sin for us.
JESUS’ SUFFERING & DEATH
Lord’s Day 15-16
Q & A 37 WHO’S THE KING OF PAIN?
Jesus bore more pain than we have words for, not only in his body,
but in his soul; because he bore the anger of God against the
whole human race. He paid the punishment for our sin to set us free from eternal
damnation; and to gain for us God’s grace, holiness, and eternal life.
1 Peter 2:24 He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did it so that we would die as far as sins are concerned. Then we would lead godly lives. His wounds have made you whole.
1 Peter 3:18 Christ died for sins once and for all time. The One who did what is right died for those who don't do right. He died to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought him back to life.
1 John 2:2 He gave his life to pay for our sins. But he not only paid for our sins. He also paid for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10 What is love? It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins.
Romans 8:1-4 Those who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer under God's sentence. I am now controlled by the law of the Holy Spirit. That law gives me life because of what Christ Jesus has done. It has set me free from the law of sin that brings death.
The written law was made weak by our sinful nature. But God did what the written law could not do. He made his Son to be like those who have a sinful nature. He sent him to be an offering for sin. In that way, he judged sin in his Son's human body. Now we can do everything the law requires. Our sinful nature no longer controls the way we live. The Holy Spirit now controls the way we live.
Romans 3:24-26 The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free. God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood.
God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them. God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus.
39 WHAT’S THE WORST WAY TO DIE?
Crucifixion was the most cursed way to die. It was our curse, not his.
Galatians 3:10-13 All who depend on obeying the law are under a curse. It is written, "May everyone who doesn't continue to do everything that is written in the Book of the Law be under God's curse." (Deuteronomy 27:26) 11 We know that no one is made right with God by keeping the law. Scripture says, "Those who are right with God will live by faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)
12 The law is not based on faith. In fact, it is just the opposite. It teaches that "the one who does those things will live by them."—(Leviticus 18:5)
13 Christ set us free from the curse of the law. He did it by becoming a curse for us. It is written, "Everyone who is hung on a pole is under God's curse."—(Deuteronomy 21:23)
40 WHO’S GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?
The curse in Genesis was “death”, and God’s perfect justice demanded death.
Genesis 2:17 But you must not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you can be sure that you will die.
Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Jesus already given a crown of glory and honor. He was made a little lower than the angels. He suffered death. By the grace of God, he tasted death for everyone. That is why he was given his crown.
41 WHAT’S UNDER THE ROCK?
It was important that Jesus be buried so everyone would know that he really did die.
42 CAN WE GET OUT ALIVE?
Our death is not a punishment for sin, it’s to put an end to our sinning, and it’s how we get into heaven.
Philippians 1:21-23 For me, life finds all of its meaning in Christ. Death also has its benefits. Suppose I go on living in my body. Then I will be able to carry on my work. It will bear a lot of fruit. But what should I choose? I don't know. 23 I can't decide between the two. I long to leave this world and be with Christ. That is better by far.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 God didn't choose us to receive his anger. He chose us to receive salvation because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done. Jesus died for us. Some will be alive when he comes. Others will be dead. Either way, we will live together with him.
43 HOW CAN THIS DEATH HELP ME?
Through Christ’s death our “old selves” are crucified, put to death, and buried with him, so that we are no longer ruled by our sinful nature, but instead we can give ourselves to God as an offering of gratitude.
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. Those who have died have been set free from sin.
8 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.
11 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.
Romans 12:1 Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him.
44 GO STRAIGHT TO HELL, REALLY?
We need to know in times of personal trials and temptations that Jesus not only suffered unspeakable physical torture, and the full anger of God, for us: but that he actually went to hell for us.
Hebrews 5:7-9 Jesus prayed while he lived on earth. He made his appeal with loud cries and tears. He prayed to the One who could save him from death. God heard him because he truly honored God. Jesus was God's Son. But by suffering he learned what it means to obey. 9 In that way he was made perfect. Eternal salvation comes from him. He saves all those who obey him.