The Heidelberg Catechism Part II: Deliverance Lord’s Day 5
Question 12: According to God’s righteous judgment we deserve punishment both now and in eternity: how then can we escape this punishment and return to God’s favor?
Answer 12: God requires that his justice be satisfied. (1) Therefore, the claims of this justice must be paid in full, either by ourselves or by another. (2)
(1) Exodus 23:7 NKJV Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked.
Romans 2:1-11 NKJV Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (2) But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (3) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (4) Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (5) But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, (6) who "WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS": (7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (8) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, (9) tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; (10) but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (11) For there is no partiality with God.
(2) Isaiah 53:11 NKJV He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Romans 8:3-4 NKJV For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Q13: Can we make this payment ourselves?
A13: Certainly not. Actually, we increase our debt every day. (1)
(1) Matthew 6:12 NKJV And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
Romans 2:4-5 NKJV Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (5) But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Q14: Can another creature – any at all – pay this debt for us?
A14: No. To begin with, God will not punish any other creature for what a human is guilty of. (1) Furthermore, no mere creature can bear the weight of God’s eternal wrath against sin and deliver others from it. (2)
(1) Ezekiel 18:4 NKJV "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Ezekiel 18:20 NKJV The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
Hebrews 2:14-18 NKJV Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. (17) Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
(2) Psalms 49:7-9 NKJV None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him – (8) For the redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever – (9) That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit.
Psalms 130:3 NKJV If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
Q15: What kind of mediator and deliverer should we look for then?
A15: One who is a true (1) and righteous (2) human, yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is also true God. (3)
(1) Romans 1:3 NKJV concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
1 Corinthians 15:21 NKJV For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
Hebrews 2:17 NKJV Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
(2) Isaiah 53:9 NKJV And they made His grave with the wicked – But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Hebrews 7:26 NKJV For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
(3) Isaiah 7:14 NKJV Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jeremiah 23:6 NKJV In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.
John 1:1 NKJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.