Do You Know How to Use God’s Name (HC LD 36, QA 99-100)?  

Majestic. What a word. When something is majestic, it’s grand, it’s impressive, it’s outstanding, it’s magnificent. What have you seen that is majestic? What has taken your breath away? Maybe you’ve beheld the majesty of Mount Whitney in California or of the Winston Churchill Range of the Canadian Rockies. Maybe you’ve looked up at the majesty of the nighttime sky from Cherry Springs State Park in Coudersport, PA, or from Nova Scotia, Canada. I was once fly fishing on Pine Creek...

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What about Images of Jesus (HC LD 35, QA 96-98)?

What about images of Jesus? Many Christians agree we should not make any images of God because of the second commandment. But what about images of Jesus who is both God and man? What if we simply portray the humanity of Jesus and leave his divinity out of it entirely? Is that breaking the second commandment? It’s a big question. It’s an extremely important question. In fact, it’s among the most important theological questions because it relates to how we think about and worship Jesus...

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The “Love Is Love” Fallacy & the Truth about Love (HC LD 34, QA 92-95)

You’ve probably seen it on signs or t-shirts or stickers – “Love is love.” It’s the slogan of the LGBTQIA+ community. This little slogan reveals our culture’s confusion about love. First, as a kid, I was taught not to define a word with the word itself. Doing this is called a circular definition. What is the Heidelberg Catechism? Well, it’s a catechism from Heidelberg. That’s not all that enlightening or helpful. “Love is love” is unhelpful in part because it’s a...

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Take Heart, Your Conversion Is a Process (HC LD 33, QA 88-91)

What is conversion? When you hear the word “conversion,” you might think of an animated evangelist under a tent bellowing about being born again as a tearful man walks a sawdust aisle to the front. Or maybe you think about repeating a prayer at a youth conference or camp or someone leading someone else through the so-called “sinner’s prayer.” Or maybe you think about some other sensational or mountain top experience.   I’ve been to tent revivals, youth conferences, and...

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Should Fear or Grace Motivate Good Works (HC LD 32, QA 86-87)?

Understanding how the Heidelberg Catechism is organized is important. The law exposes our sin and misery and drives us to Christ. This is the guilt section. The grace section unpacks the gospel. In this section, the Heidelberg helps us understand the Apostles’ Creed, an excellent historical summary of the gospel. Through the gospel, the Holy Spirit quickens and motivates us to live for God’s glory by increasingly obeying His commandments. This is the gratitude section. Gratitude is more...

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The Dishonesty & Unhelpfulness of Much Seeker-Sensitive Worship (HC LD 31, QA 83-85)

Imagine an unbeliever named Liam going to church. That’s a great thing, by the way. We want unbelievers in worship. Like all unbelievers, Liam is living in rebellion against God. Liam is unwilling to admit his sin and misery, confess it, repent of it, and he’s unwilling to trust in Christ alone for salvation. However, Liam is spiritual and curious about the Christian faith. So, Liam visits a seeker-sensitive church. As he experiences the worship service, Liam hears the pastor say, “God...

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Are Protestants and Romanists Together (HC LD 30, QA 80-82)?  

When we have family worship, we sometimes talk as a family about how the Reformed faith differs from other theological perspectives including other religions. I firmly believe the Reformed and Presbyterian understanding of the Bible and the world is the most precise, logical, faithful, and comforting, so of course, I’m teaching my children this historic understanding of Christianity. It’s reassuring to confess such a faithful theological tradition with millions of Christians past and...

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Where Do You Look for the Assurance of Salvation (HC LD 29, QA 78-79)?

Dear brother or sister, you may struggle with the assurance of your salvation. I know what that’s like. Sometimes I wonder, “Can I actually be saved if I have thoughts like this, if I have these desires? Am I really saved if I do things like this?” When we are conscious of our sinful thoughts and desires, when sinful words come hurling out of our mouths, when our behavior has proven to be yet again sinful and hurtful, it’s easy to think, “Am I actually a Christian or am I simply a...

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Aren’t You Glad Christ Commands the Lord’s Supper (HC LD 28, QA 75-77)?

From a very early age, we don’t like being told what to do. Right? “Theodore, do not put that in your mouth!” What does Theodore do? He crams it in his mouth quickly. From our earliest years, something inside us says, “No, I don’t want to do that, and you can’t make me.” Isn’t this right? Isn’t it right that we are born with an aversion to commands that promote our wellbeing? Growing up, I was taught not to use foul language. During my college years, my language became more...

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Your Baptism Didn’t Save You, but It Should Greatly Comfort You (HC LD 27, QA 72-74)

Many Christians have a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to catechisms, confessions, and creeds. They rightfully desire to draw their doctrine from the Bible. They rightfully consider the Bible to be the sole authority for life and faith. They rightfully bulk at the thought of anything rising to equality to the Bible (and equality ends up being supremacy). However, they don’t understand that creeds of some sort are essential, necessary, in fact, inevitable. The moment anyone tries to...

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