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The Heidelberg Catechism (19)

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The Heidelberg Catechism (19)

(Explained for Children)

6 minuten leestijd

This Lord's Day is about the last part of Article VI and about Article VII of the twelve articles. It is again about the exaltation of the Lord Jesus.

Question 50: Why is it added, “and sitteth at the right hand of God”?

Answer: Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that He might appear as head of His church, by whom the Father governs all things.

Christ ascended into heaven and sits there at the right hand of His Father. But does His Father have a right hand? He has no body as we do. What then is meant by the right hand of the Father?

When a king has important visitors in his palace, the chair next to him on his right is the place of importance. There the important guest may sit, for it is the place of honor. Therefore sitting at the right hand of God means receiving the most distinguished place in heaven. There Christ sits as King upon the throne. It is the wish of His Father, who desires Him to be the exalted King, ruling over all things. He has received the greatest power and the greatest glory.

He rules over all things, but especially over His Christian church, His people. He is their Head, and He provides for them. This is to be seen when we read the next question.

Question 51: What profit is this glory of Christ, our Head, unto us?

Answer: First, that by His Holy Spirit He pours out heavenly graces upon us His members; and then that by His power He defends and preserves us against all enemies.

The question asks what profit His children have of His sitting at God's right hand. Two things are mentioned.

First, He pours out heavenly graces upon His people. He pours them out, meaning that there are many. His people receive much from Him. These are saving graces. What are these graces then? I will mention a few.

Regeneration is one of these graces. We read in Lord's Day 3, Question 8, what regeneration is. Another is true faith, of which we read in Lord's Day 7. They are given love, by which they love God. They receive a heart with which to serve and to obey the Lord. These are all graces which Christ gives.

In these graces it can clearly be seen that Christ is the Head of His people, and His children are His members. You know that the Head and the members are closely bound to each other, for they belong together. The members receive all that they need from their Head.

In the second place, He defends and preserves His people against all enemies. This He does by His divine power, for He is stronger than all enemies. Do you remember how Peter was in prison, with soldiers guarding him? The doors were securely locked, so nobody could deliver him. However, His King could do so! He sent an angel, and Peter was delivered from prison. It is in this way that the Lord Jesus uses His divine power. The enemies can do nothing beyond His will!

Question 52: What comfort is it to thee that “Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead”?

Answer: That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head I look for the very same person, who before offered Himself for my sake to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven; who shall cast all His and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall translate me with all His chosen ones to Himself, into heavenly joys and glory.

Christ comes to judge the quick and the dead. The believer is asked: Why is that your comfort? And the answer states that this is the last step in the exaltation of Christ. It has not yet taken place, but is still to happen. The Lord Jesus shall return from heaven. When? Nobody knows this. Everyone shall see Him in the clouds upon His throne. Then He will be the Judge, and everyone must appear before Him, also those who have died, for He shall bring them all to life again.

He will then judge all people. This means that He knows what each person has done, even though we ourselves have long forgotten it. Each person receives the punishment he deserves. Is this true for everyone? No, not everyone, for we know what answer is given. Do you know what is said? It is said that it will be for some a great comfort that the Lord comes from heaven as Judge, for this Judge is not a stranger to them. He is the One who was condemned to death for them. He bore the punishment and the curse that they had merited, and therefore they will not be punished. The Judge is the Lord Jesus, the Savior. He shall bring them into the heavenly glory, where there is eternal joy. This is not only for some, but for all His chosen ones.

Who are those chosen ones? Long before the world existed, God had determined to save some. These He Himself has chosen. We call this the election, and those people are the chosen ones. Therefore all chosen ones shall enter heaven.

What happens to the other people? They remained enemies of the Lord and of His people. It says that the Lord will cast them into eternal condemnation. They will be forever in hell, where there is everlasting pain and sorrow. How terrible that is! But it is their own fault, for they were not willing to turn from their evil ways.

Do you see how very necessary it is to turn unto the Lord? God is free and sovereign, and may we learn to bow under this. It is still possible to do so. God Himself has opened the way in Christ.

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van vrijdag 1 april 2005

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

The Heidelberg Catechism (19)

Bekijk de hele uitgave van vrijdag 1 april 2005

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken