Bone Of His Bone, Flesh Of His Flesh

And they two shall be one flesh. They shall be one man, or, to use a common phrase, they shall constitute one person; which certainly would not hold true with regard to any other kind of relationship. All depends on this, that . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 86: Why Good Works? (2)

We should also reject soundly and unreservedly that teaching that will not say that believers, who are united to Christ by the Spirit, through faith alone, who are justified freely (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), have no moral obligation to be conformed to Christ and thus to do good works. That is antinomianism. No, the Spirit is conforming us to Christ’s image. Those who have been given new life (regenerated) will do good works. They want to do good works out of thankfulness. Gratitude is not, as some say, a second blessing any more than oranges are a second blessing on an orange tree (see Belgic Confession art. 24) Continue reading →

Heidelberg Catechism 76: Embracing, Communing With, And United To Christ

One of the great tragedies of the debates about the nature of the sacraments is that they force us to look at the sacraments instead of looking at him whom they signify, Christ, and that which they promise: the gospel. Thus far we’ve spent a good bit of time doing what it is necessary to come to a clear understanding of what sacraments are, how they are that (sacraments) and not the thing signified but true and real signs and seals of the covenant of grace. The Supper is a real, mysterious, Holy Spiritual communion in the true body and blood of Christ Continue reading →

Heidelberg 65: Faith, Union With Christ, And The Means Of Grace (1)

65. Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all His benefits by faith only, whence comes this faith? The Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts by the preaching of the Holy Gospel, and confirms it by the use of the . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 53: We Believe In The Holy Spirit (3)

In part 2 we looked at what the church catholic (universal) has confessed about the Holy Spirit and how our confession of the person and work of the Spirit developed. 53. What do you believe concerning the Holy Spirit ? First, that . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 45: Three Benefits of Christ’s Resurrection (3)

In part 2 we looked at how Christ overcame death by his resurrection. Now we must add a layer to the story. Imagine this: you get a letter announcing that a relative has died and you’ve to receive a million dollars. That’s it. There’s no return address . . . Continue reading →

Olevianus On Romans 2:13

In 1529, one of Luther’s principal opponents, Johannes Eck (1486–1541) published the first edition his Enchiridion Against Luther and Other Enemies of the Church a refutation of the Protestant errors. Under the heading, “De fide et operibus” he proposed the thesis that . . . Continue reading →

Useful Myths And Reformed Identity Markers

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) first provides multiple definitions of the word “myth.” The first says, “A traditional story, typically involving supernatural beings or forces, which embodies and provides an explanation, aetiology, or justification for something such as the early history of . . . Continue reading →