Heidelberg Catechisms 72 – 74

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: Genesis 17: 1 – 14

Text: Mark 10: 13 – 16 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. (ESV)

Q. 72: Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins?

No, only Jesus Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.

Q. 73: Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism the water of rebirth and the washing away of sins?

God has good reason for these words. To begin with, God wants to teach us that the blood and Spirit of Christ take away our sins just as water removes dirt from the body. But more important, God wants to assure us, by this divine pledge and sign, that we are as truly washed of our sins spiritually as our bodies are washed with water physically.

Q. 74: Should infants also be baptized?

Yes. Infants as well as adults are included in God’s covenant and people, and they, no less than adults, are promised deliverance from sin through Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit who produces faith. Therefore, by baptism, the sign of the covenant, they too should be incorporated into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers. This was done in the Old Testament by circumcision, which was replaced in the New Testament by baptism.

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Introduction:

  1. God’s cleansing:

The guilt of sin:

The power of sin:

  1. God’s will:

To teach:

To assure:

  1. God’s promise:

His deliverance:

His Spirit:

  1. God’s children:

His covenant:

His people:

His promise:

His sign:

The fall of Adam’s offspring

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: Genesis 6

Text: Genesis 6: 1 – 8 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (ESV)

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Introduction:

Wild interpretation:

Creational consequences:

  1. God’ sons:

Distinct from the sons of men:

Mixed with the daughters of man:

Behave like the sons of men:

  1. God’s opinion:

The works of man:

The intentions of man:

The habit of man:

  1. God’s judgment:

Deserved:

Delayed:

Proclaimed:

Felt:

Deadly:

  1. God’s favour:

John the Baptist

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: Matthew 11

Text: Matthew 11: 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. (ESV)

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Matthew 11: 1 – 19

Introduction:

Unexpected question:

Different interpretations:

  1. The question of John:

The deeds of Christ:

The ministry of Christ:

  1. The answer to John:

Christ’s work:

Christ’s teaching:

Christ’s challenge:

  1. The ministry of John:

A persecuted prophet:

A great prophet:

More than a prophet:

  1. Lesson from John:

A present conflict:

A new era:

An old problem:

Heidelberg Catechisms 69 – 71

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: 1 Peter 3

Text: 1 Peter 3: 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (ESV)

Q. 69 How does holy baptism remind and assure you that Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross benefits you personally?

A. In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing and with it promised that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly his blood and his Spirit wash away my soul’s impurity, that is, all my sins.

Q. 70 What does it mean to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?

A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means that God, by grace, has forgiven our sins because of Christ’s blood poured out for us in his sacrifice on the cross. To be washed with Christ’s Spirit means that the Holy Spirit has renewed and sanctified us to be members of Christ, so that more and more we become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives.

Q. 71 Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?

A. In the institution of baptism, where he says: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”

This promise is repeated when Scripture calls baptism “the water of rebirth” and
the washing away of sins.

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Introduction:

The Catholic error:

The evangelical emphasis:

The biblical balance:

  1. Christ’s institution:

His command:

His statement:

His purpose: Our personal benefit

  1. Christ’s promise:

It is pictured:

It is confirmed:

  1. Christ’s washing:

Grace:

Forgiveness:

Sacrifice:

  1. Christ’s Spirit:

Renewal:

Sanctification:

Membership:

Genesis 5

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: Genesis 5

Text: Genesis 5: 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. (ESV)

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Introduction:

Divine silence:

Divine history:

Divine priorities:

  1. The creation of Adam:

God’s work:

God’s order:

God’s image:

  1. The children of Adam:

Adam’s likeness:

Adam’s destiny:

  1. The hope for Adam:

God’s family:

God’s blessing:

God’s taking:

God’s promise:

Ministerial persecution

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: Matthew 10

Text: Matthew 10: 5 – 42 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

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Introduction:

Unpleasant:

Certain:

Diverse:

  1. The reasons for this persecution:

Christ’s sending:

Christ’s name:

Christ’s disciples:

Christ’s coming:

Christ’s example:

  1. The sources of this persecution:

The religious leaders:

The civil authorities:

The family connections:

  1. The nature of this persecution:

Painful:

Deadly:

Testing:

Purposeful:

  1. The comfort in this persecution:

God’s Spirit:

God’s sovereignty:

God’s reward:

If my people

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: 2 Chronicles 7

Text: 2 Chronicles 7: 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (ESV)

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Introduction:

Providence can be hard:

Providence can be mysterious:

Providence can be interpreted:

  1. Covenantal context:

God’s people:

God’s name:

God’s law:

God’s judgment:

  1. Collective responsibility:

The people’s sin:

The people’s humbling:

  1. Spiritual demands:

Humbling before God:

Praying to God:

Seeking for God:

Turning to God:

  1. Glorious promises:

God will hear:

God will forgive:

God will heal:

God’s love

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: John 3: 1 – 21

Text: John 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)

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Introduction:

Questioned:

Abused:

Necessary:

  1. The origin of this love:

The Triune God:

The character of God:

  1. The beneficiaries of this love:

A perishing world:

A wider world:

A sinful world:

  1. The manifestation of this love:

The gift of the Eternal Son:

The gift of eternal life:

  1. The nature of this love:
  1. The requirements of this love:

Individual faith:

Lasting faith:

Sin, Faith and Service

Preacher: Rev Ian Hamilton

Reading: Luke 17: 1 – 10

Text: Luke 10: 1 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!

Luke 10: 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

Luke 10: 10  ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’ (ESV)

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Lessons of Jesus to the disciples

  1. Sin
  2. Faith
  3. Service

Heidelberg Catechisms 65 – 68

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Readings: 1 Corinthians 11: 23 – 33; Colossians 2: 6 – 15

Text: Colossians 2: 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. (ESV)

Q 65: It is through faith alone that we share in Christ and all his benefits: where then does that faith come from?

The Holy Spirit produces it in our hearts by the preaching of the holy gospel, and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.

Q 66: What are sacraments?

Sacraments are visible, holy signs and seals appointed by God so that by our use of them he may the more fully declare and seal the promise of the gospel: namely that he grants us forgiveness of sins and eternal life by grace because of Christ’s one sacrifice accomplished on the cross.

Q 67: Are both the word and the sacraments then intended to focus our faith on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?

Yes! In the gospel the Holy Spirit teaches us and by the holy sacraments assures us that our entire salvation rests on Christ’s one sacrifice for us on the cross.

Q 68: How many sacraments did Christ institute in the New Testament?

Two: holy baptism and the holy supper.

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Introduction:

The historical context:

The present neglect:

The necessary balance:

  1. God’s Son:

Instituted by Christ:

Point to Christ:

  1. God’s doing:

His teaching:

His declaration:

His confirmation:

  1. God’s Spirit:
  1. God’s grace:

Revealed:

Emphasised:

Granted:

  1. God’s people:

His covenant commitment:

His covenant requirements: