Heidelberg Catechism 20 – 23

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

John 3: 1 – 21

(verse 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)

Question 20. Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ?
Answer. No; only those who are ingrafted into him, and receive all his benefits, by a true faith.

Question 21. What is true faith?

Answer. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel, in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.


Question 22. What is then necessary for a christian to believe?
Answer. All things promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.

Question 23. What are these articles?

Answer. I. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and
earth:
II. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
III. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
IV. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He
descended into hell:
V. The third day he rose again from the dead:
VI. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the
Father Almighty:
VII. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
VIII.I believe in the Holy Ghost:
IX. I believe an holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
X. The forgiveness of sins:
XI. The resurrection of the body:
XII. And the life everlasting. AMEN.

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Faith

  1. Origin
  2. Elements – personal knowledge, personal acknowledgement, personal trust
  3. Contents – God’s grace, God’s forgiveness, God’s righteousness, God’s salvation, God’s Son

Seven controversies God has against His people

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Hosea 4 & 5

(chapter 4, verse 1) Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. (ESV)

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  1. A people without true morality (4: 1 – 3)
  2. A people without true knowledge (4: 4 – 6)
  3. A people without true satisfaction (4: 7 – 11))
  4. A people without true worship (4: 12 – 14)
  5. A people without true wisdom (4: 15 – 19)
  6. A people without true leaders (5: 1 – 7)
  7. A people without true peace (5: 8 – 14)

The baptism of Jesus

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Matthew 3: 13 – 17

(verses 17) In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (ESV)

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  1. God’s revelation – God is the triune God, Jesus is God
  2. God’s encouragement – the promise of God is fulfilled, Jesus is encouraged by the Father’s words, The Spirit rests on Jesus, Jesus is commended by the Father
  3. God’s righteousness – primarily revealed in the life of Jesus, the purpose of the life of Jesus, points to Jesus

Heidelberg Catechism 12 – 15

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Hebrews 9: 11 – 10: 18

(Chapter 10, verse 14) For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (ESV)

Question 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favor?
Answer. God will have his justice satisfied: and therefore we must make this full satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another.

Question 13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?
Answer. By no means; but on the contrary we daily increase our debt.

Question 14. Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?
Answer. None; for, first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man hath committed; and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, so as to deliver others from it.

Question 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?
Answer. For one who is very man, and perfectly righteous; and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God

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Three objections

  1. God’s demands
  2. God’s creatures
  3. God’s mediator

Hosea 2

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Hosea 2: 14 – 23

(verse 19, 20) And I will betroth you to me for ever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. (ESV)

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  1. Divine initiative – allures, speaks tenderly, restores
  2. Divine declaration – Israel will love God, Israel will be fruitful
  3. Divine covenant – with the whole creation, brings peace, brings a new relationship
  4. Divine promises – God will answer, God will bring back, God will have mercy

John the Baptist

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Matthew 3: 1 – 12

(verses 1, 2) In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)

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  1. His role – prophetic, preparatory
  2. His ministry – fearless, truthful, humble, fruitful
  3. His message – repentance, rebuke, revelation, reassurance
  4. His baptism – purpose, repentance
  5. His Lord – Jehovah/Jesus is near, is mighty, is sovereign, is generous

Heidelberg Catechism 9, 10 and 11

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Romans 5

(verse 12) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (ESV)

Question 9. Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in his law, that which he cannot perform?
Answer. Not at all; for God made man capable of performing it; but man, by the instigation of the devil, and his own wilful disobedience, deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.

Question 10. Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
Answer. By no means; but is terribly displeased with our original as well as actual sins; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, as he hath declared, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Question 11. Is not God then also merciful?
Answer. God is indeed merciful, but also just; therefore his justice requires, that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment of body and soul.

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Three objections

  1. Is God fair?
  2. Is God really punishing sin?
  3. Is God merciful?