03 July, 2016

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day XXXI—“… declared and publicly testified to all …”

Q. 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?

A. Thus: when according to the command of Christ it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins are really forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary, when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers, and such as do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God and eternal condemnation, so long as they are unconverted; according to which testimony of the gospel God will judge them, both in this and in the life to come.


Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965)

[It must be thoroughly understood] that the issue is not the general preaching of a particular gospel. We have no objection to Lord’s Day XXXI. We do not object to proclaiming to an entire audience that whosoever believes in the crucified Christ will be saved … In our controversy the issue is not whether the preacher must offer something. The issue is whether he may preach, that God in His great love and passion for sinners seeks their salvation, not only of the elect, but of all mankind in general … The latter is the teaching of the First Point.

… [The] article states; “When according to the command of Christ, it is declared and testified to every believer” etc. It is not discussing all and every one in general, but only the believers, and all of them.



More to come! (DV)

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