Deliverance by the Only Mediator

The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 5

12. Question: Since, according to God’s righteous judgment we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, how can we escape this punishment and be again received into favor?

Answer: God demands that His justice be satisfied.[1] Therefore full payment must be made either by ourselves or by another.[2]

[1] Ex. 20:5; 23:7; Rom. 2:1-11. [2] Is. 53:11; Rom. 8:3, 4.

13. Question: Can we ourselves make this payment?

Answer: Certainly not. On the contrary, we daily increase our debt.[1]

[1] Ps. 130:3; Matt. 6:12; Rom. 2:4, 5.

14. Question: Can any mere creature pay for us?

Answer: No. In the first place, God will not punish another creature for the sin which man has committed.[1] Furthermore, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin and deliver others from

[1] Ezek. 18:4, 20; Heb. 2:14-18. [2] Ps. 130:3; Nah. 1:6.

15. Question: What kind of mediator and deliverer must we seek?

Answer: One who is a true[1] and righteous[2] man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is at the same time true God.[3]

[1] I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:17. [2] Is. 53:9; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26. [3] Is. 7:14; 9:6; Jer. 23:6; John 1:1; Rom. 8:3, 4.

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