Also blogging at

« Theology for Everyday Life | Main | Linked Together: Apologetics »

Heidelberg Catechism

Question 21. What is true faith?

Answer: True faith is not only a certain knowledge of the truth of all that God has revealed to us in his word, (a) but also an assured confidence, (b) created by the Holy Spirit (c) in my heart through the gospel, (d) that not only to others, but to me also, God has freely given forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness, and salvation, (e) out of mere grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits. (f)

(Click through to see scriptural proofs.)

  • a. Hebrews 11:1-3
  • Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

          James 2:19

    You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

  • b. Romans 4:18-21
  • In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he consideredthe barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

          Romans 5:1

    Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

          Romans 10:10

    For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

          Hebrews 4:16

    Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • c. Galatians 5:22
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness … .

          Matthew 16:17

    And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

          Acts 16:14

    One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

  • d. Romans 1:16
  • For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

          Romans 10:17

    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

    For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

  • e. Romans 1:17
  • For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

    … yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

  • f. Romans 3:20-26
  • For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

    But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because inhis divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

         Romans 5:19

    For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

         Luke 1:77-78

    … to give knowledge of salvation to his people

    in the forgiveness of their sins,

    because of the tender mercy of our God,

    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high … . 

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>