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Heidelberg Catechism

This is an explanation of “he descended into hell” in the Apostles’ Creed that I’ve never seen anywhere else. What do you think of it?

Question 44. Why is “he descended into hell” added [in the Apostles’ Creed]?

Answer: So that in my greatest temptations, I may be assured and comforted in this: my Lord Jesus Christ, by his unspeakable anguish, pain, terror, and agony, which he endured in all his sufferings, (a) but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell. (b)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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Sunday's Hymn: How Firm a Foundation, Ye Saints of the Lord

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed;
I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

“E’en down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”

—John Rippon


Other hymns, worship songs, prayers, sermons excerpts, or quotes posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Pactum Salutis

Don’t know what that means? (You could look it up here.)

Or you could just read this morning’s post at Out of the Ordinary. It’s what I’m discussing, although I don’t call it that. 


Thankful Thursday

… although it will probably be Friday when you read this.

I’m thankful the cut youngest son got at work today is no worse that it is. It required several stitches, but there was no nerve or tendon damage. I’m also thankful he’s old enough to do emergency room visits himself.

I’m thankful for answered prayer. Lately, my family has had several prayer requests, big ones and small, answered in surprising ways. I’m also thankful for God’s timing, which is so much better than mine. I’m thankful that when God answers prayer, he doesn’t always give us what we ask for exactly when we ask for it.

I’m thankful we finally have perfect pool party weather. I was beginning to wonder if we’d skip real summer this year, but it’s finally come—and promises to be here for at least a week.

I’m thankful for my grandson, the youngest of my grandchildren, who loves pool parties at Grandma’s house.

I’m thankful for two ripe tomatoes. And kale and spinach, ready to pick.


Theological Term of the Week

“[T]he view that even if there is objective truth, none of us can know what that truth is.”1 

  • Jesus speaks to a skeptic: 

    Jesus answered, … For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” …  (John 18:37-38 ESV)

    At first, Skepticism appears to be a thoroughly humble viewpoint. What could be more humble than saying you don’t know anything? What could be more modest than considering your opinion no better than anyone else’s? In reality, however, Skepticism is remarkable bold—even arrogant—because it makes sweeping claims about the capacity of the human mind that it can’t consistently support. 

    In effect, Skeptics want us to believe that they alone have discerned some universal truth about human knowledge. But do they claim to know that? If they do, they’re no being consistently skeptical; specifically, they’re not being skeptical about their own claim to know a universal truth. On the other hand, if they say they don’t know that Skepticism is correct, why should we take their position seriously? By their own profession, their opinions about human knowledge are no better than anyone else’s.

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