Heidelberg Catechism: The Holy Sacraments
Lord's Day 25
Q. It is through faith alone that we share in Christ and all his benefits: where then does that faith come from?
A. The Holy Spirit produces it in our hearts1 by the preaching of the holy gospel,2 and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.3
1 John 3:5; 1 Cor. 2:10-14; Eph. 2:8
2 Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25
3 Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:16
Q. What are sacraments?
A. Sacraments are visible, holy signs and seals. They were instituted by God so that by our use of them he might make us understand more clearly the promise of the gospel, and seal that promise.1
And this is God's gospel promise: to grant us forgiveness of sins and eternal life by grace because of Christ's one sacrifice accomplished on the cross.2
1 Gen. 17:11; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 4:11
2 Matt. 26:27-28; Acts 2:38; Heb. 10:10
Q. Are both the word and the sacraments then intended to focus our faith on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
A. Yes! In the gospel the Holy Spirit teaches us and by the holy sacraments confirms that our entire salvation rests on Christ's one sacrifice for us on the cross.1
1 Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 11:26; Gal. 3:27
1 Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26