Lord's Day 9

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Up to now, the catechism has made it abundantly clear the nature of our relationship with God. Because of the fall we have incurred tremendous guilt, for which we could neither atone for and bring about forgiveness. Moreover, we are, because of the fall, corrupt in our very nature, and are helpless to change. It does us no good to be a “good person,” for our goodness is riddled with sin. Our hope then rests in the goodness and grace of someone else; our hope is in the grace of God alone to deliver us. 

At this point the catechism bursts forth with the good news of the Gospel. Did God leave us to die in our sin and misery? No. God in his wonderful mercy has provided the perfect remedy for our sad, sinful condition. God has, by His grace, entered into a covenant relationship with us; we, who were separated from God because of our sin and guild. He called us into covenant with Him, promising to be our God, to deliver us from our sin and guilt, and to bring salvation through our redeemer Jesus Christ. 

The very essence of this covenant is that it is gracious. We did not deserve it, we could not earn it. We needed to be restored into a right relationship with God, but this was beyond our reach. Out of His good pleasure, God freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, who fulfilled the required obedience and paid the price for our sins. 

All that is required of us is that we place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We cease trusting in our own goodness; we trust in His life and death for our redemption. Christ, having fulfilled the legal conditions, has purchased life and salvation for all those who believe in him. When that life and salvation are passed on by faith to the believing sinner, it is offered and received as a gift of God’s grace alone. Give thanks today for God’s good and gracious gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.  


Gracious Lord, we thank you for calling us into a covenant relationship with you, wherein our sins are forgiven and we receive the promise of eternal life. We know we could not do this on our own, so we place our hope and our faith in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 20

Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.

Scripture Proofs

Eph. 1:4;

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Rom. 3:20-22;

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:

Gal. 3:21-22.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.