Written by SP Admin Category: We Believe
Published Date Hits: 2013
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THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM

The Heidelberg Catechism, was written in Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III, ruler of the most influential German province, the Palatinate, from 1559 to 1576. This pious Christian prince commissioned Zacharias Ursinus, twenty-eight years of age and professor of theology at the Heidelberg University, and Caspar Olevianus, twenty-six years old and Frederick’s court preacher, to prepare a catechism for instructing the youth and for guid-ing pastors and teachers. Frederick obtained the advice and cooperation of the entire theological faculty in the preparation of the Catechism. The Heidelberg Catechism was adopted by a Synod in Heidelberg and published in German with a preface by Frederick III, dated January 19, 1563.

A second and third German edition, each with some small additions, as well as a Latin translation were published in Heidelberg in the same year. The Catechism was soon divided into fifty-two sections, so that a section of the Catechism could be explained to the churches each Sunday of the year. In the Netherlands this Heidelberg Catechism became generally and favourably known almost as soon as it came from the press, mainly through the efforts of Petrus Dathenus, who translated it into the Dutch language and added this translation to his Dutch rendering of the Genevan Psalter, which was published in 1566.

In the same year Peter Gabriel set the example of explaining this catechism to his congregation at Amsterdam in his Sunday afternoon sermons. The National Synods of the sixteenth century adopted it as one of the doctrinal standards of the Reformed churches, requiring office-bearers to subscribe to it and ministers to explain it to the churches. These requirements were strongly emphasized by the great Synod of Dort in 1618-19.

The Heidelberg Catechism has been translated into many languages and is the most influential andthe most generally accepted of the several catechisms of Reformation times.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM

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The Bible teaches that the Lord's Day has been set aside for rest and worship. Therefore we worship in the morning and the afternoon. Our worship services are formal. The Bible teaches that a worship service is not merely the meeting of a number of people with one another but above all the meeting between God and his people. Reverence and respect are fitting as we worship in the presence of God. The sermon takes central place in our worship services. The Bible teaches that faith comes from the Holy Spirit and is strengthened by the preaching of God's Word. The Bible also teaches that the preaching of God's Word is meant to give direction for holy living.
The opening of Scripture is therefore central to the worship services.