Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 3
Do you remember what we discussed last time? That there is something wrong deep down inside us? Perhaps you think: But I cannot help that, I did not make myself. Adam and Eve had not made themselves, either. God made them, and they were the best creatures God had made. They were to be an image of God on earth.
We could even say that they were somewhat like a picture. If we had seen these first people we would have remembered God who had made the whole world. And they could speak to God without fear. They didn’t have to be afraid of Him. They obeyed God and loved God. They would have a great future with God. And we would, too, if nothing had changed. But why are we today so much different? The answer is that Adam and Eve in paradise did not obey God. They listened to Satan. And they sinned. Perhaps you think: That may be true, but that has nothing to do with me. I was not in paradise. I did not listen to Satan. But do not forget: Adam and Eve together comprised all of humanity! You can say: when Adam and Eve sinned, all of humanity sinned. And you belong to humanity, just as your grandpa and grandma, your father and mother, and all the others. We and Adam and Eve sinned, they became evil inside. And we can discover evil inside of us. We can already see evil in babies. Two cute babies are in the same playpen. They are too young to have learned about good and bad. And yet, the one grabs the toy from the other. And when cookies are handed out, they fight to be first. When they do not get their way, they scream. You can see that evil streak even when they are still very young. But is our heart so evil that we can never do anything completely good? Is it true that we often do bad things?Y es, for we have become bad. But we can say more. Although we are born evil, things can become good again. Jesus Christ himself said that we need to be born a second time. That is strange, being born again.
How is that possible? You cannot go back into your mother’s womb! That is true, and Jesus did not mean to say that. He meant something else, but that looks a bit like a birth. He meant that you begin a new life. You are going to live a different life than people who do not belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. For that, you need a new heart. Everyone who wants to get rid of sin needs a new heart. That means:You begin a second life. That is a Iife as God wants you to live. And just as you grew in your mother before you were born, you also grow in this new Iife. We call that regeneration. That means: you grow up and become stronger as a child of God. He gives you strength. You can say: God’s Spirit helps you to love God, and to obey Him.