Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 8
The Apostles’ Creed
I 1. I believe in God the Father almighty Creator of heaven and earth.
II 2. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son, our Lord; 3. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; 4. suffered under Pontius Pi/ate, was crucified, de ad and buried; 5. He descended into hell. 6. On the third day He arose from the dead; 7. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
III 8. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead. 9. I believe in the Holy Spirit. 10. I believe a holy catholic Christian church, the communion of saints; 11. the forgiveness of sins; 12. the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
You know the Apostles’ Creed. The numbers I through 12 have been added to it. Our faith can be summarized in twelve statements. We call these the twelve articles of the Christian faith. But we have also added the numbers 1, 11 and 111. Perhaps you wonder why that was done. Look at what follows the I. Here, God the Father is mentioned. And following the 11, you see the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. And 111 is about the Holy Spirit. Now we put these three together: Father – Son – Holy Spirit. When someone who does not know the Bible sees this, he could say to you: How is that possible? I thought you believed there is only one God. But here you say there are three! That is hard to understand. How could you give a good answer? From ourselves we would not know what to say. But we do have to give an answer. Maybe this will help: “Yes, there is only one God. But instead of ‘God,’ you can also say: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is what the Bible says,’ When you think of God the Father, you remember that He made everything. When you think of God the Son, you remember that He died on the cross. When you think of God the Spirit, you remember that He teaches you to believe in God, and to be obedient to God. In the following instalments, you will hear more about Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why don’t you write the number I. And now you write a 3 through the I. Like this: There is I God. At the same time He is 3: Father, Son and Spirit. In the following issues, you will hear more about Him.