The Wonderful Promise of the Gospel

In reference to the Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 31 Question and Answer 84, Rev. Hoeksema writes these words that capture just a fraction of the incomprehensible beauty of the promise of the gospel. He states that the promise of the gospel “in one word . . . is, according to Scriptures, Christ and all His riches of salvation and blessing. It is the promise that God will raise up a Saviour out of the seed of David; that his seed of David shall bear the sins of His people; that God shall raise Him from the dead and give Him glory, exalt Him on the throne of His father David, and give Him the ends of the earth for His possession. Christ is the promised Seed. The promise, therefore, according to Scripture, implies the assurance of righteousness and peace, of forgiveness and sonship, of deliverance and sanctification, of eternal life and glory, of the incorruptible and undefilable inheritance that fadeth not away. It implies for Christ and all that are in him that they shall be heirs of the world, inherit the new and heavenly kingdom and dwell in God’s eternal tabernacle forever. And therefore, the promise also implies the gift of the Holy Spirit. That Spirit is given first of all to Christ, and then also to them that are of Him. It is through this Spirit that all the blessings of Christ are realized upon the church. It is important that we emphasis this. It is a mistake to present the matter as if God merely promised the objective blessings of salvation to the seed of Abraham, or even to men in general, so that it depends upon their consent whether or not the promise shall be realized unto them. Very definitely the gift of the Holy Spirit is included in the promise. It is God’s promise that He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. And through this Spirit He effectually works the salvation of Christ in the hearts of all His people in the way of regeneration, calling, faith, justification, sanctification, perseverance, and glorification. Through that Spirit they are translated from darkness into light and are kept in the power God unto the salvation that is to be revealed in the last time. All this is included in the promise, that is, in the positive declaration on the part of God that He will surely bestow these blessings and benefits of salvation upon all His people.”

The amazing blessings that are for us, wretched sinners! May the wonderful promise of the gospel insight us to praise our Lord and Saviour more and more that we might rejoice in Him! May it make us more keen and desirous to diligently seek the means of grace Lord’s Day by Lord’s Day in the preaching and the administration of the sacraments!


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