This beautiful poetic version by David Croft, of Lords Day 31 of the Heidelberg Catechism takes up questions regarding the keys to the kingdom as taught in God's Holy Word. In other words, how do people come to know the way to Heaven's gate, and how are they do know if they are in error? Through the preaching of God's Word, the way of salvation according to God's Holy Word is proclaimed. Then, by gentle discipline God uses His church to guide people less they should fall away. Discipline is always administered with the hope of restoring wayward souls to Christ.
What Keys Unbar the Privy Place
What keys unbar the privy place
Unto the land that knows no sin?
The gospel preached, and all of grace
With humble Christian discipline
Both preaching and the shepherd’s rod
Unveil to saints the ancient gate
Which leads on high to very God
But blind it to the reprobate
How does the Word of Life proclaimed
Unbind or shut the path of peace?
In gospel archer’s arrows aimed
Whose wounds awake where sorrows cease
The hope which finds its promised rest
In what He does...and all endured
The One Begotten of the Blessed
By that same holy herald hurled
The door of life is fettered fast
To all the unbelieving world
And hypocrites unto the last
As long as they do not repent
His wrath upbraids their mortal skies
Upon this gospel testament
His judgment now and ever lies
How does the rod and shepherd’s staff
Unlatch or close the King’s domain?
The Lord, to sift the wheat and chaff,
And sanctify our sinning stain
Commands of them denoted ‘saints’
Who drink the doctrines devils spin
Or wear the world’s ungodly paints
Though oft recalled, yet choosing sin
To purge unpardoned from the fold
And bar from those who holy dine
The sons who trade His trialed gold
To dredge the world’s unholy wine
But yet to fall prostrate and kiss
Before the bar where sins are cast
The wayward who return from this
Beneath the blood all to the last
May 16, 1998
Lords Day 31 Heidelberg Catechism
Questions & Answers 83-85
© 1998 David L. Croft
What are the Keys of the Kingdom? Lords Day 31 of the Heidelberg Catechism responds to that question, explaining that the Keys of the Kingdom are the preaching of the holy Gospel, as well as Biblical discipline.
Through the faithful preaching of the Word of God, all are brought to a Biblical understanding of what is necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. The way is open to all who would come to Christ, yet that same door is closed to those who would spurn the Gospel and refuse its instruction.
The rod of Scripture is used to not only shepherd the sheep, but discipline those who walk in disobedience, with the goal of bringing them safely back into obedience to Christ, and fellowship with believers. God understands our frailties and provides ways for us to be brought back into fellowship with Him when we have gone astray.
Oh, how He loves His children!