2007-12-01 - Heidelberg 1.3
Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 3
Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I am not my own, but belong - body and soul, in life and in death - to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in Heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
The section in the catechism we come to next is a long one that tells us what Christ has done for us in His office as a faithful Savior. The sections runs, "He has fully paid - all things must work together for my salvation." There is a lot of comfort here for the follower of Christ. There is a lot here to encourage anyone who has not already sought forgiveness in Christ, or trusted into Christ by faith.
I am going to jump into the second question because it helps us better understand this part of the first question. The second question asks, "What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?" The answer: "Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance." We will come back to this again, but this is a great interpretation of how we can personally apply what Christ has done for us as Savior. We have to first know, by experience, the answer to question two, before we can understand the reality, to us, of question one.
We see in John 6:39, 40 that Christ watches over us. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this the will of my Father, that every one who beholds the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." We are watched over, so that not a hair of our head falls without God knowing. Nothing escapes His notice, and everything that is done, is done according to God's perfect plan. "Our safety does not lie in our own hands or strength; for if it did, we should lose it a thousand times every moment." (Ursinus)
There is great comfort for us in this section of the catechism. "Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's," Romans 14:8. Cultivate this mindset. It will revolutionize your life. It is only in this frame of mind that we can understand that "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God," Romans 8:28. Satan's power is broken when we are under the loving power of our Heavenly Father. Satan can tempt us, but he cannot control. The Lord holds all that pertains to us, our families, our churches - even all things, in the palm of His caring, loving hand.
Soli Deo Gloria,