2008-01-05 - Heidelberg 2
Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 5
Question 2: What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Answer: Three things:
First, how great my sin and misery are;
This answer has it all. It is a great question, but the answer really speaks to our experience and need. We never really will know how great our sin and misery is outside of Christ. The simple answer is that your sin is greater than you fear it is. Our misery is deeper than we ever dared contemplate even in our most introspective times. Understanding the desperate nature of our condition outside of Christ, there is the second thing we must know. We are set free in Christ. To live and die in the joy of our only comfort (Question 1), we must come to Christ. We respond by living thankful lives. We have been delivered from hell, damnation, and eternal separation from the Creator of the universe, yes, but we add to that the practical reality that even in this life we have been saved from a life of futility of uselessness. The redemption Christ offers is completer than we often think. It does respect eternal life, but it also gives us new life now, today, in all we do and dream in this life.
Who wouldn't want to live well? We all want to live lives that are filled with joy and happiness. This question takes things a bit further, however, and adds to life our hope of dying well. Yes, let us seek to die well. We all want the best kind of life, but even more let us live our lives in such a manner that when we do come to die there is no fear, but rather a natural easing into eternity. To die well is emancipation from the shackling of this world and a joining of ourselves into the blessed realms of eternity. Only the Christian has such thoughts. We live our lives for Christ and then go to be with Him for eternity. Let us live in such a way that death is merely the next natural step for us in our communion with Christ.
We are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 to, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." These words are a window into how we ought to live. We are to live as students and followers of God's Holy Word - His Revelation to us. We must be diligent in this that we might present ourselves to God approved in Christ, as workers of His truth unashamedly. It is something for us all to strive to fulfill, but as we strive unto this we cultivate not only the best kind of lives, but also prepare ourselves to one day present ourselves before God, clothed not in our earthly works but glistening simply in the righteousness of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,