2009-03-01 - Heidelberg 15.1
Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 34
Question 15.1: "What kind of mediator and deliverer should we look for then?
Answer: One who is truly human and truly righteous, yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is also true God."
We are back in the Heidelberg Catechism, and we have made it to question 15. We will look at the humanity/Divinity of Christ some in 16.1. Today, I would like to consider the phrase in the answer, "more powerful than all creatures." We look for a mediator who is more powerful than everything that has been created. Someone who is more than the creation, and specifically we look for one who is greater than Satan - the created, but fallen angel (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6).
Christ is greater than Satan, because while Satan is created, Christ is God. Let us look at why we may trust Christ when Satan assails us. It is true that all but two, Enoch and Elijah, have died. The wisdom of Solomon could not keep him from the grave, and being a man after God's own heart did not keep King David from sleeping "with his fathers," 1 Kings 2:10. Here is where we take comfort:
The devil does not have the power to cause death. All the energy and desire of the devil focused on one little infant cannot cause that infant to taste death. The doctors may despair and lose hope in our recovery, or the recovery of someone we love, but it is only the Lord God Almighty who has the power to cause us to die. We have reason to be aware of the many temptations and assaults of Satan, but we need not fear that he can end our lives.
The devil does not have any power over our lives that is not first granted by the Father, who holds life in His loving hands. I think that one of the ways Satan assaults us is by reminding us of our past sins. Maybe they are sins of youth, maybe they are sins when we certainly should have known better, but Satan will tell us that, "yes, you have made a quite remarkable profession of faith." But he will say, "you are a hypocrite none the less." He will say, "so you make yourself out to be one of those Jesus died for - take a look at your sins, take a look at your lusts, pride, envy. How very rebellious you are, fine saint you are - evil thoughts, doubting - oh, and there is that one sin, that one you don't wish anyone to know about - know about it. And you claim to be a child of God. You are a hypocrite none the less."
So it goes with Satan. He will accuse us. He will seek to cause us to doubt. He will make us as uncomfortable as he can about our faith. What do we reply? We tell Satan that he is right. We have done an atrocious job being faithful. We have rebelled. We have sinned. We have dark days in our history that we wish we did not have. We say, "go Satan, go to Calvary, go to the cross, and see where my sin has been covered by the blood of Christ. My sins, great as they are - they are not mine. Christ has taken them, and He has made Atonement for them with His blood." We show Satan the blood of Christ when he reminds us of our past sins. The blood of Christ has put the believers sins away.
An old saint, who had been often assaulted by Satan's attacks, in this manner found peace. A Christian friend asked him how. The wise saint replied, "I showed him (Satan) the blood, sir; I showed him the blood of Christ." That is what we must do when Satan assails us. In those times, we show him the shed blood of Jesus Christ for sin, on the cross at Calvary.
Soli Deo Gloria,