2007-11-23 - Heidelberg 1.2
Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 2
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 whole heartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
Today we will look at the phrase, but belong - body and soul, in life and death - to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. As we noted last week, in the first part of the answer, we are not our own is by three things: creation, preservation, and redemption. We must then know whose we are, and the catechism tells the Christian to whom he/she belongs. We belong to our Savior Jesus Christ. We belong, body and soul, in life and death, to Jesus Christ. It hardly gets more far reaching than that. All we are, all we have, all we look forward to, all our physical and spiritual aspects, all our being in our life and also in our death, is centered in Jesus Christ.
The comfort that Christ gives the sinner reaches as far as the sinners need. The sin of the sinner reaches body and soul, life and death, so does the sinners comfort in Christ. The Psalmist, Psalm 61:2 says, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. This is what we experience in Christ. We know a comfort that we have never, could never, and would never know were we to have remained apart from Christ. Only the Christian knows this comfort.
Child of God, everything you hold dear, all you embrace as precious, all your aspirations, all you are or ever will be, is to be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. You belong to Him. You are not your own. As a child of God you are heir to all things because you are united with Jesus Christ. It was the prayer of Christ in John 17:21, that we would be one with Him as He is one with His Father. These things are too deep for us, but our union with Christ effects body and soul, life and death. For even as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:12.
Our Savior is also here called faithful. It is a great blessing that Christ is faithful. We belong to Christ who will not disappoint. He will not leave anything lacking, but faithfully executes His offices as Prophet, Priest, and King. He is faithful to the uttermost and thus worthy of all our trust and devotion. We belong to Him because we could belong to no other who could be as faithful, and truthful. It is His faithfulness in the matters that are dearest to us that make Him our perfect comfort.
Soli Deo Gloria,