May 14, 2008

What is Your Only Comfort in Life and Death?

Posted in Christian life at 1:42 pm by Dan Lowe

I have been pondering the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism recently and thought I would share some of my random musings…

Question: What is your only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I am not my own,[1] but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death,[2] to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.[3] He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood,[4] and has set me free from all the power of the devil.[5] He also preserves me in such a way[6] that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head;[7] indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.[8] Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life[9] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.[10]

[1] 1Corinthians 6:19-20

[2] Romans 14:7-9.

[3] 1Corinthians 3:23; Titus 2:14.

[4] 1Peter 1:18-19; I John 1:7; 2:2.

[5] John 8:34-36; Hebrews 2:14-15; I John 3:8.

[6] John 6:39-40; John 10:27-30; II Thessalonians 3:3; I Peter 1:5.

[7] Matthew 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18.

[8] Romans 8:28.

[9] Romans 8:15-16; II Corinthians 1:21-22; II Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14.

[10] Romans 8:14.

 

Take each phrase and ponder it for a moment:

1)      I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”  As Americans, we tend to be very independent.  We exult in our freedom.  But Scripture teaches me that I am not my own… I am a bondservant of Christ.  I belong to Him.  This may not sound like a reason to rejoice, but in the ancient world (particularly under the Mosaic Law), a master was responsible for providing for their servants.  They were responsible to feed them and clothe them and protect them. I am property of Jesus Christ, who has all authority in heaven and earth, and He is committed to providing for my every need (see # 3 below.)   However, at the same time, I must also remember that my wants and desires must take second place to the will of my Master.  I am His… and He graciously provides everything for me… but I do not have free reign over my own life.  I am His… and His will must be my will.

“Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;

Take my moments and my days –

Let them flow in ceaseless praise,

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my will and make it Thine-

It shall be no longer mine;

Take my heart – it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne,

It shall be Thy royal throne.”

(“Take My Life and Let It Be” by Frances Ridley Havergal)

2)       He has paid for all my sins with His precious blood and has set me free from all the power of the devil.”  Sin is a costly affair.  O, how we need to be reminded of this!  There is no such thing as a “small” sin.  Every sin is an affront to the holiness of God.  Think about how often we sin against our God.  Our debt is incredible.  It is immeasurable by earthly standards.  Yet every sin was paid for by Jesus Christ when He shed His blood upon the cross.  But He has not only paid our past debts, He has broken the hold which the world and the devil hold over us.  We do not belong to this sinful world and its wicked master (i.e. the devil)… we belong to Jesus Christ!

“Jesus paid it all, 

All to Him I owe; 

Sin had left a crimson stain –

He washed it white as snow!”

(“Jesus Paid it All” by Elvina M. Hall)

3)      He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my Heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.”  God is a sovereign God and He exercises His sovereignty on behalf of my salvation!  This is truly a precious thought! 

“Though Satan should buffet,

Though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul”

(“It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford)

4)      By His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.”  We are not left as orphans in this world to make do as best we can.  God has poured forth His Holy Spirit into our hearts, affirming God’s love for us and our adoption as sons of God through Christ Jesus.   Furthermore, He overcomes the remaining sin within my flesh and brings forth fruit which is pleasing to Him.

“Holy Ghost, with light divine,

 Shine upon this heart of mine; 

Chase the shades of night away,

Turn my darkness into day. 

Holy Ghost, all divine,

Dwell within this heart of mine;

Cast down every idol throne,

Reign supreme and reign alone.” 

(“Holy Ghost, with Light Divine” by Andrew Reed.)

These are just a few of my thoughts on the first question from the Heidelberg Catechism.  Now it is your turn.  Take some time and meditate on this question and answer… and let it turn your heart to praise for our all gracious and glorious God!  To Him be the glory both now and forever!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: