Sunday, April 12, 2015
Comfort from the Heidelberg Catechism
Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both 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 all the power of the devil. 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. Therefore, 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.
Q. What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
A. First, how great my sins and misery are; second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.
Cornelis Vonk in his commentary on the catechism says this:
"These are not three parts of our life. We make this claim, first, because our misery, namely, that we are inclined to sin and depravity, lasts our entire life. Second, our redemption also lasts our entire life, for until death we continue to need forgiveness through Christ’s blood, together with undergoing the dying of our old nature and the coming to life of our new nature. Third, our gratitude for God’s salvation must also be shown throughout our entire lifetime, for the Lord has already granted his salvation in his covenant promise and sealed it with his baptism."
Vonk, C. (2013). Living and Dying in Joy: A Devotional Guide to the Heidelberg Catechism. (N. D. Kloosterman, Trans., J. J. Ballor, Ed.) (pp. 3–4). Grand Rapids, MI: Christian’s Library Press; Paideia Press.