My One Comfort
The Heidelberg Catechism, written in 1563, was designed, as all catechisms, as a teaching tool. Usually arranged as a series of questions and answers, catechisms help build unity around the basic beliefs or tenants of the faith. While there are a number of good, solid, Bilical and theologically rich confessions and catechisms** -- Heidelberg opens with a gem of a question and answer...
The first question of the Heidelberg is this:
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
And here is the beautiful answer:
A. 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 wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
In 2 Corinthains 1:1-7 Paul writes,
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you lshare in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort."
This is a rich reminder for us that in all of life's joys and trials we are anchored to Christ, who suffered for us and is himself our comfort. We can agree with Heidelberg that because we don't belong to ourselves... because He is the faithful one who died for us and freed us from sin and death... becasue He watches over us so intently that not one hair on my head isn't moved without his tender care... because He assures me of His perfect provision in this life and promise of the life to come... we need not lose hope.
As we began our time this past Sunday we shared a story from a family here at River City of brokenness and hope. I pray you are encouraged as you hear this story and remember that our only hope in life and in death is that we belong to our good Heavenly Father... and that is enough.
** I personally appreciate the 1689 London Baptist Confession as a primer on orthodox, Christian belief.
More in River City Blog
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April 24, 2018Five Celebrations of a Missional Community: Part Four