Complete Comfort

Heidelberg Catechism: Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer: That I am not my own, but belong - body and soul, in life and in death - to my faithful Saviour 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.

 

Observations: When this was first written the context would have been where we find hope in the face of an eternity separated from God, but today in our pluralistic society the question has become broader to include is there any life after death at all? The Good News of Christianity is that there is comfort to be found in both life and death, and that comfort is that you can belong to Jesus Christ. Through his death on the cross Jesus has ‘fully paid for our sin… and has set us free from the tyranny of the devil.’ Not only that but Jesus ‘also watches over’ us for our good. Even the bad things that happen are not outside God’s sovereign control, in fact, God redeems ‘all things’ so that they ‘work together for our salvation.’ Finally, Jesus assures us through ‘His Holy Spirit… of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.’ Jesus doesn’t just save us and watch over us, he also works in us, drawing us to himself and making us like himself. Our comfort is that in Christ our lives have a purpose and a direction, that life has meaning and death is a gateway to eternal life.

 

Application: Is Jesus your source of comfort in life and death? Jesus says that ‘no one can come to the Father except through him. (Jn 14:6)’ Jesus is the only true hope in this life, everything else are just false hopes. Only Jesus can pay for your sin, only Jesus can reconcile you with God, only Jesus can fill the God-shaped whole in your heart. I want to encourage you to put your trust in Jesus today, that no matter what this day might bring that you will find comfort in him.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to put my trust in nothing else except Your Son, Jesus Christ. May I find comfort in knowing that through faith I am grafted into Jesus, and I now belong to Him. Lord, may I know the incomparable riches of Your love for me in Jesus Christ. Thank You that You watch over my coming in and my going out, and that You work all things together for my ultimate good and for Your glory. Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I might willingly serve You in all things. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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