I Am Not My Own
HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 1
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
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.
What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.
I Am Not My Own
Monday, January 2: Galatians 3:1-14
My greatest comfort and joy is that I belong to Jesus! I do not belong to myself. In fact, the Heidelberg Catechism begins this way: “I am not my own.” Only then does it continue with the words: “but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” This is real comfort and joy. A big chasm separates the sense of belonging we experience in life and the meaning of belonging taught in the Bible. Many teach or practice a “gospel” of works righteousness. “Real Christians” are assumed to meet certain criteria – attend a specific school, hold specific theological teachings, belong to the right Church or follow a certain worship dress code – if they are to be accepted by either the community or God. Therefore, few get in, others are left out, and many feel abandoned. It is endlessly amazing how unchristian the Christian sub-culture really is. The Biblical gospel rejects this form of Christianity. It tells a different and better story of grace alone in Jesus Christ. To belong to God, to be accepted by Him, is a gift received through Christ alone. “I am not my own” is the gospel invitation to turn away from ourselves and toward Him! The gospel does not say, “Get to work.” It does say, “receive His gift.” Isn’t it a great comfort and joy to know we love because He first loved us?
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn