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Life Fully Claimed

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.

 

Life Fully Claimed

Wednesday, January 4: Romans 8:1-39

My greatest comfort and joy is that I belong to Jesus! We are safe when we rest in the gaze of grace. Listen to these gracious words: “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.” This is good news in a bad news world. Our “Christian” sub-culture seems to preach self-reliance and self-satisfaction through self-service. I must get my “ducks in a row” if I want peace in life and with God. But I can’t. The power of sin is great. And the guilt, shame and fear that come with it are over-whelming. We know we are incapable of persevering in temptation by our own power. We feel it deeply during the dark night of our souls. We need to be reawakened to the gospel. We are invited to rely on the love of the Father, to find our deepest satisfaction in Jesus, and to claim our deliverance through His sacrifice on the cross. Here is the good news: I belong to Him whose gaze is fixed on me all the way to the cross. The Father’s desire to rescue us was the joy set before Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3). God is faithful to His promise. He will not abandon the work of His hands (John 6:39-40 & Romans 8:28-39). Yes, you may feel alone in your struggle with guilt, shamed and fear. Still, you belong. Fix your eyes on Him because He first fixed His eyes on you! No wonder Jesus is the greatest comfort and joy in life and in death. Is He yours?

Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn