Life Fully Secure
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 Secure
Thursday, January 5: Ephesians 1:3-14
My greatest comfort and joy is that I belong to Jesus! Therefore, I live with the privilege of Holy Spirit assurance: “Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life.” An Elder once told me that Christians, especially Pastors, are not to display brokenness – depression, temptation or fear – at any time. It was, he argued, a form of unbelief. Let’s be honest. That is an assault on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Consider the life of Jesus. His closest friends abandoned Him. He was the victim of injustice. He agonized in prayer over the wrath He would bear for the human family. The purpose of His incarnation was to share in our human weakness. Hebrews 2:14-18 states: “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 4:14-16 adds: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” The Bible never betrays Christians the privilege of pain and suffering. Suffering, said C.S. Lewis, is God’s megaphone that points us the glories of Jesus. Brokenness, in other words, is the place where the Holy Spirit pours out His rich assurances of grace. No wonder Psalm 42 is the voice of encouragement for struggling Christians. It is the voice of Israel, the voice of Jesus and our voice today. The promise of eternal life is more than a vague hope for a future heaven. It is the assurance that God’s Holy Spirit is filling our hearts with all the treasures of Jesus, including the treasure of His suffering, so that we will more urgently yearn for the day of resurrection when we will fully participate in His righteousness (2 Corinthians. 5:21). It is a great comfort and joy to know that the Spirit keeps our eyes fixed on Jesus!
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn