Our Only Comfort

The first Lord’s Day of the Heidelberg Catechism reads as follows:

Question 1
What is thy only comfort in life and death?
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed., (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

The catechism was written during and for the Dutch Reformation. Times were tough then. Challenges to the Roman Church were treated with severity. The words at the beginning of this great document designed as a preaching resource are true words of comfort. Dr. Zacharias Ursinus, the author and first commentator of the document began with an overview of the gospel. Can anyone say this is not the beginning of wisdom and comfort?

“The substance of this comfort consists in this that we are ingrafted into Christ by faith, that through him we are reconciled to, and beloved of God, that thus he may care for and save us eternally.” (Zacharias Ursinus and G. W. Williard, The Commentary of Dr. Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism, (Cincinnati, OH: Elm Street Printing Company, 1888), 17).

I encourage you to meditate on these words. Most copies of the catechism have verses in the Bible footnoted, however, maybe you can search the Scriptures for support. Nevertheless, we are in a time of uncertainty and anxiety for many people. I personally don’t like the use of words like “unprecedented” to describe Covid-19. History shows this outbreak of a new virus to be a repetition of many events in the past. But this does not alter the seriousness of the present. Those of us who claim to find our comfort in knowing and being known by Jesus Christ ought to live like the comfort we have.

What might your life be like if the perfect love of God has cast out all your fears?

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