Welcome to the first Sunday of 2019. On each Lord’s Day this year, we will examine the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.
The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.
Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity. As one author describes the catechism, “It is a remarkably warm-hearted and personalized confession of faith, eminently deserving of its popularity among Reformed churches to the present day.”
The devotional for LORD’S DAY 1 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer.
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1
but belong—body and soul,
in life and in death—2 to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5
He also watches over me in such a way6
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;7
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life9
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.10
1 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
2 Rom. 14:7-9.
3 1 Cor. 3:23; Titus 2:14.
4 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:2.
5 John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:1-11.
6 John 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5.
7 Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18.
8 Rom. 8:28.
9 Rom. 8:15-16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14.
10 Rom. 8:1-17.
Q. What must you know to
live and die in the joy of this comfort?
A. Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are;1
second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery;2
third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.3
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!