“True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in His word is true; it is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only for others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.” Heidelberg Catechism, Question 21 (DeYoung 2010)
Posts Tagged ‘Heidelberg’
Okay, at least one more day this week, maybe more, as I’m really enjoying Kevin DeYoung’s commentary on it:
2. 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; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.
DeYoung points out that some have criticized the Heidelberg catechism because it begins with man’s “comfort,” in contrast to the Westminster Catechism, which begins with the glory of God: ”What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever.” He comments, “…if we want to be picky, Westminster can be criticized for starting with what Christ has done for us, like the Heidelberg.” And then he goes on to say they BOTH begin in the right place, Heidelberg with grace and Westminster with glory.
Question 2 deals with how we receive comfort from knowing that we belong to Christ. Knowing that Christ has fully paid for all our debts and freed us from the tyranny of the devil is meaningless if we don’t know we need to be freed. DeYoung remarks that the rest of the Catechism follows a three-fold outline: sin, salvation, sanctification to serve:
“All three things are necessary. If we don’t know about our sin — which brings a true sense of guilt — we will be too confident in our abilities to do right and make the world a better place. We will ignore our most fundamental problem, which is not lack of education, or lack of opportunity, or lack of resources but sin and its attendant misery. But if we don’t know how we are set free from this sin and misery — which comes through God’s grace — we will try to fix ourselves in futility or give up altogether in despair. And if we don’t know how to thank God, showing gratitude for such deliverance, we will live in a self-centered, self-referential bubble, which is not why God saved us from our sin and misery in the first place. “
What do you think? Is it necessary, as DeYoung says, to know about our sin in order to receive comfort and joy in belonging to Christ?
How do you see guilt, grace, and gratitude played out in your life?
“What is your only comfort in life and in death?” Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1
I am back to Heidelberg. Probably not a daily series as I’ve done before, but a few quotes from this great little book a friend just told me about: Kevin DeYoung’sThe Good News We Almost Forgot. (What a great title, right?)
Here’s what he says about Heidelberg Question 1:
“Heidelberg’s first question is so striking because of the word ‘only.’ If it asked ‘what comforts’ you, that would be a polite but underwhelming question. I’m comforted by sleep, chocolate chip cookies, a good book, the soundtrack to The Mission. But when the Catechism asks what is your only comfort, it is getting at something deeper. ’Comfort’ translates the German word trost, which was in turn, rendered consolatio in the first official Latin version. ‘Trost’ is related to the English word ‘trust’ and has the root meaning of ‘certainty’ or ‘protection.’ Heidelberg is asking, ‘What is your solace in life? What is your only real security?’
…[it] poses the most important question we will ever face. What enables yoiu to endure life and face death unafraid? Is it that you read your Bible every day? That you attend church every Sunday? That you give to the poor? That you have a cushy retirement account saved up? That you haven’t committed any of the big sins of life?
We live in a world where we take comfort in possessions, pride, power, and position. But the Catechism teaches us that our only comfort comes from the fact that we don’t even belong to ourselves. How countercultural and counterintiuitive! We can endure suffering and disappointment in life and face death and the life to come without fear or judgment, not because of what we’ve done or what we own or who we are, but because of what we do not possess, namely, our own selves.”
WOW, WOW, WOW, and WOW!!
Think about it: What gives you comfort in life? What difference does it make in the challenges and joys of the day ahead that you belong to Christ?
“That I am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” (First part of Heidelberg Answer #1)