Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 1

1. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

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 way (6) 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 life (9) 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

***

2. What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?

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).

1 – Rom. 3:9-10; 1 John 1:10
2 – John 17:3; Acts 4:12; 10:43
3 – Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 5:8-10; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:9-10

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2 Responses to Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 1

  1. Jeff says:

    Your Calvinist doctrine seem to be a doctrine of comfort, and not a doctrine of fear.
    How does this doctrine reconcile with, Luke 1:50 “and his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.” Or 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. “?

    • I think you’re promoting a false dichotomy here. Just because a believer has comfort with respect to his standing before God, that does not at all mean that he doesn’t fear God. For what does it mean for a Christian to fear God? On what basis does he do so? Having fear, reverence, and awe for God is a product of one’s salvation. Outside of a regenerate state, there is absolutely no desire to even seek God (Rom 3:10-18) or have the ability. Regeneration enables an individual to have a Godly fear to begin with.

      Moreover, this is not a superficial comfort. This is a comfort based upon the promises of God Himself. The sole reason we have this comfort is because of who God is and what He has accomplished in redemptive history. He has not only obtained salvation for His elect people, but He has secured it as well (John 6:37, Phil. 1:6). The God of the Bible is not a God who has only the potential to save, but a God who actually saves, and saves completely. That is why we have the assurance of salvation.

      As such, I see no contradiction with the aforementioned verses you cited. From before the foundation of the world, God has chosen a remnant in every generation who will indeed fear Him. It is a mistake to conclude that Luke 1:50 is communicating some sort of synergism. God has mercy upon His people precisely because He first loved them, breathed life into them, and carries them to the end. As Calvinists, our fear of God is most definitely displayed in our doctrine of biblically regulated worship–ensuring a Christ-centered worship which brings glory to Him alone.

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