Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The First Two Questions of the Heidelberg Catechism

As I visited with a dear saint on her deathbed this week and then prepared for her funeral over the weekend, I could not help but be reminded of the first two questions of the Heidelberg Catechism. This catechism (first published in 1536) is probably the most influential and widely accepted of the catechisms published during the Reformation time period.
1. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?

A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both 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 all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.

2. Q. What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort?

A. First, how great my sins and misery are; second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.

Oh, that more Christians would learn these great truths!