Benefits of Faith in Christ

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Devotional Word for Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Over the next two days we are going to examine the benefits of our faith in Christ which are listed at the end of the Apostle’s Creed.  If you belong to a church that regularly says the Apostle’s Creed as a confession of faith, then you may very well know these.  However, if you are like me, then you likely say them so quickly that your mind has no time to dwell on the wonder of them.  Today we are going to look at “the communion of saints” and the “forgiveness of sins.”  Both of these are enjoyed immediately upon faith in the Lord Jesus.

Question 55 simply asks, “What do you understand by ‘the communion of saints’?”  The answer states, “First, that believers one and all, as partakers of the Lord Christ, and all His treasures and gifts, shall share in one fellowship.  Second, that each one ought to know that he is obliged to use his gifts freely and with joy for the benefit and welfare of other members.”  The answer is split into two parts.  The first is almost a restatement of question 54 about the holy catholic church.  Simply put, believers are part of the Church, the bride of Christ and share in that fellowship.  The second part gives an interpersonal consequence; as part of the communion of saints, Christians are to use their gifts freely for others. 

The apostle Paul gives a wonderful picture of the consequences of this sort of mentality in Philippians 2.  He writes, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”[1]  Christians are called to love and care for others.  Logically, that also means that there will be others who love and care for us.  As we think about life in the world, I am grateful for my brothers and sisters in Christ who come alongside me and share my cares and burdens.

Question 55 asks, “What do you believe concerning ‘the forgiveness of sin’?”  The answer states, “That, for the sake of Christ’s reconciling work, God will no more remember my sins or the sinfulness with which I have to struggle all my life long, but that He graciously imparts to me the righteousness of Christ so that I may never come into condemnation.”  Like with many answers in the catechism, this one is rich and full of wonderful ideas worth examining.  Today, I would like to highlight one small part of the answer.  It is sometimes overlooked as we think about our life with Christ.  Answer 55 highlights the fact that God will no more remember the sinfulness with which I have to struggle all my life long.  Sometimes, it is easy for a Christian to celebrate their salvation.  They absolutely should!  However, it is also sometimes easy to forget that until the Lord returns Christians will continue to wrestle with sin.  Sometimes we think about sin and we just don’t worry about it in favor of dwelling on our salvation.  At other times we dwell on the remaining sin in our lives and forget the salvation of the Lord.  If you are listening today and wrestling with ongoing sin, keep wrestling.  But wrestle in the knowledge that the Lord will not remember your sins which include the ongoing struggles you may have.  As we think of these two benefits, let us rejoice in all of our benefits in Christ Jesus.

[1] Philippians 2:3-4