Devotional Word for Friday, September 4, 2020
On Monday we spent some time looking at comfort both in life and in death. As we looked at the Heidelberg Catechism, we saw that our only comfort is that we belong to the Lord Jesus. Truly it is a comfort to know that my sins have been removed, that the Holy Spirit is working within me, and that nothing can happen apart from the Father’s purposes for my salvation. However, thinking about this sort of comfort which is found in Christ alone begs a question.
Indeed, it begs the question that is second in the Heidelberg Catechism. It says, “How many things must you know that you may live and die in the blessedness of this comfort?” Personally, I love how clear the catechism is. If I go to the doctor and get a bad diagnosis, I immediately want to know the course of action to remedy that diagnosis. If I receive good news, I immediately want to know how I can be certain that good news is mine.
Listen to the catechism’s answer. It says, “Three. First, the greatness of my sin and wretchedness. Second, how I am freed from all my sins and their wretched consequences. Third, what gratitude I owe to God for such redemption.” There are three things that we need to know if we are to be enjoy the comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ in life and in death. The first is the depths of our sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ there is no person who has ever lived who has not been a sinner seeking to run away from the Lord. Paul goes on in the book of Romans to describe those who do not know Christ as being enslaved to sin.
The second is to the manner in which we are freed from our sin. We are not saved by virtue of our good works. The foulness of my sin is so great that there is nothing I can do to remove the stain of guilt. Instead of being saved by actions, I am saved by the actions of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Savior was truly God and truly man. He lived a perfect sinless life. He died a horrible sinners death. Because of His life, death, and resurrection. Those who believe in Him have their sins removed and receive His perfect righteousness. Ephesians 2:8,9 says it this way, FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD; NOT AS A RESULT OF WORKS, SO THAT NO ONE MAY BOAST. Hallelujah what amazing news.
The third and final item that we must know to enjoy the blessedness of the comfort of Christ is the gratitude I owe to God for my redemption. Not only do we praise the Lord for His work and thank Him for all that He is doing. We worship Him not only as our Savior but also our Lord. That means we follow Him wherever He leads. Paul writes about this in Ephesians 2:10 the verse immediately after those quoted above. He writes FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFORE HAND SO THAT WE WOULD WALK IN THEM. In short, in light of the redemption of Christ, we are to follow the Lord and obey His commands.
Let us all rest in the comfort of Jesus’ redemption knowing that we are sinners saved by the grace of Christ. Let us follow Him wherever He leads. Amen.