Studying The Heidelberg Catechism has helped me come to understand the Sovereignty of God. First published in 1563, this is a document of the Reformed Christian faith which is used by many churches. Many people especially if you are like me (from a Word of Faith and Charismatic background with bits and pieces of gleaned aberrant theology) come to find a lot of theological depth in the different questions and answers with scriptural references in this Reformed document. I for one would get worried that the devil would ‘make me backslide’ or come against me on a vengeance trip and cause me to fearfully ‘lose my salvation’. What if a generational curse pursued me all my life and couldn’t be broken by my pastor? What if I didn’t tithe enough or sow enough seed to guarantee a good standing with Jesus? What if…what if …what if? However starting with the first question of this Catechism one comes to learn the depth of the riches of the grace of God. I have come to learn that my comfort in life and death has a lot more to do with Jesus to whom I belong. Oh how comforting! How very comforting? One good study guide that I would recommend on The Heidelberg Catechism is this one by G.I Williamson. It has numerous scripture references and is well structured for either individual or family study. Now, the very first question of the Catechism causes me to smile with confidence not in myself or my ability but in my God and faithful Savior.
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my Own,
but belong body and soul, 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 the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
For History, background and more on the Heidelberg Catechism check here!
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