Wednesday, January 22, 2020
First Things First
The Shorter Catechism
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. [Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11; Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4]
The Larger Catechism
Q.1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever. [Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 73:24-28]
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 Saviour 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. [I Cor. 6:19, 20, Rom. 14:7-9. , I Cor. 3:23; Tit. 2:14. I Pet. 1:18, 19; I John 1:7; 2:2. John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14, 15; I John 3:8. John 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; II Thess. 3:3; I Pet. 1:5. Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18. Rom. 8:28. Rom. 8:15, 16; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13, 14. Rom. 8:14.]
For the warm, fuzzies it doesn't really get much better than the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism. In fact, I think this question would be a GREAT jumping off place for a funeral sermon. At the very, very least I think it would be a great jumping off point for a blog post.
I think you only get the warm and fuzzies about BELONGING body and soul to God if you've realized in your own life the joy of ENJOYING GOD, GLORIFYING GOD, DELIGHTING IN GOD.
So long as you're living for you, putting yourself first, glorying in self...then the idea of belonging to anybody but yourself--especially a kill-joy God--is anything but comforting and a source of hope.
But God isn't a kill-joy. Far from it. A person can have no greater joy, no greater happiness than in finding ALL their joy in God himself. We were MADE for him. We were made BY him. We were made to WORSHIP Him. We belong to him not only because he created us, designed us, purposed us--but because HE redeemed us. His redemption was costly. God himself is our greatest gift, our greatest blessing, our great possession. To live for God is to truly LIVE.
I belong to God. I belong body and soul to God. I belong to God in my life. I belong to God in my death. Jesus has FULLY PAID for ALL my sins...with HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. Jesus has set me from ALL the power of the devil. Jesus PRESERVES me. Not a hair can fall from my head apart from the will of the Heavenly Father. ALL THINGS must work together for my SALVATION. I am assured by the Holy Spirit of ETERNAL LIFE. The Holy Spirit makes me HEARTILY willing and ready to live for him.
This is a great source of hope and joy indeed to LIVE OUT these doctrines. Doctrine matters.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible