Pristine Grace

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God!
by Eileen Beckett
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God!

I stayed home from church today, some days it is just harder for me to get around on the only day of rest that I have, Sunday, and those are the days I choose to stay at home My husband appreciates a home cooked meal, fried chicken today.

When I stay home from church I always try and listen to a sermon online and to listen to some hymns and sing along in my mind and although it isn’t corporately I am reminded of the saints who are gathered together, doing the same. Today I listened to a sermon by Herman Hoeksema entitled “The Comfort of belonging to Jesus”, a reminder of Lords Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

HC #1 What is thy only comfort in life and in death? That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him.

Comfort, he said, is such a beautiful word; it means so much to us, this comfort. He defined the word as such; ‘A state of mind according to which I am aware and sure of a very favorable reality, in opposition to an unfavorable reality’. The Heidelberg is written not as a statement of ‘what is comfort’, but is written to the believer, a personal account to the Christian of what that comfort is…THY comfort!

The negative part of the statement is that I am not my own, the positive is that I belong to Jesus Christ, all of me. My whole life belongs to Him; my body and my soul. The favorable reality is not a ‘feeling’ of salvation, as feelings are vague, but a reality of knowledge. This comfort is first accompanied by knowledge and I can then have joy in that knowledge. What do I know that brings me this comfort that the answer explains? I have knowledge that Christ Jesus has satisfied, with His blood, for all of my sins and that satisfaction is complete. I have the knowledge that I am redeemed by that precious blood and that I am preserved, NOTHING can happen to me apart from the will of my Father in heaven. This favorable knowledge is so great that it overshadows and removes the unfavorable reality, which is sin and death.

HH gave three points of this knowledge that we are not our own:

1. I am not the possessor of myself, not my body or my soul.
2. I am not my own sovereign, not the one in control of me.
3. I am not responsible for myself, I am Christ’s possession and He is responsible for me. (He wasn’t talking about not being accountable for our sin with this statement; he was saying that to say that believing we are our own is the very principal of sin.)

Christ possesses me because He bought me, He paid the full price and it wasn’t with gold or silver but with His own precious blood, my redemption is complete in Him for time and eternity. Thank you HH, I needed this encouragement today. So often there is so much turmoil in every aspect of our life that we forget, we forget that Christ is all, not us. We forget to remind one another, instead we talk of trivial every day things, and all the while perhaps the one we are talking with is struggling or even perhaps we ourselves are struggling. Lord, help us to know that YOU only can be our comfort and help us to remind our brethren of the same.