Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j)
In the previous post we looked at the idea that we gain comfort (Lit. with strength) in the truth that we are not our own, but in the totality of our being and in the full circumference of our life, we belong to Jesus Christ who is the sovereign King over all reality.
In your Baptism, God brands you as one whom He owns. Because we bear that mark of Baptism we can, in times of trials and discouragements, remember our Baptism as a means of bringing back to our consciousness that are owned by Christ. More about Baptism in later posts.
In this post we want to concentrate on how it is we are owned. The catechism will go into this in great depth in later questions and answers. Remember with these first two questions what we have is a introduction. As such we will not go into more depth later.
We are owned, the Catechism teaches (as it is faithful to Scripture) because our faithful Savior bore the penalty that was rightfully mine. Jesus Christ satisfied for my sins.
1.) Satisfaction for human sin was needed in order to quench the just wrath of God against sin and sinners. Without one who stood in our place as a substitute satisfaction for human sin and sinners those who were sinners must themselves satisfy the wrath of God against sin. God required such satisfaction against sin because He promised that the soul that sinneth shall surely die. If God were to not visit satisfaction upon sin God would be found to be a liar.
2.) The satisfaction for sin was in the spilled blood of Christ. His spilled blood was the satisfaction that God required to quench His wrath. Scripture teaches, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiving) of sin.”
3.) Our sins have been fully satisfied for. This means that there is no longer any sin — past, present, or future, that God will condemn me for in terms of eternal punishment.
Tit.2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
1 Pet.1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1 Pet.1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Now the consequence of this satisfying of God’s wrath is that you are delivered from all the power of the devil. Notice the movement here. He have gone from being under the authority (power) of the devil to being owned by God. Every person you meet Caleb, is either owned by God or is under the power of the devil. For Christians, the devil is a paper tiger. He has no authority over us. We need not fear his braying or his blowhard character.
Heb.2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Another consequence is that the Christian is preserved by God.
John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
We can have strength, in part, because we have security in knowing that God will never leave us nor forsake us. We live and move in terms of a confidence that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
So, In order to simplify as much as possible,
I. ) Where do we find Comfort (Strength)?
A.) In the fact that we are not our own
B.) In the fact that we are owned by God in our complete totality
II.) How is it that we are owned by God?
A.) Because Jesus Christ spilled His blood
B.) Such a substitutionary death satisfies the Father’s just wrath against sin
III.) What are the consequences of being owned by God?
A.) The Devil has no hold upon me
B.) I am preserved to the very end by God who loves me and call me the apple of His eye.
We will pick up more of the consequences of being owned by God in the next post.