Monday, March 14, 2011

Singing through the Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day One

SINGING THROUGH THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM: DEVOTIONS AND HYMNS FOR 52 LORD’S DAYS

Lord's Day 1

Q & A 1

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.

Q & A 2
Q. What must you know
to live and die in the joy of this comfort?

A. Three things:
first, how great my sin and misery are;
second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery;
third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.

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Lord’s Day 1 serves as the introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism. Q&A 1 is a beautiful summary of the Christian faith, and worth memorizing.

Lord’s Day 1 serves as the introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism.  Q&A 1 is a beautiful summary of the Christian faith, and is worth memorizing.  Q&A 2 outlines the basic structure of the catechism with its three parts: guilt, grace, and gratitude, and more importantly, the key to living and dying in the blessing and joy found in Christ Jesus.

The wisdom of the world says, “Live for yourself. Seek your own honor and glory.” But the heavenly wisdom of the Bible is just the opposite. In Christ we are freed from ourselves, so that we might glory in our triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit. Augustine, in his great work, The City of God, compared the two loves that can motivate the human heart:

“Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, ‘Thou art my glory, and the lifter of my head.’”

Where will this new heart come from to live for the Lord and his glory? Q&A 1 answers, Look to Christ who gives forgiveness, a relationship with the Father, and the Spirit who dwells within.

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Only One Comfort

To the Tune: EVENTIDE (Abide with Me http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/PsH/442 or http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/UMH/700). Based on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism. Words: Bill Weber, 2010.

v. 1
There’s just one comfort in life and in death,
that I belong to Jesus, not myself.
The Lord completely paid for all my sins,
freed me from slav’ry, blesses me in Him.

v. 2
The Lord cares for me in a tender way,
watches my life and leads me all my days.
My Father works out all things for my good,
bless’d in His Son and filled with gratitude.

v. 3
O Jesus, Lord, my Savior and my Song,
how bless’d in You I am to now belong.
You send Your Spirit, plant Your life in me,
and in Your Word may I Your glory see.

v. 4
There are three things believers need to know:
How great my sin is, misery also.
How I am set free from iniquity.
How I should thank God who has set me free.


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