Read: Psalm 100:1-5.
We may very well ask the question: What wonderful truth can bring such blessings that it is a word for every grief in life not only, but also in death? That is the question we are asked, after all: “What is thy only comfort in life and death?”
One would think, perhaps, that a comfort that has such great promise would be a difficult and complicated proposition that would take a rather large book to explain it all. A comfort in life? In death? In sickness? In sorrow? In trouble? In disappointment?
Our teachers in the Heidelberg Catechism say: No, it is not a difficult answer. It is not complicated. You do not have to read a book to have this comfort. In fact it is so simple that a little child can understand it. No schooling is necessary to learn it. No brilliant mind is needed to believe it. It is simple, so simple that any child of God, old or young, strong or weak, intelligent or average, can easily take it as his own.
What is it that has such amazing power? Just this: “I belong to Jesus.” Four words, simple words, words easy to understand. Who cannot understand that? It is true that the HC says a few more things about it, but it all finally comes down to this: I belong to Jesus!
Notice how personal it is: I belong to Jesus. I believe this. I am absolutely convinced of it. I personally am the possession of Jesus Christ.
It is an all-comprehensive comfort.
I belong to Jesus “with body and soul.” Not my body only, but also my soul; that is, my mind, my will, my emotions.
I “am not my own.” I do not own myself to do with myself as I please. I am not my own to try to find a way to some light in the darkness of sin, suffering and death. My thoughts are not my own. My desires are not my own any more. My eternal destiny is not decided by me. Even my experiences in life are not my desperate search to find a way out of the dark night of misery into the light of hope and joy. Indeed, I am not my own in all my life; but I am also not my own when I die. I belong to Jesus in all this life, but I also belong to him when I die.
And, the Jesus to whom I belong is a faithful Savior. I can trust he will do what he has promised. He is one who is completely trustworthy. I belong to him!
- Date: 4-January
Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)
Ordained: October 1955
Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965
Emeritus: 2001Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Prof._Herman_Hanko
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