May 10 – LD 19, Day 4: The Exalted Christ Defends and Preserves His Church
Monday the 10th of May
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee,Tthat thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”There is a second profit given to us from Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of God. It is stated this way in the Catechism, “that by His power He defends and preserves us against all enemies.” Jesus called these enemies, “the gates of hell” in Matt 16:18. If we look at the church’s place in this world through human eyes, we have every reason to call into question the safety and ultimate victory of the church. There are enemies who are capable of destroying the church, removing it from the face of the earth. Some of them arise out of hell itself. Think of Satan and the hordes of devils who are at his command - being fallen angels, they are spirits, as such they lie beyond our ability to see them and acknowledge their presence. They surround us on every side. These same evil spirits have the capacity to influence men to cause them to become monsters of iniquity and bold in their contempt of that which is holy and true. Some of them do more than boast of their evil ways, they even attack and persecute the righteous.Of greater concern, these same spirits have access to the heart and life of the church, the body of Christ. Satan attempted to tempt Christ, how much more is he able to tempt us? Sometimes he comes into our life with a direct frontal attack by infiltrating our thoughts. Other times he comes through fellow mankind by enticing us with the temptations of the flesh to sin against God. This is true, because our greatest enemy is our own sinful flesh which is easily attracted to sin.The gates of hell come at us from every direction, from the world, from our own flesh, from fellow church members, from society in general, on and on.This is our comfort; that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us. The exalted Christ shall defend and preserve us as His church. Peter’s confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” forms the rock upon which Christ builds His church.
Christ is greater than any mortal enemy. He is able to work in our hearts by His Holy Spirit to keep us faithful, even unto death.