(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 2)

The Christian's Only Comfort In Life and Death
Lord's Day 1
Psalter No. 349 - 1, 2
Isaiah 40: 1-18
Psalter No. 73 - 2, 6, 7

Psalter No. 260 - 5,6
Psalter No. 421 - 6

    The Word of the Lord contains the richest comforts for His
struggling church here on earth, which is subject to all kinds of
oppression, strife and troubles. On this side of the grave there is
one thing to the righteous and to the wicked. The Lord Jesus Himself
told His people, "In the world ye shall have tribulation," but at
the same time He encouraged them by adding, "Be of good cheer, I
have overcome the world." And, to name no other places, the faithful
Jehovah called to His afflicted people oppressed by the enemies, by
the mouth of Isaiah, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people, saith your
God." The little flock of the Lord is not left to itself, but,
having been purchased by the blood of Christ, they are prepared for
the eternal salvation, laid away for them by the eternal good
pleasure of the Father. When the critical moment for God's elect
came, and Christ was preparing Himself as a Lamb to be slaughtered,
when the greatest agitation came that moved heaven and earth, He
comforted His disciples, and in them His entire church, saying, "Let
not your heart be troubled. In My Father's house are many mansions,
if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
for you."
    The world is unable to offer such a strong comfort, but the Lord
gives it to His people, so that the oppression and adversities of
this world become light, and even death is robbed of its terror and
    The Heidelberg Catechism which we now wish to consider from week
to week deals with this only comfort, both in life and in death. I
now request your attention for the first Lord's Day.
Lord's Day 1
    Q. 1: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
    A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my
own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His
precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered
me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without
the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;
yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and
therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,
and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto
    Q. 2: How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou,
enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
    A. Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the
second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the
third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.
    This Lord's Day speaks of the Christian's only comfort in life
and death.
Speaking of this comfort, the catechism indicates:
I The firm foundation upon which this comfort rests,

II The enduring strength of this comfort,

III The sure way by which this comfort is obtained.
    The first question already deserves all our attention. The
instructor inquires after the only comfort in life and in death.
Important question! All people, because of sin, are subject in this
life to all manner of sorrows, and of all people it is said, "It is
appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." The
earth is cursed because of our sins; it brings forth thorns and
thistles. The whole creation groans and travails in pain. Poverty,
sickness and unjust treatment often cause us to grieve. Moreover,
the wages of sin is death. What can comfort us and raise up our head
out of our troubles? Who shall deliver his soul from the grave? All
people are miserable comforters. But still there is a comfort both
in life and in death, and it is the great significance of the
catechism that it unfolds that only comfort upon the foundation of
God's infallible testimony.
    The catechism was written in 1563 in the city of Heidelberg,
the capital city of the Palatinate. This German state had for some
time been troubled by the conflicts between the Lutherans and the
Calvinists. However when the God fearing Frederick III came to the
throne, who not only sought the political welfare of his country,
but especially sought to maintain the pure religion as the
foundation for the true welfare of his people, Zacharias Ursinus and
Caspar Olevianus were instructed to draw up a catechism which could
be used for instruction in schools and in churches. The elector
himself wrote the preface for this book. It was like a thunderclap
from heaven when the Heidelberg catechism appeared in January, 1563.
Translated into all European languages, it was distributed in all
countries. Rome trembled upon its foundations, the Lutherans were
furious. All those who reviled the pure doctrine worked together to
make the hated catechism disappear. The elector himself was summoned
before the Diet of Augsburg in 1566, and he went, although loss of
his estate and even death threatened him. He defended with much
liberty the true doctrine confessed in the catechism, and the Lord
gave him so much influence that his enemies were silenced, and he
was permitted to use this instruction in the Christian doctrine
throughout his domain. Thus the truth triumphed.
    From Heidelberg the catechism was introduced into the
Netherlands through the services of the faithful, zealous chaplain
of Frederick III, Peter Datheen. The provincial Synod in 1574
decided to use this catechism, and in 1578 the General Synod did
likewise, and the churches of the Netherlands have never been sorry.

This book has been reprinted innumerable times. Many explanations of
the catechism have been published, and up to this present day those
who love the truth of God, love to hear catechism preaching.
    This is not strange, for not only does the catechism explain the
pure doctrine, but the doctrine is also applied, so that there is
spirit and life in this booklet for the comfort of God's dear
people. Let us then again give our attention to that which the
instructor says in accordance with God's Word, which alone can be
our comfort, both in life and in death.
    That comfort is an only comfort; it cannot be replaced by any
other. The world with its empty pleasures cannot comfort us in the
day of our sorrow. Its riches are despised when our soul is
grieving. Its friendship can only utter its stoical advice, "Don't
let it bother you; just fight your way through it." Even our
religious practice and our Reformed doctrine, although they have
more power than the pleasures of sin, are unable to give us the true
comfort that can make us glory in tribulations. And when we die, all
things upon which we built our hope leave us, except our communion
with Christ. In that communion lies the only comfort.
    That comfort is also personal. The instructor asks, "What is
*thy* only comfort?" Christ was not sent into the world to merit
only a possibility for all men to be saved, as if fallen man with
his own powers could accept Christ at his pleasure. God's promises
of salvation were not given to all men. The Holy Ghost applies
Christ and His benefits to His people personally. By grace it
becomes my comfort, both in life and in death, to belong unto my
faithful Savior. David encouraged himself in the Lord his God when
Ziklag was burned, and his wives and children and those of his men
had been carried away. Through that comfort God's children can sing,
not only by day, but also in the nights when it is dark. Paul and
Silas sang praises unto God in prison while their feet were bound in
the stocks. That comfort was the strength of Daniel in the lions'
den and of his three friends in the fiery furnace. God's people have
comfort not only in the hope that at their death all tears shall be
wiped away from their eyes, but the psalmist also said, "I had
fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the
land of the living."
    At their death this comfort does not leave God's children. On
his deathbed Jacob cried, "I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord,"
and Simon rejoices, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in
peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy
salvation." Stephen saw the heavens opened and Jesus standing at the
right hand of God to receive him into eternal glory. Paul desired to
depart and to be with Christ which was far better. Death is
swallowed up in victory. In the enjoyment of this comfort, the
church of God cries out, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave,
where is thy victory?" But upon what firm foundation does this
comfort stand that it makes one rest secure in the Lord, even in the
greatest afflictions?
    The catechism tells us what this firm foundation is, first
negatively, then affirmatively. Negatively the instructor states,
"That I am not my own." To be my own constitutes the depth of our
fall. Satan tempted Eve by promising her, "Ye shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil," that is, "You shall no longer be under God,
you need no more obey Him, to do as He bids or forbear what He
forbids. You yourself shall determine what is good and what is evil.
You shall be your own, independent of God. You shall be your own
Lord and master." That is the depth of our fall, independent of God,
to be our own, a slave of Satan and sin, subject to the just
sentence of eternal death. Save yourself then, O man, in your
sorrow, save yourself from the gnawing of your conscience, save
yourself in the hour of death, when you shall fall into the hands of
the living God. Flatter yourself in your state of deep misery until
the scales fall from your eyes and you sink away into everlasting
desperation, when it shall be too late to be delivered from your
misery and to obtain that only comfort that holds both in life and
in death. Does this negation of the instructor not have a deep
significance? We must be delivered from ourselves to partake of that
comfort. We must be deposed, and deprived of our self-rule. Those
who would obtain that comfort must be cut off by the Holy Spirit
from the root upon which they are growing. Many would take hold of
Jesus as a drowning person takes hold of the rope held out for him,
but he is deceiving himself as long as he has not become a lost
sinner in himself. All the Pelagian grounds of man's free will are
dashed in pieces. We are neither able nor willing to be saved by
free grace through Christ alone unless we are "not our own," unless
we despair, as God teaches His people, of our own powers, and
surrender to God as lost sinners, casting the weapons of our enmity
at His feet. Then they shall feel the strength of those words of the
Catechism that form the firm foundation of our only comfort: "that I
am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ."
    And how did God's elect become the possession of Christ?
    A. They are given to Him. Not only because of creation, but also
because of election they belonged to the Father. When the Covenant
of Grace was established in eternity, they were given to Christ when
He promised to fulfill all the demands of the covenant and had
engaged His heart to save His people. He himself says, "Thine they
were and Thou gavest them Me." How surely then are they the
possession of the Mediator. No one shall pluck them out of the
Father's hand, nor out of His hand. Christ's claim upon them is
rooted in the eternal covenant and is beyond the reach of Satan, of
the world and of sin.
    B. With His precious blood Christ has paid in full for all the
sins of those that were given Him by the Father. Payment in full was
demanded, payment by perfect obedience to the law, and by bearing
the punishment pronounced upon sin. God cannot lay His righteousness
aside, then He would cease to be God. The last penny had to be paid
before the debt and the sins of Adam's posterity could be blotted
out. All creatures, angels and men together, could not pay. God's
own and natural Son, gave Himself in our human nature to pay for all
the original and actual sins of His elect. He could cry out upon the
cross, "It is finished," when He had fully borne the eternal wrath
of God and had rendered perfect obedience to the law. By His
sacrifice He has completely blotted out the guilt of His people, not
one sin remained unpaid for. From the hour of our conception until
we draw our last breath, our sins cry out for the just penalty of
death. In itself every sin remains worthy of death. In God's sight
there are no pardonable sins. But Christ has paid for the sins of
all His people and by one offering has perfected forever them that
are sanctified. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who
are in Christ Jesus. Satan shall never again appear among the sons
of God to dispute about Job's righteousness or to point to Joshua's
filthy garments. Christ beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that
justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God,
Who also maketh intercession for us!
    C. By purchase the elect have become the possession of Christ,
because He has delivered them from all the power of the devil. We
have freely surrendered ourselves to his power. We are of our father
the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning, and no man shall
escape his hellish claws than those who are delivered. Already in
the first promise the Seed of the woman was announced, Who would
crush the head of Satan. As the Lion of the tribe of Judas He has
conquered. He has led captivity captive. The devil held those bought
by the blood of Christ illegally until the moment of God's good
pleasure arrived when the King of Zion entered the house of a strong
man armed to spoil his goods. For the Lord has not only in His
humiliation and triumph taken possession of those who are given Him
by the Father, but He also actually takes His own out of the state
of death and of wrath wherein they are with all men.
    D. Thus they become the possession of Christ and are united to
Him by faith. Out of this flows the only comfort both in life and
death. In regeneration they are cut off from Adam and ingrafted into
Christ. They are grafted into the vine and cannot be lost. The firm
foundation of their comfort does not lie in themselves, nor in the
grace given in their hearts, but in the fact that Christ made them
His own, and they are no more their own. "Whether we live or die,"
says the apostle, "we are the Lord's." The grace in our souls is
subject to attacks by our triple headed enemy, and often in that
battle there is no weapon to which Satan will yield. Therefore God's
people are often in darkness and sorrow when they depend upon that
grace. But in communion with, and in surrender to and in dependence
upon Christ, strong fountains of comfort are opened that cause them
to expect eternal life, that give them a taste of it in this life,
that obtain strength from the sympathetic High Priest to endure all
grief and sorrow, and that drive away all accusers and distresses.
Certainly the only comfort both in life and in death has a firm
foundation, an immovable ground which, according to the will of the
Father and the power of the Holy Spirit lies not in us, but in the
fact that "Christ with His precious blood has fully satisfied for
all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil."
    That only comfort, resting upon such a firm foundation, has
great power. I would now ask your attention for my second point.

    The enduring power which this comfort possesses.
    Of this the catechism speaks in the second part of the answer,
saying that the Lord so preserves His people that without the will
of their heavenly Father not a hair can fall from their head; yea,
that all things must be subservient to their salvation, and
therefore by His Holy Spirit He also assures them of eternal life,
and makes them willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.
    That preservation is one of God's great promises given to His
people. In their own strength God's children cannot stand a moment
nor walk in the way of life. In them is no might against the great
company of enemies who attack them not only outwardly, but also
inwardly day and night. But they are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Yea, the hairs of their heads are all numbered, and without the will
of their heavenly Father not one of them shall fall to the ground.
What then have they to fear? Do no hairs fall from their heads? Does
not their path go in the midst of many tribulations? Oh yes, indeed,
but also the adversities of this life, the oppressions in the flesh,
and the distresses of both soul and body shall serve for their
salvation. They shall be exercised by them; they shall die to the
world; and the world shall be crucified unto them, as Paul says,
"The world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." Being hated,
despised, and cursed by the world, God's people learn to despise the
world itself. In deep ways of oppression God's people are exercised,
and they learn to feel themselves strangers on earth, and they seek
another country. No, their soul does not always agree with the
oppression the Lord sends them. They often experience Asaph's frame,
when he envied the wicked, whose eyes stand out with fatness. But
when faith is in exercise, they cry out: "Truly God is good to
Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart." They would not want
to miss the afflictions that came upon them, because they work a far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and serve to their
salvation. This causes them to lift up their heads in the
afflictions and to sing even through tears, of God's love and
faithfulness. For nothing shall separate them from the love of
Christ; tribulation, nor distress, nor persecution, nor famine, nor
nakedness, nor peril, nor sword. For in all these things they are
more than conquerors through Him that loved them. Oh how enduring
that only comfort is, "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord." The worldling has not that comfort and
the unregenerate man knows nothing of it. It is the portion of God's
people, who have been purchased by the precious blood of Christ.
    To this is added the Holy Spirit's assurance of eternal life.
Alas, many of God's children lack that assurance. Can they deny
God's work in their hearts? No. Are they strangers of Christ? No.
Was the way of salvation never revealed to them? Yes, but too often
they lack the assurance of their salvation in Christ, although every
exercise of faith is an assurance that drives away all doubt and
often causes concerned souls to call out, "Now I shall never doubt
again." But when that lively moment has passed, the assurance fades
away and they wrestle to be set again as a seal upon the Lord's arm
and heart. And now the Holy Spirit assures His troubled people of
eternal life by an assurance that never leaves, even in the greatest
darkness. Job, when he stood in the gate of death, while God was
hiding His face, Satan was tempting him, and his friends were
suspecting him of hypocrisy, cried out in faith, "I know that my
Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the
earth." Assured of eternal life, he cried out in his great need and
darkness that the Lord would one day reveal that he was not a
hypocrite. "In my flesh shall I see God; Whom I shall see for
myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger." Beloved,
salvation does not depend upon assurance, but God's people ought to
seek it so that God-dishonoring unbelief shall be destroyed, and the
only comfort in life and death shall fill our souls more and more.
"Wherefore the rather, brethren," says Peter, "give diligence to
make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, ye
shall never fall." This assurance bears fruit unto true
sanctification as the instructor also says that the Lord "makes me
sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him."
    The grace of God makes one die to sin. From the moment the Lord
glorifies His grace in the soul, sin becomes death. Scripture knows
nothing of a dormant regeneration of which the soul itself is
unconscious, and no one notices anything. When Zacchaeus was called
out of the sycamore tree by Christ, he immediately broke with his
sinful life; and everyone who has been quickened wishes to live
perfectly before God. He becomes willing and ready henceforth to
live unto Him, and he not only breaks with sin outwardly, but would
want to remove it, root and all from his heart. But these exercises
of faith are necessary to practice true sanctification; denying our
own powers and embracing Christ by faith and so employing Christ
that He is given to us for righteousness, sanctification and
redemption. And what is the fruit of the assurance of eternal life?
This: that we die unto sin and become ready and willing to live unto
God that the Lord's strength might be made perfect in weakness.
God's children do themselves much harm by resting upon grace
received, whether upon frames or upon experienced justification. The
Holy Spirit teaches us, "When I am weak, then I am strong." Having
assurance of eternal life does not make great Christian, but rather
makes us walk humbly before God, yet knowing that death is swallowed
up in victory. The Lord takes away the fear of death in the
assurance of salvation which we shall one day inherit, when we have
served God's counsel and are taken up in glory.
    But how do we obtain this comfort? To that question the
instructor gives an answer when he in the third place speaks of

    The sure way by which this comfort is obtained.
    He asks:
    "How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou,
enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?"
    Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the
second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the
third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such
    Only in this way can this only comfort in life and death be
obtained. The three things mentioned are discussed thus: till the
5th Lord's Day the misery of man is discussed, from Lord's Day 5 -
32 our deliverance is discussed, and from Lord's Day 32 - 52 the
part of gratitude. Since we then expect a more particular
explanation of these three things, we shall here speak only about
the necessity of the knowledge of these matters. That knowledge is
more than mere head knowledge and an assent of our conscience that
we are by nature in a state of misery, can be delivered only by
Christ and therefore owe all thanksgiving and adoration to a Triune
God. That knowledge is also indispensable and we cannot overestimate
our privilege of living with our children under the true doctrine.
However, although we agree perfectly with these matters, although we
believe that God's word teaches them, although in our conscience we
are convinced that this alone is the way to eternal life, yet an
historical knowledge is not sufficient. The common working of the
Holy Spirit can enlighten us, and even make us taste the good Word
of God and the powers of the world to come; nevertheless we remain
with all those gifts, strangers of Christ, and we miss the only
comfort in life and death. Especially in these times it is so
necessary to notice these things. A superficial Christendom shouts
and cheers and assures itself of salvation. They think we make too
much of our sins and misery. We are baptized, we have the promises.
You need only believe and express that faith in your walk and
conversation. What more do you want? What more? Oil in our vessels!
The saving work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so that our lamps
do not go out at the moment the cry is made, "The bridegroom
comets," so that we shall not, with the foolish virgins, cry in
despair as we knock at the closed door, "Lord, Lord, open to us,"
and then hear, "Verily I say unto you: I know you not." If we are to
obtain the only unfailing comfort, we must have an experimental
knowledge of our misery, deliverance, and gratitude. In spite of all
the mockery and jeering of the nominal Christians of our day, I
emphasize that the sure way by which the only comfort may be
obtained is by an experimental knowledge of the three parts
mentioned. This does not mean that the foundation of our salvation
lies in our experience, but that fallen man can only understand
these things by experience. For the wise and prudent the way in
which God saves sinners is hid. Heaven cannot be bought with money.
God convinces His people efficaciously and irresistibly of their
state of misery and opens unto them the redemption which is in
Christ Jesus, so that He shall receive all the honour.
    Now it is not so that those who are converted to God spend a few
years in misery, then glory in their deliverance, and spend the rest
of their life in gratitude. The Lord does not work thus. When He
gives the one, He also grants the other. As the acorn incloses the
whole oak tree, so also in regeneration an entire new creature in
Christ is formed. The leading of the Spirit is necessary, however,
for the consciousness of the soul itself, so that by the exercise of
faith these matters shall be known to the comfort of the soul. When
we are convicted of our sins we are much distressed, although there
are intermittent moments when there is some hope, since we are still
in the land of the living and therefore the door of grace has not
been shut. Then there are moments in which we can pour out our
hearts before God, and the dear Word of God is sometimes opened to
us so that we cry out, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them,
and they were sweeter than honey to my mouth." Then we sing with
liberty, "I love the Lord," and the burden of our guilt and sin
falls from our shoulders. But although this all lies in the root of
the new life, Christ, and hence also the propitiation of our sins by
Him is so hidden, that our soul is troubled because of the justice
of God which we have violated. Then the Holy Spirit teaches His
people experimentally that Christ has purchased and redeemed His
people with His precious blood. In Him is salvation for those that
are totally lost. Would they then not testify about His precious
blood? Their heart goes out to Him. They seek to win Him, for what
else do they need but to be grafted in Him? They cannot meet God
without Christ. With all their "knowledge" of misery, deliverance
and gratitude they would still be lost. Their guilt is still
uncovered, and how can they rest except in the assurance of the Holy
Spirit that they are purchased and redeemed by Christ; reconciled
with God and delivered from the power of Satan, and prepared
according to the good pleasure of the Father for that salvation
which was laid away for them in heaven? What can harm them? When
enjoying this comfort all affliction is light, "a light affliction
which is but for a moment." Soon they shall eternally and perfectly
praise their God and King, and they shall be priests and kings to
serve Him and to reign with Him forever and ever. Already in this
life they have the beginning of that true thankfulness by which God
is glorified in them through His own work, since they have nothing
to bring before the Lord. Thus they learn through their walking by
faith how, yes, how they shall express their gratitude to God, and
they rejoice in the light that is sown for the righteous, of which
we shall now sing: Psalter No. 260 St. 5 and 6.
    I would ask your attention for another moment so that we may
apply what we have heard. Let us remind ourselves that by nature we
lack that comfort, yea we seek our comfort elsewhere. We are enemies
of free grace. My unconverted hearer, do ask the Holy Spirit to show
you the state of your misery. You are commonly told to plead upon
God's promises, but is pleading not an act of faith? And that faith
we lack by nature.
    Beloved, we are dead in trespasses and sins, and we are in the
power of Satan. Be honest with yourself. Who seeks for God? Who will
seek his salvation in Christ when he is not acquainted with his
state of misery? The Lord Himself says, "They that are whole need
not a physician." In our own opinion we are whole, even though we
confess that we are lost. Why then do we need Christ?
    May the Lord convince you. Attend faithfully the pure ministry
of the word. Consider the earnest admonitions. Take the invitations
of the gospel to heart. May it please the Lord to apply them
effectually, so that you may learn to know yourself as entirely
wretched and lost. Only then will you flee to Him Who has purchased
His people with His precious blood, and delivered them from all the
power of the devil. Oh, do not be indifferent as you hear the
preaching of God's word. Do not shake it off as you leave the
church. Consider what is necessary for your salvation. Look with
envy upon God's people, who already in this life enjoy that only
comfort which enables them to take courage in tribulation and
constantly renews their hope of eternal bliss. May the Lord draw you
out of the power of darkness to His marvelous light, so that Christ
might dwell in your hearts by faith. I pray you, do not trust to
emotions or to any disturbance of conscience which many experience

for a short time, but which never leads us to Christ. Do see the
great all decisive difference between the common and the saving
ministrations of the Holy Spirit, so that you will not one day find
that you have been mistaken. When our soul is lost, all is lost.
    The only comfort, both in life and death, has a firm foundation.
It is not as a spider's web which shall perish. Oh, afflicted and
sad souls, tossed with tempest and not comforted, the Lord shall lay
thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with
sapphires. Has the Lord convicted you of your sin and misery, may He
also grant that more and more you may lose your trust in all your
pleasant frames and exercises to find peace for your soul. Pray much
for the continual discovering of your state of misery so that you
may find a Mediator for your guilt. We must give up all things
outside of Christ to win Him and to obtain by faith the only comfort
that will hold both in life and in death. May Christ be formed in
you, that your faith might be directed to Him and you might seek to
be found in Him. Look away from yourself more and more. All life is
only in Him Who was dead and is alive forevermore. He will not
forsake His people and His inheritance, but may He grant us to rest
in Him alone. How many of God's people lack the assurance of the
Holy Ghost! Therefore they are often tossed about with doubts
whether they truly are partakers of Him Who by faith has become
precious to them. Would the cause for this lie in the fact that too
much we seek our lives outside of Him? Oh, that we might lose our
life to find it in Him. The Lord comfort you according to the riches
of His grace, but cease not to strive with you until His
righteousness be glorified in you. May God's promises granted you
cause you to plead constantly at the throne of grace. Is He not the
faithful one Whose word is ever true? Persevere then that you may
ravish His heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck.
May He assure you by His Holy Spirit of eternal life of which you
are in Him a partaker. May the blood of Christ become more and more
precious to you. When Satan attacks you, remember he is a conquered
enemy. When the world distresses you, when sin stirs within you, may
you by faith in Christ attain the victory.
    How richly blessed is that people that have obtained the
assurance of the Holy Ghost by faith, and can testify with Paul, "I
know in Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to
keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day, and that
neither death nor life shall separate us from the love of God in
Christ." Oh people of God, glory in the salvation that you have
received in your Surety and Mediator, and move many to jealousy. May
it be your constant comfort that you are not your own, but belong to
your faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
    Do not allow the afflictions of the flesh to discourage you.
They are necessary and shall serve to your salvation. Oh, that we
might always bear our cross willingly after Christ. The strife and
oppression shall not always continue and the Lord Himself determines
their measure and duration. May He sanctify us and grant us to walk
in humility, as an evidence of the gratitude we owe Him. Christ is
your sin and thank offering. May we by faith with self-denial give
honour to God in Christ as a people that was formed to show forth
His praise. Soon we shall be with the Lord eternally. Wherefore
comfort one another with these words. Amen.

(continued in part 3...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc1-02.txt