References: Ps. 33; Ps. 8; I Cor. 6:19-20
Heirs, privileged to be sons
Perhaps you will ask, “So what is the difference? I’m either under Satan or under God.” Well, life under Satan means slavery, bondage, and misery. Life under God means living back in the fold, a life for which you were created. It means being truly free to be who you are.
When Christ is Savior, we become the adopted children of God. Later the catechism’s answer specifically addresses being redeemed by Christ our Savior. For now, we will analyze the phrase “I am not my own” in terms of being brought into the household of God. Here we are shown the image of being a son, an heir to whom belong great privileges and benefits.
So there exists a vast difference between lords. Under God as Lord, you do not exchange one type of slavery for another. You are brought from misery as a slave to having comfort as a privileged member of the kingdom of Christ.
The hopelessness of pursuing self
What a wonderful way for the catechism authors to begin: addressing comfort by recognizing the proper relationship necessary between you and God. The Psalmist reflects this necessity: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love…” (Psalm 33:18 and following, ESV). Paul also bases his statement in I Cor. 6:19-20 on this necessity.
In self, there exists no hope, no answer to the quest for comfort. In Christ, in belonging to Him, there exists all the comfort of eternal life.
Hopelessness is a real problem. Many struggle with it. Even for believers, we realize there are things God has put before us that are seemingly hopeless, and we struggle with them. But ultimately, true hopelessness comes from the rejection of God. On the other hand, submission to God in Christ offers all hope. Only believers can truly know comfort.
Subjection to Christ
How can you be so sure of that comfort? One of the authors of the catechism, Ursinus, says this: “To be Lord is to have a right over some thing or person. Christ, therefore, is our Lord and the Lord of all, because he has dominion over us, and over all things.” Knowing that Christ has dominion over us gives comfort, because He is the one who protects and keeps you under His wing.
Heirs with a status of privilege
The difference between life under Satan and life under Christ can be described as being a slave or being an heir. Heirs, the sons in the household, are in a situation of privilege and in a relationship of care.
Christ is your shepherd. He calls, He feeds, He nourishes, He keeps.
Are you trying to figure out who you are? Look to Christ. When you are struggling, with nothing going right in life, and you just want to cry in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, look to Christ. Remember and believe in Who you confessed when you acknowledged your commitment to Christ. “I am not my own.” The reality embedded in that simple phrase carries a wealth of real, true total comfort.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.