Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Our Only Comfort

Date: AM
Text: Isaiah 40; Lord's Day 1
Psalters: 262, 215, 201, 203
Series: Heidelberg Catechism
  1. The idea.
    1. The Christian’s experience of pure religion is expressed in the word “comfort.”
    2. What comfort is NOT.
    3. Comfort is knowing certain facts (a “reckoning;” “being persuaded” over against a contradictory experience.
      1. It is knowing facts by faith (not mere knowledge), i.e., believing them to be true because the Bible says so.
      2. This knowledge is derived from Scripture (thus there is the “comfort of the scriptures,” Rom. 15:4).
      3. Comfort is essentially faith’s knowledge of the God of the Scriptures and His attitude toward His people.
  2. What three things must be known for comfort?
    1. First, faith recognizes that truth presents a very real and most serious problem (we may not deny it nor excuse it).
      1. No cure will be sought if we are unaware that we are sick; we must first acknowledge that we are sinners.
      2. It is essential that I know “sin” and specifically “my sin.”
    2. Second, faith seizes on Scripture’s declaration of redemption in Jesus, so I belong to Him and am His responsibility.
    3. Third, I must know how to show my gratitude to God for saving me: I must be made willing and ready to live unto Him.
      1. The Spirit so applies Christ’s redemption to me that I love God and want to obey and please Him.
      2. We are filled with the desire to render grateful returns of ardent love to Him Who first manifested so great love to me.
  3. Comfort is experienced.
    1. Comfort does not take away misery nor crosses, but enables me to take up the crosses which cause it (I Cor. 10:13).
    2. Comfort is only experienced in the way of my constantly confessing that I “am not our own.”
    3. This tremendous comfort is an “only” comfort. He is the “God of all comfort” (II Cor. 1:3).