Question 1 of the catechism sets the stage asking ‘what is your only comfort in life and death?’ The answer, Christ. Question 2 then asks
How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
Answer: Three; (a) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; (b) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; (c) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance. (d)
Then follows the Scriptural proof.
(a) Matt.11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt.11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt.11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Tit.3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. Tit.3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit.3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; Tit.3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (b) John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. (c) John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 10:43 To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (d) Eph.5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph.5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Eph.5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Eph.5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Pet.2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Rom.6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom.6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom.6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom.6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
A person only knows true comfort when they come to terms with their real condition; when that condition is faced head on and dealt with; and gratitude is expressed to the one who resolves the problem. Mankind’s read problem is sin. Christ redeems us from it. God is worthy, therefore, of our gratitude. When we realize, and act on, those three simple truths then we can have peace of mind and heart in life, and in death.
The Heidelberg Catechism is a profoundly important theological primer with which every Christian ought to be familiar.