St John's logo

COVID 19- How to live in uncertain times (23 - What is our hope in life and death?)

Ben Naylor, 9th April 2020

See part 1 of this series here.

Formed in 1563 during the reformation, the Heidelberg Catechism is one of the oldest statements of the protestant faith. It is a series of questions and answers, used primarily to teach the basics of the Christian faith to new believers and children. But also as a confession of faith, used by people to profess the faith which they held. It opens with the following question and answer:

Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.

What we all need is a comfort not only in life, but also in death. It is only in Christ that such a comfort can be found, for he alone has defeated the power of death by his resurrection. That is the hope to which we confidently hold, that death is defeated because Christ is risen.

A new hymn that we are going to sing at church is based upon this. Whether in life or in death, we have the comfort and hope that we are Christ’s. He will keep us through the trials of life, and even through the grave to everlasting life with him.

‘If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.’ Romans 14:8-9 (NIV)

Verse 1
What is our hope in life and death?
Christ alone, Christ alone.
What is our only confidence?
That our souls to Him belong.
Who holds our days within His hand?
What comes, apart from His command?
And what will keep us to the end?
The love of Christ, in which we stand.

Chorus
O sing hallelujah!
Our hope springs eternal;
O sing hallelujah!
Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death.

Verse 2
What truth can calm the troubled soul?
God is good, God is good.
Where is His grace and goodness known?
In our great Redeemer’s blood.
Who holds our faith when fears arise?
Who stands above the stormy trial?
Who sends the waves that bring us nigh
Unto the shore, the rock of Christ? 

Verse 3
Unto the grave, what shall we sing?
“Christ, He lives; Christ, He lives!”
And what reward will heaven bring?
Everlasting life with Him.
There we will rise to meet the Lord,
Then sin and death will be destroyed,
And we will feast in endless joy,
When Christ is ours forevermore.

©2020 Getty Music Publishing (BMI) / Messenger Hymns (BMI) / Jordan Kauflin Music (BMI) / Matthew Merker Music (BMI) / Getty Music Hymns and Songs (ASCAP) / Love Your Enemies Publishing (ASCAP) / adm at MusicServices.org


See part 24 of this series here.

During these strange and testing times, we hope to post encouragement for you here each day. As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.