Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.1
OF HOW MANY PARTS DOES THIS COMFORT CONSIST?
This comfort consists of six parts:
1. Our reconciliation with God through Christ, so that we are no longer the enemies, but the sons of God; neither are we our own, but we belong to Christ. (1. Cor. 7:23.)
2. The manner of our reconciliation with God through the blood of Christ, that is, through his passion, death, and satisfaction for our sins. (1. Peter 1:18. 1. John 1:7.)
3. Deliverance from the miseries of sin and death. Christ does not only reconcile us to God, but he also delivers us from the power of the devil; so that sin, death, and satan have no power over us. (Heb. 2:14. 1 John 3:8.)
4. The constant preservation of our reconciliation, deliverance, and whatever other benefits Christ has once purchased for us. We are his property; therefore, he watches over us as his own, so that not so much as a hair can fall from our heads without the will of our heavenly Father. Our safety does not lie in our own hands, or strength; for if it did, we should lose it a thousand times every moment.
5. The turning of all our evils into good. The righteous are, indeed, afflicted in this life, yea they are put to death, and are as sheep for the slaughter; yet these things do not injure them, but rather contribute to their salvation, because God turns all things to their advantage, as it is said: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” (Rom. 8:27.)
6. Our full persuasion and assurance of all these great benefits, and of eternal life. This assurance is obtained, in the first place, from the testimony of the Holy Spirit working in us true faith, and conversion, bearing witness with our spirits that we are the sons of God, and that these blessings truly pertain to us; because “he is the earnest of our inheritance;” and secondly, from the effects of true faith, which we perceive to be in us; such as true penitence, and a firm purpose to believe God and obey all his commandments; for we are assured of having true faith when we have an earnest desire of obeying God; and by faith we are persuaded of the love of God and eternal salvation. This is the foundation of all the other parts of this consolation which we have specified, and without which every other comfort is transient and unsatisfying amid the temptations of life. The substance of our comfort therefore is briefly this:—That we are Christ’s, and through him reconciled to the Father, that we may be beloved of him and saved, the Holy Ghost and eternal life being given unto us.
Zacharias Ursinus. Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (Kindle Locations 1178-1197). Monergism Books. Kindle Edition.