The New City Catechism – Question 1

Q: What is our only hope in life and death?

A: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.


Main Idea

Adam and Eve were created knowing that their only hope in life and death was found in God, their Creator. But they eventually turned away from God by disobeying God’s command (Genesis 3:1-7). And since Adam and Eve’s sin mankind continually find their hope for life and death in anything other than God. From materialism, intellectual assent, or inward self-reliance, hope has been misplaced. Mankind hopes in anything but the God who created them. Sin has a powerful way of deceiving the heart and mind. However, God in his mercy and grace provides a more powerful way for a person to place hope in life and death properly. It says in 2 Corinthians 5: 21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus Christ took on our sin when he died on the cross. Jesus defeated the power of sin when he rose from the grave. And through saving faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ hope in life and death can be properly understood. Romans 14:7-8 sums up what it means for Christians to find their all-satisfying hope in Jesus.


For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.


In short, all people ultimately belong to the Sovereign God of the universe. But only by faith in Jesus Christ can a person understand that they belong to God and, therefore have true lasting hope in this life, and in eternity.


How Do I Apply Question 1?

To know where you place your only hope has remarkable consequences. If your only hope in life and death is in the triune God than what you do, what you say, how you spend time and money will orientate around God. You will not live to please yourself, but you will live to please God. If you know that you belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God than how you view eternity changes. You will experience this temporal life with eternity in view. Christians need to flee the temptation to live unto themselves, unlike Adam and Eve. Instead strive, by the grace of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, live wholly unto God.


Soli Deo Gloria.

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