Heidelberg Catechism Devotional Q32

Q. But Why are you called a Christian?

A. Because by faith I am a member of Christ and so I share in his anointing.  I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a good conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and afterward to reign with Christ over all creation for all eternity.


Last week we learned that Christ means anointed. Therefore, a Christian is an anointed one, or one who is set apart for God’s work and service.  But can any follower of Jesus truly call himself or herself a Christian?  Certainly, the disciples in Antioch used this term.  Read Acts 11:26. These men and women were assured that they were not just following Jesus, but that they were anointed by God to serve his purposes in the world just as Jesus did.  Be encouraged that this is true of you as well.


How can we be assured that we are “Christians,” or anointed ones?  Read Ephesians 3:16-17 and Romans 12:4. In Ephesians Paul prays that the disciples may experience Christ dwelling in their hearts.  But this happens by faith: Believing Jesus is both savior and Christ.  When God grants this faith to us, it is an internal life changing, reality.  Literally, Christ indwells us and we become his body.   The Epistle to the Romans reiterates this truth.  Since we are his body, all that is ascribed to him, becomes available to us as well.  He is anointed and so we are anointed.  He is the Son of God; we become God’s children.  He served as the Prophet, Priest and King; we too serve as prophets, priests and kings in our world.  What a wonderful truth for every believer.


Read Romans 10:9-10. Our salvation is grounded in belief and confession.  God has set us apart, from the moment of Spiritual birth, to tell about the glory of Jesus Christ.  We bear witness to his life, death and resurrection in the world through communion (1 Corinthians 11:26), and we, like Paul are called to proclaim Christ among the nations (Colossians 1:28, 4:3).  Pray for opportunities to confess Christ today in word, as well as in your heart.


In addition to proclaiming Christ in word, we are also called to proclaim Christ by our life.  We are called to live in such a way that our very life is an expression of gratitude for all that the Savior has done, is doing and will continue to do for us.  Read Romans 12:1. God desires us to be worshippers who worship in Spirit and truth (John 4:23).  The truth part is accomplished in our words and heart, but the spiritual part is accomplished in our life when God lives through us in this world.  When a disciple of Jesus gives his life over to God, then that Spirit of God which is in his heart begins to live life in the members of his or her body.  In this way, the physical and the spiritual are joined and we truly become set apart to do the Lord’s work.


Wars are fought on many fronts with many battles.  To win a battle, doesn’t ensure victory, but it sure bolters morale and encourages the troops to fight again.  Likewise, the Christian is called to battle sin in his or her life and in the world at large.  Unlike earthly warfare, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection guarantees the outcome of the battle, but little skirmishes still remain as sin fights against the proclamation issued at Calvary.  Fight on and continue the work of Jesus in your body and in the world.  Read Ephesians 6:10-18.


All of our anointing serves the same purpose that a prince endowed with the promise of a date of coronation serves.  On that day, when the crown is place on his head, he begins to reign victoriously over his Kingdom.  Likewise, we are anointed and promised a kingdom   Read Matthew 25:34, 2 Timothy 2:11-12, Revelation 20:6 and Luke 1:33. Let us reign victoriously then as we prepare now.


About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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