In preparation for our series on the Doctrine of God, beginning Monday March 11th, here are two questions (and a few others) to ponder this weekend.
Question: “What is the chief end of man?”
This first question is the opening question to the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647). It is also the second question in Benjamin Keach’s The Baptist Catechism (1677/1693; also known simply as “Keach’s Catechism”). The Westminster Larger Catechism (1648) adds a phrase “and highest”: “What is the chief and highest end of man?”
Here is how all of those catechisms answer that question:
Answer: “Man’s chief [and highest] end is to glorify God, and [fully] to enjoy Him forever.”
The second question to meditate on this weekend is the how the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) opens:
Question: “What is your only comfort in life and death?”
Answer: “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”
Those are two catechism questions.
Allow me to ask some additional, and more personal, questions:
Q~ What is your “chief and highest” end?
Q~ What is the thing around which the course of your life is oriented?
Q~ Is your driving ambition in life to glorify God?
Q~ Is your preoccupation to enjoy God?
Q~ Are you absorbed with thoughts of the pleasures of God and in aligning your life accordingly?
Q~ What is your answer, your honest answer?
Q~ Do you like that answer?
Q~ Would you want it to be a different answer?
Q~ Are you prepared to say that you belong “body and soul, in life and in death” to Jesus?
Q~ On what basis?
Q~ Can you give the same answer that the Heidelberg gives?
Q~ Or would you rather give a different one?
Q~ If you can answer the way it does, can you affirm the assurance that such an answer brings?
Q~ Are you assured of “eternal life” or does such a phrase make you uncomfortable?
Q~ Does the truth that Christ “fully paid for all [your] sins with his precious blood” drive you to live for him?
Q~ Or would saying that sentence out loud feel awkward?
Q~ Do you live for him? Willingly and readily? Wholeheartedly?
Q~ Do you know him?
Q~ Do you?