Seeking All My Good Only in Christ: Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 11

29. Why is the Son of God called “Jesus,” that is, Savior?
Because He saves us from all our sins,1 and because salvation is not to be sought or found in any other.2
[1] Matt. 1:21; Heb. 7:25. [2] Acts 4:12; *Lk. 2:10–11.

30. Do those also believe in the only Savior Jesus, who seek their salvation and welfare from “saints,” themselves, or anywhere else?
No; although they make their boast of Him, yet in their deeds they deny the only Savior Jesus;1 for either Jesus is not a complete Savior, or they who by true faith receive this Savior, must have in Him all that is necessary to their salvation.2
[1] 1 Cor. 1:13, 30–31; Gal. 5:4. [2] Isa. 9:7; Col. 1:20; 2:10; Jn. 1:16; *Matt. 23:28.


The Christian’s hope is not in the present age or the present world, but in the age to come. We recognize, however, that everything that happens to us in this life is preparatory to that which is coming; thus Paul can say that “all things work together for good”; not the good of my happiness and comfort in this life, but that I would be “conformed to the image of Jesus Christ” in order to ultimately be glorified with Him forever. (Romans 8:28-29) But that means that I must not separate my hope in Jesus from my welfare and wellbeing in this current life, since this life is preparation for the next.

Some may say that they trust in Jesus for the fate of their eternal souls, but in this life it is clear that they think money will bring them the satisfaction they crave. It is clear because that is what they spend their life pursuing. Or it might be entertainment, or their families, or their physical health, or any number of other things. But we ought not separate these things- our hope for eternity and our pursuit of our welfare now- for they are intimately tied together. Thus, question 30 asks whether we truly can claim to believe in Jesus as our savior when we look somewhere else for the source of our wellbeing and happiness. We all have mixed loyalties and impure motivations for what we do; we all remain sinners in this life, so nobody will be perfect in this regard. But if I think that someone or something else, other than Christ, can really make me happy, keep me safe or give me a significant satisfying life, then to the degree I do that I am failing to trust Christ as my savior. This is true beyond the question of what will happen to me when I die, but also to the question of what will give me a good life in the here and now.

We know that God has not promised us comfort, wealth, and ease in this life. Sometimes our response to that truth unfortunately is to conclude we must seek those things for ourselves. But if we trust Christ as our Savior in the fullest sense, then we will trust what God sends us in this life as well, knowing that His faithfulness as a savior will give me a truly good life, not one of all the comforts and earthly joys I might want, but one in which God fulfills His present purposes through me and prepares me for eternity with Him. If I trust Jesus and look to Him for all my hope in eternity, then I must trust Him with my welfare in the present age as well.

The Bible teaches us that all blessings come from God, and are His alone to give. Whether in this life or the one to come, that is the truth. The ancient sin of mankind is to think he can seize them for himself, through his own hard work, cleverness, good character or whatever else. But they all come from God. All the gold and silver are His, the cattle on a thousand hills are His, He makes the sun shine and the rain fall and my heart beat and my mind work. I cannot do the least thing without Him. And without Christ, we would know nothing but wrath from God. Therefore every good thing I enjoy, in this life or in eternity, comes to me by Christ, and the sooner I stop thinking I can do it myself, whether it’s to put food on my table or to inherit eternal life, the better. We should not compartmentalize this truth by saying I trust Christ for what happens after we die, but trust myself and my works for what happens now. For what comes now and in the future, in both life and death, my only comfort is that I belong to Him, and everything that happens works toward bringing me to Him in His eternal kingdom. That’s what it means to seek all my salvation and welfare only in Christ.