I Belong – Joyce Holstege

The Heidelberg Catechism is a game changer. John Frame calls it “one of the great devotional works of all time.” Elector Frederick III secured the services of a twenty-eight-year-old theology professor from Heidelberg University named Zacharias Ursinus and a twenty-six-year-old preacher named Casper Olevianus to pen a catechism that would help disciple young people. This Catechism would also be a tool for pastors and help them equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12-14).

The first question and answer is posed:

Q: What is your only comfort in life and death?

A: That I am not my own, but belong with 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.

Joyce Holstege beautifully captures the essence of the answer to the first question in the Heidelberg Catechism in her book, I Belong. The author walks slowly through the answer in ways that children can understand and includes artwork that corresponds to each section. The narrative is engaging, personal, practical, and most importantly – biblical.

The book assumes that listening children are regenerate. This is in keeping with the tenor and tone of the Catechism. However, parents should be sure to emphasize the importance of placing faith in Christ with their children. They should never assume or presume that children are regenerate until a child has turned from his or her sins and placed personal faith in the risen Savior.

I Belong is a helpful discipleship tool that parents should use to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.


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