Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
I love this first question of the Heidelberg Catechism. I especially love how it holds the tension of two different thoughts on how Jesus “saves” us:
1. Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins,
2. and delivered me from the all the power of the devil.
Seamlessly pulling together two different atonement theories—Jesus dies in our place to absorb the death we deserve (substitutionary atonement) and defeats the power of death that we may be set free (Christus Victor), Heidelberg begins by putting forth a rich view of our indebtedness to Jesus, Savior and Lord of Creation.
We must understand the depths to which Jesus has gone to set us free, and we must wrestle with the meaning of our freedom and the life it propels us towards. Without the first, we may begin to think we have some part in earning our freedom. Without the second, we may not live into the freedom that Jesus paid so dearly for.
Be comforted, in your life and death, that you have a Savior fully capable of dealing with your past, present, and future!