Friday, November 26, 2010

A Hymn about Law and Gospel

God’s Law Is Strict and Holy

To the tune: RUTHERFORD ( Based on Lord’s Day 44 of the Heidelberg Catechism (related Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 78-83, 35). Words: Bill Weber, 2010.

v. 1
God’s law is strict and holy,
condemning all our sin;
reflects His holy nature,
exposes sin within.
The law requires perfection,
the Lord your God to love:
a heart that hates sin’s nature,
desires the Lord above.

v. 2
The law cannot make holy,
it cannot pardon sin.
The law can only show us
pollution deep within.
The law is meant to drive us
into the arms of Christ.
For He alone can save us,
His cross a sacrifice.

v. 3
So come unto the Savior,
who died upon the tree,
and trust His grace and mercy
that Jesus earned for thee.
His gospel calls you to Him,
to come receive His grace,
to trust in His forgiveness,
to walk before His face.

v. 4
The law is weak and feeble,
it can’t give strength to live.
The law can’t join to Jesus,
or knit our hearts with His.
The gospel is the power,
to Jesus it unites,
the Spirit given to us,
the law within He writes.

v. 5
Only a small beginning
in this life do we make:
resolving Christ to follow,
yet His commands we break.
But still we strive to follow
all that the Lord commands.
A life of faith, repentance
until the promised land.

Lord's Day 44

Q & A 113

Q. What is God's will for you
in the tenth commandment?

A. That not even the slightest thought or desire
contrary to any one of God's commandments
should ever arise in my heart.
Rather, with all my heart
I should always hate sin
and take pleasure in whatever is right.^1

^1 Ps. 19:7-14; 139:23-24; Rom. 7:7-8

Q & A 114

Q. But can those converted to God
obey these commandments perfectly?

A. No.
In this life even the holiest
have only a small beginning of this obedience.^1
Nevertheless, with all seriousness of purpose,
they do begin to live
according to all, not only some,
of God's commandments.^2

^1 Eccles. 7:20; Rom. 7:14-15; 1 Cor. 13:9; 1 John 1:8-10
^2 Ps. 1:1-2; Rom. 7:22-25; Phil. 3:12-16

Q & A 115

Q. No one in this life
can obey the Ten Commandments perfectly:
why then does God want them
preached so pointedly?

A. First, so that the longer we live
the more we may come to know our sinfulness
and the more eagerly look to Christ
for forgiveness of sins and righteousness.^1

Second, so that,
while praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit,
we may never stop striving
to be renewed more and more after God's image,
until after this life we reach our goal:

^1 Ps. 32:5; Rom. 3:19-26; 7:7, 24-25; 1 John 1:9
^2 1 Cor. 9:24; Phil. 3:12-14; 1 John 3:1-3

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