Friday, January 7, 2011

Daily Devotions from the Heidelberg Catechism: Saturday, January 8

Saturday

Enrolling in God’s School

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

2 Q. What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?

A. Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such a deliverance.

2) Scripture

Proverbs 1:7:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 9:8-10:

8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Comment

The second question of the Heidelberg Catechism gives us an outline of the rest of the catechism: guilt, grace, and gratitude or to put it in other words, sin, salvation, and thankfulness. Q&A 3-11 deal with our sin and misery. Q&A 12-85 deal with how we are set free from all our sins and misery. Q&A 86-129 deal with how to live thankfully before God.

Christians are not opposed to learning! True knowledge of God leads to true knowledge of ourselves, our salvation, and our life in Christ in the world. As Proverbs teaches (Prov. 1:7, 9:10), the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, and without this beginning a man is not yet enrolled in God’s school!

Did you notice the word know in Q&A 2? In order to enjoy Christ and his blessings, we need to know three things in a deeper and deeper way: our sin and misery, the gospel that delivers us from our sin and misery, and the new life of thanks which flows from Christ’s gospel. These three subjects must be mastered in a deeper and deeper way in order to know comfort and joy in the school of Christ!

Did you notice the word joy in Q&A 2? Getting to know the Father and the Son leads to an experience of joy in our lives! As believers, we don’t just know facts about God, but we also know God and his Son in a personal relationship that brings us comfort and joy, even in the midst of suffering and sorrow in this life. Such suffering and sorrow will soon pass away, but our joy in Christ will grow more and more until it is consummated in a new heaven and earth!

Discussion: What are the three main parts of the catechism? Why do Christians need to know these three things? Who do Christians know personally?

Prayer Starter: In your prayer, pray that you will grow in knowledge that will lead to truly knowing the Lord. Pray also that you will experience genuine joy in your Christian life.

Hymn for Lord’s Day 1

Only One Comfort

To the Tune: EVENTIDE (Abide with Me http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/PsH/442 or http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/UMH/700). Based on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism. Words: Bill Weber, 2010.

v. 1
There’s just one comfort in life and in death,
that I belong to Jesus, not myself.
The Lord completely paid for all my sins,
freed me from slav’ry, blesses me in Him.

v. 2
The Lord cares for me in a tender way,
watches my life and leads me all my days.
My Father works out all things for my good,
bless’d in His Son and filled with gratitude.

v. 3
O Jesus, Lord, my Savior and my Song,
how bless’d in You I am to now belong.
You send Your Spirit, plant Your life in me,
and in Your Word may I Your glory see.

v. 4
There are three things believers need to know:
How great my sin is, misery also.
How I am set free from iniquity.
How I should thank God who has set me free.


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