Sunday, June 12, 2011

Singing through the Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 3

Lord's Day 3

Q & A 6
Q. Did God create people
so wicked and perverse?

A. No.
God created them good and in his own image,
that is, in true righteousness and holiness,
so that they might
truly know God their creator,
love him with all their heart,
and live with him in eternal happiness
for his praise and glory.

Q & A 7
Q. Then where does this corrupt human nature
come from?

A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents,
Adam and Eve, in Paradise.
This fall has so poisoned our nature
that we are born sinners—
corrupt from conception on.

Q & A 8
Q. But are we so corrupt
that we are totally unable to do any good
and inclined toward all evil?

A. Yes, unless we are born again,
by the Spirit of God.


Fallen human beings are a strange mixture: gloriously created in God’s image, yet exchanging God’s glory to worship created things to our shame. This mixture of glory and shame is now stamped upon us as human beings. The marred imprint of God’s image remains even though we lost true righteousness and holiness. Apart from a birth from above, we no longer know God, love him with all our heart, or live in fellowship with him in eternal happiness.

As fallen sinners we also no longer understand (unless the Word and Spirit illumine our hearts) that true, eternal happiness is not possible apart from a Godward life lived for his glory. We were created to live with God, through God, and for God. “Man lives . . . by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” (Mat. 4:4) Jesus teaches us. Words are the medium of communication between God and man, and if we want a relationship with the triune God, then it will only come through the acceptance of God’s Word that comes to us as law and gospel.

The law --- what God requires of us --- is very much tied to creation. It is because God is our Creator that we owe him our lives. Just as an artist has the right to do what he wants with his art, so our Creator has the right to require his creatures live for his praise and glory. Creation implies purpose, and Q&A 6 tells us the purpose of our lives. God created us “so that” we might know him, love him, and live with him for his praise and glory.

Yet we have fallen far short of God’s glory, not seeking his splendor and glory, but our own. This is true of every human being because Adam’s sin poisoned our nature. Our worst sins are not the sins we commit, but the original sin within us from which our actions flow. This corruption within is an anti-God tendency, which causes us to flee from God, even as Adam and Eve fled from his presence after their sin. Our inward lack of a Godward life, characterized by self-will and autonomy, rather than a will submissive to God and dependence on him, is the reason for our outward sins. The only way back to God is to hear and believe the gospel of his Son. Through that gospel, we can return to our Father.


O Lord, Creator of All Things

To the tune: KINGSFOLD We Sing the Mighty Power of God. Based on Lord’s Day 3 of the Heidelberg Catechism (related Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 10). Words: William Weber, 2010.

v. 1
O Lord, Creator of all things,
we praise You, You are good.
You made us in Your image true,
in holiness we stood.
To know our God was our delight,
to love You with our all,
to glorify and live with You,
delightful was our call.

v. 2
But we rebelled against Your will,
in Adam all did fall.
Our nature poisoned to the core,
we’re sinful one and all.
Conceived in sin our wills are turned
away from You our good.
We love our glory more than Yours,
deceived by lies, falsehood.

v. 3
In mercy send Your Spirit, Lord,
and turn our hearts to You,
and bring repentance for our sins,
we need divine rescue.
A broken heart You won’t despise,
a contrite heart please give.
We look believing to Your Son.
Behold His cross and live!

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

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