We are excited to begin working through the Heidelberg Catechism as part of our weekly worship over the next several months. Pastor Adam introduced us to this specific Catechism last Sunday, and you can learn more about it here.
While the Heidelberg Catechism is primarily an instrument of comfort and hope (Question 1 - What is your only comfort in life and in death?), it does pause to look on the depraved condition of the natural man's heart. In doing so, it moves from a word of comfort to a word of condemnation. Yet, we know this - "Lasting consolation can only come to those who know of their need to be consoled. The first thing we need in order to experience the comfort of the gospel is to be made uncomfortable with our sin. The comfort of the gospel doesn't skirt around the issue of sin, or ignore it like positive thinking preachers and self-help gurus. It looks at sin square in the eye, acknowledges it, and deals with it. While many people will tell us to stop focusing on sin and to lighten up because we aren't 'bad' people, the Catechism tells us just the opposite. In order to have comfort, we must first see our sin induced misery." (*The Good News We Almost Forgot. Kevin DeYoung.) Here are questions 3-5 of the Heidelberg . . .
Question 3: How do you come to know your misery?
The Law of God tells me.
Question 4: What does God's Law require of us?
Christ teaches us this in summary of Matthew 22 - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as your self. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Question 5: Can you live up to all this perfectly?
No. I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.
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