HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 32
We have been delivered from our misery by God’s grace alone through Christ and not because we have earned it: why then must we still do good?
To be sure, Christ has redeemed us by his blood. But we do good because Christ by his Spirit is also renewing us to be like himself, so that in all our living we may show that we are thankful to God for all he has done for us, and so that he may be praised through us. And we do good so that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ.
Can those be saved who do not turn to God from their ungrateful and impenitent ways?
By no means. Scripture tells us that no unchaste person, no idolater, adulterer, thief, no covetous person, no drunkard, slanderer, robber, or the like is going to inherit the kingdom of God.
Sunday, July 9: Titus 2:11-15
The Catechism teaches that grateful obedience is the natural response to the revelation of God’s salvation grace. In fact, renewed obedience, the truly human life, is the goal of deliverance and redemption. Jeremiah prophesied God’s intent: “This the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (31:33). Paul confirms that those words were fulfilled in the gospel of Christ: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10; cf. vv.1-10). He therefore states that the redeemed Christian life is this: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-15). What does this really mean? It means the gospel is the foundation, focus and fruit of life. Christ is our foundation for He has redeemed us from sin by His blood. He is our focus for He has delivered us from our misery. He is our fruitfulness for He is renewing us to do His good through the purifying presence of His Holy Spirit. What is the impact of God’s gospel revelation – the foundation, focus and fruitfulness – on your life? Lord’s Day 32 begins the section of the Catechism called “gratitude.” Do my attitudes, decisions and behaviors reflect the spirit of the Catechism: “In all our living we may show that we are thankful to God”? Are we grateful for gospel grace?
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn