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My Natural Hatred Toward God

HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 2

How do you come to know your misery?

The law of God tells me

What does the law of God require of us?

Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22:37-40 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.

Can you live up to tall this perfectly?

No. I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.

 

My Natural Hatred Toward God

Monday, January 9: 1 John 1:5-2:2

The Reformed faith teaches that our birth in Christ begins with the honest confession that my natural tendency is to hate God. Perhaps observable sins – the practice of homosexuality, the various forms of abuse, the use of hate speech or the misuse of God’s resources – are troubling enough to describe this tendency. But we must ask an important question: “What qualifies these external behaviors as hatred – what is the sin behind the sin?” It is the idolatry of self. It is as if we say: “Thanks, God, for thinking of me, but I believe I can live well enough on my own. You have some enchanting ideas, but I’ve mapped out my own path. Adios.” For sure, we are probably not that crass. Still, our behavior is a good measure of the condition our hearts toward God. Consider our commitment to truth. What if a pastor is appropriately confronted about behavior unbecoming of the Office of Minister of the Word? What if his behavior significantly slanders the name and maligns the character of the Lord the Office is called to represent? And what if he nonetheless protects himself through systemic lies and deception? We would all be rightfully appalled. Can we trust when truth is absent? This problem extends well beyond pastors. All are created in God’s image and are designed to display His glory. Yet, we all willingly sacrifice truth on the altar of personal ego. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and that Satan is the Father of lies (John 8:44). Given the spin, hype, misinformation and deception that seems to flow so freely through our cultural vein, it is good to pause and inquire who is most honored in our behavior. Even a cursory view of history reveals the ugly fruit of self-exaltation. God, however, is merciful and kind. He desires His grace to intersect with and disrupt our sin. Accept His invitation: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

Pastor Cal Hoogendoorn