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My Natural Hatred Toward My Neighbor

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 My Neighbor

Tuesday, January 10: Titus 3:3-8

The Reformed faith teaches that our birth in Christ continues with the honest confession that my natural tendency is to hate my neighbor. This, too, is a natural consequence of the idolatry of self. What if a person desires to join a Church but only if its ministry structure, staff and leadership are re-established around his personal expectations regarding what constitutes a healthy Church? What if he concludes that they are unhealthy and should, therefore, submit to his plan for formal correction? And what if, when attempts to remake the Church in his own image fail, he takes to social media to publicly scrutinize the whole “unhealthy” lot? Let’s be frank. This is nothing less than hateful self-interest that masquerades as spiritual concern. How is God’s love for His children honored when they are held hostage on the altar of one’s personal agenda. We all are capable of (and perhaps some of us have even been partners in) this scandalous game. Thankfully, Christ is the King of His Church. He will protect His children from the self-importance, lust for power or spiritual elitism that assaults their vulnerable lives. God, however, is once again kind beyond all imagination. He will not only protect His Church, but extends generous grace to those who malign it. He desires His grace to intersect with and disrupt all sin. Again, consider the 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