News

 Categories: Daily Bible Readings
 Posted: 
 

The Coming to Life of the New Self

HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 33

What is involved in genuine repentance or conversion?

Two things: the dying-away of the old self, and the coming-to-life of the new.

What is the dying-away of the old self?

It is to be genuinely sorry for sin, to hate it more and more, and to run away from it.

What is the coming-to-life of the new self?

It is wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a delight to do every kind of good as God wants us to.

What do we do that is good?

Only that which arises out of true faith, conforms to God’s law, and is done for his glory; and not that which is based on what we think is right or on established human tradition.

 

The Coming to Life of the New Self

Wednesday, July 19: Colossians 3:12-17

The Catechism teaches that conversion or repentance involves the coming-to-life of the new-self. This means we are to have a “wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a delight to do every kind of good as God wants us to.” This, too, is pretty intense language. The implied Biblical question is: “What does your heart treasure most?” Jesus said to His disciples: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:37-39). Then, in a gracious reversal of Peter’s betrayal, Jesus turns to Peter with a single question asked three times: “Do you love me more than these” (John 21:15; cf. 15-17)? Please don’t miss the essential order for the coming-to-life of the new-self – that being precedes doing, indicative precedes the imperative, and relationship precedes responsibility. The truth is that we must treasure Christ before we will be able to delight in Christ-likeness. You may have noticed that Peter was commissioned for obedient, Christ-like ministry only after he was restored to a living relationship with Christ Himself. The same holds true for us: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). The Bible teaches that in Christ we are a “new creation, the new-self created by grace alone (2 Corinthians 5:16-18). The question of the Catechism is whether this conversion joy will come to life in my mind, will and emotions. Is God in Christ your wholehearted joy and chief delight?

Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn