HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 34
What does the Lord say in his law?
The Catechism lists the 10 commandments as it’s answer. They can be found in the Old Testament, in either Exodus 20:1-17 or Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
How are these commandments divided?
Into two tables. The first has four commandments, teaching us what our relation to God should be. The second has six commandments, teaching us what we owe our neighbor.
Sunday, July 23: Romans 8:1-17
The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy states: “Walk in all the ways that the Lord your God has commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:33). The New Testament echoes the same theme: “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands” (1 John 2:3). It is safe to say, therefore, that a healthy and vibrant Christian life is one that lives in obedience to the will of the Father. It is critical, however, that we carefully articulate what it means to be obedient. The Catechism teaches that it is a life of “loving gratitude,” directed to both God and people, rooted in the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. The Catechism describes gratitude for salvation this way: “We do good…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” (Lord’s Day 32). Yet, what we believe is often different from what we practice. We have a nasty tendency to undermine the gospel because we reduce Christianity to a form of performance religion. Instead of living in gratitude for salvation, many of us are still trying to perform good deeds to earn salvation. The Catechism, a faithful testimony to Bible revealed gospel grace, directs us away from a life that attempts to make God happy through our work and toward a life that is satisfied in His work. So, as we study God’s law – explore a healthy and vibrant Christian life in obedience to Him – let’s keep the main thing the main thing. The more we seek to live in obedience to God, the more we will grow in gratitude for His freely given grace. The law points beyond itself to He who alone is life.
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn