The Law as Revelation
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.
The Law as Revelation
Monday, July 24: Ephesians 1:1-11
A healthy and vibrant Christian is one who lives in loving gratitude for the Father’s gift of salvation in Jesus Christ through obedience to His commands. Sometimes when we hear the word “obedience” or encounter the phrase “obey His commands” or are challenged to be “fully accountable” for living according to the Word of truth, our spiritual radar detectors sound the alarm that we may be on the verge of being plunged into another form of joyless and life-defeating legalism. I know mine do. And for good reason. I have encountered many forms of “Spirit-filled living” that are, in fact, nothing more than a moralistic assault on Christ-centered discipleship. To understand Biblical obedience, therefore, requires that we understand the character of the 10 commandments. Many Biblical thinkers have correctly noted that the law is a shadow of what the gospel brings to light. It addresses what the gospel of Jesus Christ is restoring. That means the law reveals God’s character of grace, purpose of restoration, and gift of reconciliation – all rooted in the gospel of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. First, the 10 commandments reveal a God of grace: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). Second, they reveal God’s desire to restore in human hearts such things as His sovereign rule (Command #1), His sovereign Word (Command #2), responsible authority (Commandment #5), human dignity (Commandment #6) or human security (Commandment #8). Finally, the commandments are an expression of reconciliation and restoration between God and sinner, and between sinful people. God’s people are to be a living exhibit of God’s transforming grace and partners in His global mission of reconciliation. The law reveals the character of God, and our obedience places Him and His purpose on display. Christianity is not a religion of rules. It is a relationship of transforming grace displayed in the lives of His people. So, take the time to ask yourself, does my life display the glory of His grace (Ephesians 1:12, 3:10-11, 1 Peter 2:11-12)?
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn