Monday, 29 March 2010

Part 1 - Sin and Misery

LORD'S Day 2

SCRIPTURE READINGS: Deuteronomy 5: 6-21; Romans 7: 7-12; Matthew 22: 34-40

3.  Whence do you know your sin and misery?
A.  Out of the law of God.
4. What does the law of God require of us?
A. Christ teaches that in a summary, Matt. 22: 37-40, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto to it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.
5. Can you keep all this perfect?
A. In no wise; for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbour. 

Our misery great

Absolutely. Our misery is great, and praise God He showed me that. None of us enjoys going through conviction of sin, but having been 'blessed' with seven years of conviction of my own sin and misery, the release was all the sweeter when at last my soul was 'taken from the miry clay' and put on a rock. Sweet, sweet was salvation. Sweet was my Saviour, who saved a wretch like me. When these things are a reality, they are very precious.

Amazing Grace, the hymn, says these words:
'T was grace that taught my heart to fear...
It was only a few months ago, whilst singing these words to myself, that they struck me. All these years of conviction were ALL OF GRACE! It was God's grace as surely as His deliverance was! It's so obvious, but it really struck me that day a few months ago.

And having been taken from the fearful pit and from the miry clay, you'd think I would live 'heartily' for the Lord. I think so often, and pray the words,
'Take my life, and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to Thee'
And yet, I sing them, I say them, I pray them, but do I really mean them. Really, really mean them? Am I willing for every single are of my life to be taken and to be consecrated to the Lord? If so, why do I remain so worldy? Why would I waste time on things that don't profit my soul? Words are easy, but these words are HUGE. I want to mean them. I want to mean them with my whole heart, but I think Grace alone will take me wholly to that place.


I'm not sure what the book is saying on p6, para3, 4. The author seems to speak of a world totally different to our world today, and even totally different to the world post-Babel. 'The world of today is better, in some ways, than the world was before the great Flood that finally came in Noah's day. The reason for this is that God has given some things to mankind since that time, to restrain the power of evil on earth and to moderate the misery that issues from it. For one thing, God divided the human race by causing people to speak different languages (Gen11)
This limits the development of evil.
Also, the church has been instituted, and this retards the development of evil.

I don't think I'd really thought of this before. We always heard that since Pentecost and the downpouring of the Spirit, that the world was blessed in a way in which it hadn't been in the O.T. But this is speaking of a real distinction between pre-Babel and post-Babel. I don't know if the author makes the Babel incident more significant, or the establishing of the church. With Abraham and Isaac?? Or with the children of Israel being redeemed from Egypt?? I'd like to hear more about this. ....not sure that what I'm saying is even making sense! I just know there's something in the book that's getting at something I'm not sure of!


Q1 That not my own, but belong....'
I love this idea of 'belonging'. Even humanly speaking, what a blessed thing it is to 'belong' - to belong to a family, to belong to your husband. Who would want the 'freedom' of not belonging? Not me!
I was remembering what our old minister used to say about the words of Psalm 40v6: 'Mine ears hast thou opened' - speaking of what a servant who did not want to leave his master would do - he would have his ear bored with an awl, as a sign of what he was - a lifetime, voluntary servant to his master. 'I love my master....I will not go out free' (Ex21v5,6)
All this speaking of Christ's willingly becoming a servant - to do the Father's will. 'To do thy will I take delight' (Ps 40v8)

First question - Heidelberg v Westminster Shorter

The first thing that struck me when I opened the Heidelberg book was the first question and how totally different is is to what we're used to (Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever). Rev JB dealt with that in his sermon, and I'm happy to accept what he says, but....I still think that were they going to draw up a catechism today, they'd probably opt for 'our' beginning! (Think it's 1-up for us!)

Great God and our Saviour

I will just write some comments as they came to me.

When I read the passages of Scripture recommended by the Heidelberg book, one thing that really struck me was this. In Titus 2v13, it says: 'Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ' - this is one and the same Person. It's not saying, 'the appearing of the great God ....and the appearing of our Saviour'. It's saying, 'our Saviour Jesus Christ, the Great God'. I loved the way this spoke of our Saviour - not some meek and mild Jesus, pathetically wishing some people would come to Him. No. This is our Great God - our Saviour. Almighty, all-powerful. THIS is the One who saved us. THIS is the One we worship. And He is coming again. How I wish I loved Him more. Served Him more. Worshipped Him more. Adored Him more........ But one day.... I will. For now, we look for that blessed hope, but one day....