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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 38

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 38

103.
Q. What does God require in the fourth commandment?
A. First, that the ministry of the gospel and Christian education be maintained, and that I diligently attend church, especially on the Lord’s day, to hear the Word of God, to participate in the holy Sacraments, to call publicly upon the Lord, and to give Christian service to those in need. Second, that I cease from my evil works all the days of my life, allow the Lord to work in me through his Spirit, and thus begin in this life the eternal Sabbath.


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The Disappointment We Must Control (via Ralph Davis)

There is a form of remembering the goodness and grace of God that can kill faith in the present.
Ralph Davis, from a study on Ezra:

The Disappointment We Must Control – Ezra 3:12-13
What a mixed response! From Ezra 3:12b it looks like the memory of the first temple clouded the day for some (see 1 Kings 5-7on Solomon’s temple). The older folks could still recall that magnificence. And they could tell from the foundation of this projected temple that it would have none of the “pizzazz” of Solomon’s. There is no problem here with the candor of their weeping, but there is a danger in it – it could color the whole occasion. But you can understand them, can you not?
In 1953 my father purchased a new car, a 1953 Chevrolet. As usual, he selected the most basic, stripped-down, economical model. He bought the “150” model, which had black rubber instead of chrome trim on the back fender. There was no radio. It had only regular hubcaps, no wheel covers, and a standard transmission, no “Power Glide.” It was nothing like the fine looking “Bel Air” model. This second temple was a “150” model, and a major disappointment to those who had seen Solomon’s Bel Air style.
Sometimes nostalgia like this can kill a church. We can also have problems if a church does not meet our expectations in its ministry or fellowship. In our culture of hyped-expectations, we tend to think that what is low-key, ordinary, plain, simple and quiet must be rather worthless – and this attitude can infect God’s people. Sometimes we can be so caught up in desiring revival (not a series of meetings, but when God’s Spirit is poured out in a striking way) that we may forget that it’s possible to be faithful even when God doesn’t send revival. We can still engage in family worship, sincere public worship, loving intercessory prayer, consistent Christian living in school or workplace. Don’t despise the “day of small things” (Zech 4:10). What matters is not whether the church is grand, but whether she is genuine. The question is not “Is it jazzy here?” but “Is Jesus here?”
Can the people of God live through their gray days? Yes, by running with their fears to worship their Savior; by expecting that though God has dashed their hopes they will yet see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; and by being content when God prefers to work in plain, ordinary, non-sensational ways.

source


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 37

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 37

101.
Q. But may we not swear oaths by the name of God in a devout manner?
A. Yes, when the civil authorities require it of their subjects, or when it is otherwise needed to maintain and promote fidelity and truth, to the glory of God and the welfare of our neighbor. Such oath-taking is grounded in God’s Word and has therefore been rightly used by God’s people under the Old and New Covenants.

102.
Q. May we also swear by the saints or other creatures?
A. No; for a lawful oath is a calling upon God, as the only searcher of hearts, to bear witness to the truth, and to punish me if I swear falsely. No creature deserves such honor.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 36

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 36

99.
Q. What is required in the third commandment?
A. That we must not profane or abuse the name of God by cursing, by perjury, or by unnecessary oaths. Nor are we to participate in such horrible sins by keeping quiet and thus giving silent consent. In a word, we must not use the holy name of God except with fear and reverence so that he may be rightly confessed and addressed by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.

100.
Q. Is it, therefore, so great a sin to blaspheme God’s name by cursing and swearing that God is also angry with those who do not try to prevent and forbid it as much as they can?
A. Yes, indeed; for no sin is greater or provokes his wrath more than the profaning of his name. That is why he commanded it to be punished with death.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 35

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 35

96.
Q. What does God require in the second commandment?
A. That we should not represent him or worship him in any other manner than he has commanded in his word.

97.
Q. Should we, then, not make any images at all?
A. God cannot and should not be pictured in any way. As for creatures, although they may indeed be portrayed, God forbids making or having any likeness of them in order to worship them, or to use them to serve him.

98.
Q. But may not pictures be tolerated in churches in place of books for unlearned people?
A. No, for we must not try to be wiser than God who does not want his people to be taught by means of lifeless idols, but through the living preaching of his Word.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 33

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 33

88.
Q. How many parts are there to the true repentance or conversion of man?
A. Two: the dying of the old self and the birth of the new.

89.
Q. What is the dying of the old self?
A. Sincere sorrow over our sins and more and more to hate them and to flee from them.

90.
Q. What is the birth of the new self?
A. Complete joy in God through Christ and a strong desire to live according to the will of God in all good works.

91.
Q. But what are good works?
A. Only those which are done out of true faith, in accordance with the Law of God, and for his glory, and not those based on our own opinion or on the traditions of men.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 32

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 32

86.
Q. Since we are redeemed from our sin and its wretched consequences by grace through Christ without any merit of our own, why must we do good works?
A. Because just as Christ has redeemed us with his blood he also renews us through his Holy Spirit according to his own image, so that with our whole life we may show ourselves grateful to God for his goodness and that he may be glorified through us; and further, so that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by its fruits and by our reverent behavior may win our neighbors to Christ.

87.
Q. Can those who do not turn to God from their ungrateful, impenitent life be saved?
A. Certainly not! Scripture says, “Surely you know that the unjust will never come into possession of the kingdom of God. Make no mistake: no fornicator or idolater, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers or drunkards or slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God.”