Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Heidelberg Exhortations-Lord's Day 6

Gen 3:14-15 14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Our Father in Heaven, we give honor and glory to Your name. Our race forsook Your kindness when we sinned in the garden. However, you did not forsake us. Instead, you intimated the promise of one who would one day crush the serpents head. You saved mankind in Noah so you could be faithful to that promise and you continue to remind yourself regularly in the rainbow that you will fulfill your promises to us. You promised the nations to Abraham. You gave your wonderful law to Moses and began to more clearly reveal Christ in the shadows of the law. The kingdom was established with David and you taught us of Christ in and through him. The prophets afterwards declared that one would come who would put an end to wars and that peace would reign. Your people waited and were not disappointed as you brought us Messiah, the Lord Jesus. In Him are all the promises yea and Amen. In Him, we see the serpents head crushed. Our Father, these things are too wonderful for us but they are glorious and we rejoice in what you have done in Christ, our perfect sacrifice. Amen.

EXHORTATION 6. Lord's day

Q. 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous? A. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin; and one, who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others.

Q. 17. Why must he in one person be also very God? A. That he might, by the power of his Godhead sustain in his human nature, the burden of God's wrath; and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life.

Q. 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, and a real righteous man? A. Our Lord Jesus Christ: "who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."

Q. 19. Whence knowest thou this? A. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; and afterwards published by the patriarchs and prophets, and represented by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; and lastly, has fulfilled it by his only begotten Son.

Our God has left no room for human boasting outside of Christ. Our fall was wholly our own but our rise to prominence is all of grace. The Father promised throughout our wanderings from Him that he would one day bring salvation by a redeemer. He was always faithful though we, as men, were ever unfaithful. But God is not slow to bring about His promises. In good time, he brought forth Christ, born of a virgin, to fulfill all that He promised from ages past. We ought to be able to understand from the events in history that man’s every attempt to save himself was only a heaping up of more sin and misery. His vainglorious good deeds made it worse, not better. We would not have figured out the purpose of God in His Messiah. The best religious scholars of the day and the closest associates of Christ, Himself, could not comprehend the will of God in salvation. It is not our work or merit or intellect or wisdom that leads us to salvation, but rather, the kindness of God in Christ. Until we see that the beginning, middle and end our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, we have not rightly understood the gospel. Lay down your vain attempts to save yourself. Only one who is very God and very man can handle that task, and He has done so. Receive it and rejoice.

Rom 5:12 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Our Father, sin entered into the world through a man and death by sin and that death passed upon us all and we all sin. Our very nature, apart from your grace, is to sin and death. And thus, by our nature we are objects of your wrath. How can we ever think that we can bring good gifts to you in our own stained names? This so belittles the free gift that you have given us in Christ, Himself. Teach us to look to and trust in Him alone for our salvation, sanctification, and glorification. Forgive us when we think too highly of ourselves and our goodness and thus think little of our Lord Jesus. Teach us complete reliance upon Christ and lead us into the everlasting way. Thus, we are not objects of wrath by nature any longer, but objects of mercy by grace. Father, we pray that you would reveal our individual sins against you and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We confess them to you now and turn away from them by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Rom 5:10-11 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

We are reconciled to God in Christ. We are given life and are enabled to live righteously before our Father in heaven. We are joyful because Jesus died for us and bought us. You saints, who honestly seek His favor, your sins are atoned for. There is no separation between you and God. So come and worship Him now. Amen.

No comments: