Lord's Day 44


Augsburg Catholic
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Jun 26, 2004
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Lord's Day 44

Question 113. What doth the tenth commandment require of us?

Answer. That even the smallest inclination or thought, contrary to any of God's commandments, never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness.

Question 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?

Answer. No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience; yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all of the commandments of God.

Question 115. Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?

Answer. First, that all our lifetime we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the remission of sin, and righteousness in Christ; likewise, that we constantly endeavor and pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us, in a life to come.

Berkouwer on the importance of the Law:

1) Increasing knowledge of our sinful nature.

2) Increasing earnestness in seeking remission of sin and the righteousness of Christ.

3) Prayer to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit and a constant endeavor to be renewed more and more after the image of God.

4) The eschatology prospect: the goal of perfection.

Every element in this description is important. The 'more and more' is wrapped up in seeking remission of sin through the righteousness of Christ, in the prayer for grace and in looking forward to the future. How remote this is from any moralistic sanctification!

This Lord's Day is a vivid reminder of the Scriptures which tell of the earnest of the Spirit given us in our hearts (1 Cor. 1:22) and of the Holy Spirit as earnest of the inheritance (Eph. 1:14). The assumption beneath this eschatological perspective is, of course, the reality of communion through the Holy spirit, but at the same time Paul emphasizes the fact of fulfillment and anticipation. (Studies in Dogmatics, Faith and Sanctification by G. C. Berkouwer)