Every Sunday, we will be going through one of the fifty-two Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism. Written in the year 1563, the Heidelberg still remains a popular confession of faith in many churches to this day. You can find the full text here.
Lord’s Day Two
Question 3: From where do you know your sins and misery?
Answer: From the law of God. 1
- Rom 3:20; 7:7-25.
Question 4: What does God’s law require of us?
Answer: Christ teaches us this in a summary in Matthew 22:
“Love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind. 1
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it:
Love your neighbour as yourself.
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these
two commandments.” 2
- Deut 6:5.
- Lev 19:18.
Question 5: Can you keep all this perfectly?
Answer: No, 1
I am inclined by nature
to hate God and my neighbor. 2
- Rom 3:10, 23; 1 Jn 1:8, 10.
- Gen 6:5; 8:21; Jer 17:9; Rom 7:23; 8:7; Eph 2:3; Tit 3:3.
If these questions were the only ones answered by the Heidelberg, it would leave us bankrupt of any hope. Question 3 and 4 reveal the truth about the Law of God…that it is an MRI machine. It can locate the cancer of sin within us. It is able to penetrate and see sin hiding down below the surface. Question 5, however, reveals that although the MRI machine does an excellent job of revealing the cancer to us, it is unable to do anything when it comes to removing it. If all you have is an MRI machine, you will know where the cancer is and what it looks like, but unless it’s removed, you are still going to die of cancer.
You need a surgeon to remove it.
The rich, young ruler (Mark 10:17-22) was looking for a list of rules to follow. He asked Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” When Jesus lists some of the commandments, the young guy gets all excited, saying “Did that. Done that. Yep, got it.” Jesus, being the surgeon that He is, cuts right to the heart and goes after the one thing the young ruler is not willing to do…give up his wealth. Jesus shows that even the best among us fail the test of God’s Law. We need to understand that we are not saved by keeping the Law because we can’t! We must follow Paul and Silas’ advice that they gave the jailer in Acts 16:31 when he asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”…