Monday, April 23, 2007

The Heidelberg Catechism

The first Doctrine of Grace, The"T" in TULIP the first of the 5 points of Calvinism. Total Depravity or Radical Depravity. Sin has had an effect on all of creation. God's Holiness Shows us how far we are from Him and How enormous is the grace of God. We see How much love there is between God and Christ. And the love that Christ has for us, this gift that God had given to Him before the foundations of the world. He came to redeem those whom the Father had given to Him. (John 17)

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Lord’s Day 3

6. Did God create man thus, wicked and perverse?

No, but God created man good[1] and after His own image,[2] that is, in righteousness and true holiness,[3] that he might rightly know God his Creator,[4] heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness, to praise and glorify Him.[5]

[1] Gen 1:31; [2] Gen 1:26-27 [3] Eph 4:24; 2 Cor 3:18; [4] Col 3:10; [5] Ps 8

7. From where, then, does this depraved nature of man come?

From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,[1] whereby our nature became so corrupt[2] that we are all conceived and born in sin.[3]

[1] Gen 3; [2] Rom 5:12, 18-19; [3] Ps 14:2-3, 51:5

8. But are we so depraved that we are completely incapable of any good and prone to all evil?

Yes,[1] unless we are born again by the Spirit of God.[2]

[1] Gen 6:5, 8:21; Job 14:4; Isa 53:6; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:6; Rom 7:18; [2] Jn 3:3-5

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Heidelberg Catechism

<>Questions 4 and 5 are often stated in such a way as to making it seem that we are .actually able to achieve a level of perfection on our own and subsequently able to keep these two commands. But I think if people follow this to it's ultimate conclusion, this would negate what Christ has done for us in his life, which is imputed to our credit.

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Lord’s Day 2

3. From where do you know your misery?

From the Law of God.[1]

[1] Rom 3:20, 7:7

4. What does the Law of God require of us?

Christ teaches us in sum, Matthew 22: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.[1] This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.[2] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”[3]

[1] Deut 6:5; [2] Lev 19:18; Gal 5:14; [3] Lk 10:27

5. Can you keep all this perfectly?

No,[1] for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbor.[2]

[1] Rom 3:10-12, 23; 1 Jn 1:8, 10; [2] Gen 6:5, 8:21; Jer 17:9; Rom 7:23, 8:7; Eph 2:3; Tit 2:3

Friday, April 13, 2007

T h e E x p o s i t o r y Ge n i u s o f John Calvin

T h e E x p o s i t o r y Ge n i u s o f
John Calvin

by S t e v e n J . L a w s o n

Preface
Standing on
Holy Ground

T o step into the pulpit is to enter onto holy ground. To stand
behind an open Bible demands no trifling with sacred
things. To be a spokesman for God requires utmost concern
and care in handling and proclaiming the Word. Rightly does
Scripture warn, “Not many of you should become teachers,
my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged
with greater strictness” (James 3:1).
But sad to say, we live in a generation that has compromised
this sacred calling to preach. Exposition is being
replaced with entertainment, preaching with performances,
doctrine with drama, and theology with theatrics. Desperately
does the modern-day church need to recover its way and
return to a pulpit that is Bible-based, Christ-centered, and
life-changing. God has always been pleased to honor His
Word—especially His Word preached... (go to the link to read the rest of the preface)
—Steven J. Lawson
Mobile, Alabama
September 2006
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Below is a sample of what you'll find on the link above:

For Calvin, any Bible
teachers, small or great, who decide to “mingle their own
inventions with the Word of God, or who advance anything
that does not belong to it, must be rejected, how honourable
soever may be their rank.”8
This understanding of the preacher’s role produced a profound
sense of humility in Calvin as he rose to preach. He
saw himself as standing under the authority of the Word. As
Hughes Oliphant Old explains: “Calvin’s sermons . . . [reveal]
a high sense of the authority of Scripture. The preacher himself
believed he was preaching the Word of God. He saw himself to be the servant of the Word.”9 T. H. L. Parker agrees: “For
Calvin the message of Scripture is sovereign, sovereign over
the congregation and sovereign over the preacher. His humility
is shown by his submitting to this authority.”10
Calvin’s high regard for biblical authority also fueled a
deep reverence for Scripture. “The majesty of Scripture,” he
said, “deserves that its expounders should make it apparent,
that they proceed to handle it with modesty and reverence.”11
His admiration for the Bible was driven by its blend of simple
teachings, profound antinomies, plain language, intricate
nuances, and cohesive unity. In Calvin’s view, to explore the
height, depth, width, and breadth of the Bible was to revere
its supernatural Author. Philip Schaff, the highly regarded
Protestant historian, writes, “[Calvin] had the profoundest
reverence for the Scriptures, as containing the Word of the
living God and as the only infallible and sufficient rule of faith
and duty.”12
For Calvin, then, handling Scripture was a sacred
responsibility. Old captures it well when he observes that “the
very fact that [Calvin’s] ministry was to expound the Word of
God filled him with a profound reverence for the task before
him.”13 As Calvin resolutely stated, “We owe to the Scripture
the same reverence which we owe to God because it has proceeded
from Him alone, and has nothing of man mixed with
it.”14 This was the unshakable foundation of Calvin’s preaching—
the authority of divinely inspired Scripture. He firmly
believed that when the Bible speaks, God speaks.
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The Word of God is just like Jesus Christ. It is fully human and fully divine. It was written by human hands but it is the very Words of God Himself. So, for those who have Red Letter Bibles, maybe the whole thing should be printed in RED.
Have you ever pondered why Jesus himself didn't hand write any letters or books in the Bible? I've asked this question before, but can you think of any reasons why?
I have an idea, in mind... What do you think?

Grace and Peace,
Chris
Coram Deo!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM (1563)

I would like to start posting some of the basics of Christianity by using the questions and answers found in the Heidelberg Catechism:



THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM (1563)

This catechism was written by Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583) and Caspar Olevianus (1536-1584) in Heidelberg, Germany and published in 1563 in German. It was endorsed by the Synod of Dort and embraced by Reformed Churches in many different countries. It is the custom of many churches that use it to explain it from the pulpit every Sunday afternoon, so it is divided into fifty-two sections.


Introduction (Q. 1-2)

LORD'S DAY 1

Q.1. WHAT IS YOUR ONLY COMFORT, IN LIFE AND IN DEATH?

A. That I am not my own, but belong - body and soul, in life and in death - to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
[1] Rom 14:7-9; [2] 1 Cor 6:19-20; [3] 1 Cor 3:23; Tit 2:14; [4] 1 Pt 1:18-19; [5] 1 Jn 1:7; 2:2; [6] Jn 8:34-36; Heb 2:14-15; 1 Jn 3:8; [7] Jn 6:39-40, 10:27-30; 2 Thes 3:3; 1 Pt 1:5; [8] Mt 10:29-31; Lk 21:16-18; [9] Rom 8:28; [10] Rom 8:15-16; 2 Cor 1:21-22, 5:5; Eph 1:13-14; [11] Rom 8:14

Q.2. WHAT MUST YOU KNOW TO LIVE AND DIE IN THE JOY OF THIS COMFORT?

<>A. Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.
[1] Lk 24:46-47; Rom 7:24-25; 1 Cor 6:11; Tit 3:3-7; [2] Jn 9:41, 15:22; Rom 3:9-10; 1 Jn 1:10; [3] Jn 17:3; Acts 4:12, 10:43; Gal 3:13; [4] Mt 5:16; Rom 6:13; Eph 5:8-11; Col 3:17; 1 Pt 2:9-12

Monday, April 02, 2007

Question 9 from the Heidelberg Catechism

I remember seeing this question in our Romans Study Guides but it had a different answer...

What do you suppose the answer was in the study guide?

Chris

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Question
Does not God then do injustice to man by requiring of him in His Law that which he cannot perform?
Answer
No, for God so made man that he could perform it, but man, through the instigation of the devil, by willful disobedience deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.
Heidelberg Catechism (Q9; 1563)