Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Heidelberg Catechism - Lord's Day 24 - Good Works... Because of Gratitutde

I know it has been a while since I've posted. I have re-started my class with Covenant Theological Seminary titled "Humanity, Christ, and Redemption. This class covers all the doctrines from Creation, Man, Sin, and many others. Please pray for me that I can stay on task and keep up with the lectures and the readings. So, far I am really enjoying the lectures and the study.

This part of the Heidelberg Catechism is very timely. I attend a Tuesday morning Bible Study and we have taken a few weeks break to look at a video about Jehovah's Witnesses (JW). And this video uncovers some of the things that have gone on in the Watchtower organization that are really disturbing, and all the people on the video have come out of that. One gentleman in particular was a member for 60 years and involved at the very top level for 9 years. He said that the leadership of the Watchtower organization only talked about managing the organization and never talked about the things of the Bible. This is what started him to question the validity of the entire organization.

It is sad to say though, but I have attended church board meetings at various churches and the same could be said about those churches. So, it would seem that although leadership may excel in the running of the church business, they may, however, set aside the Bible in leading the church from a scriptural / spiritual direction.

Also, as we look at this catechism we see how the JWs go in a meritorious works oriented faith. Meaning their salvation is based on what the individual JW does and not on what Christ has already DONE for them. The Watchtower demands so many more things (burdens) on the members.

I wonder how a JW would would respond to the idea that we are saved by Grace, through Faith, on account of Christ alone. And that our response to this is to do good works out of Gratitude for what Christ has done for us. We do good works because he first loved us.
And Jesus says: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30

So, it seems to me that the whole life of a JW is full of heavy burdens.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!
Lord’s Day 24
62. But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?

Because the righteousness which can stand before the judgment seat of God, must be perfect throughout and entirely conformable to the divine law,1 but even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.2

1 Deut 27:26; Gal 3:10; 2 Isa 64:6; Php 3:12; Jas 2:10

63. Do our good works merit nothing, even though it is God’s will to reward them in this life and in that which is to come?

The reward comes not of merit, but of grace.1

1 Mt 5:12; Lk 17:10; Rom 11:6; 2 Tim 4:7-8; Heb 11:6

64. But does not this doctrine make men careless and profane?

No, for it is impossible that those who are implanted into Christ by true faith, should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness.1

1 Mt 7:18; Lk 6:43-45; Jn 15:5; Rom 6:1-2

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