Read: Exodus 19:17 – 20:3
The heading of this section of the Catechism, above Lord's Day 32, is very important; “The Third Part – Of Thankfulness.”
The catechism showed us firstly our misery, our total inability to obey the law of God, and our inclination to hate God and our neighbor. Secondly, the catechism taught us our only way of deliverance, through faith in Jesus Christ, the perfect and complete Savior. Now, thirdly, it shows us how to live in thankfulness for that great salvation.
There are especially two parts to our thankful living. Firstly, we respond to being saved by a willing obedience to God's commandments, and secondly, we respond to God's grace by a life of prayer, of constant communion with God.
Are you thankful for your salvation? Then you will not only show that by being a person of prayer, but also by being concerned to obey the Lord. A person who says he is a Christian, but does not pray, and is not concerned about how he lives, is not a true Christian.
The introduction to the law in Exodus 20:1-2 tells us how we should understand the law. Some see the law as the way to being accepted by God – if man will just try really hard to be obedient and to be as good as he can be,God will spare him. Others say the law is irrelevant, that because of grace, the law has no significance in the Christian life.
But, when God gave the law to Israel, he introduced it this way, “I am Jehovah, your God, who has saved you” and because of that, “Thou shalt not ...” God announced the law after He had delivered Israel by a great wonder from the land of Egypt. They were not saved from Egypt by their own obedience, but by the grace of God. God then gave them the law to teach them how to live as His saved people.
The law functions the same way for us. It is not the road-map or way to salvation, but it is the road-map for living as those who are saved. We are not saved because we obey, but we are saved to obey.
The true believer finds in himself a desire to live according to all the commandments of God. This is a part of his salvation; freedom from the dominion of sin, and freedom to serve the Lord.
Do you find that desire in you? The desire out of joy and gratitude to obey? That is an evidence of the reality that God has truly saved you.