Romans 7:14: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
The reality of our imperfection comes to its inescapable light when we stand before the tenth commandment. That we commit sin is bad, but that we are sinners in the depths of our beings is worse. This dark background of our lives, this horrible fountain from which our desires arise, and this sinful nature in which those desires grow like weeds on a bad field, only add to our guilt. In the light of the tenth commandment, we are reminded that we only increase our guilt daily. For when we stand before the commandment, and understand that the requirement is to live perfectly and to be perfect before the Holy God, we find ourselves utter failures.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that we are standing before God’s law as the redeemed, those who have been delivered out of the bondage of sin. For nothing in ourselves, but entirely of God’s grace, we belong to that elite group of “those who are converted to God.” That does not mean merely that we attend church and have certain convictions. After all, many unconverted people attend church and have certain convictions. But converted people are new creatures in Christ (II Cor 5:17). Specifically, as our Catechism explained in Lord’s Days 32 and 33, we who are converted have “a sincere sorrow of heart that we have provoked God by our sins, and more and more hate and flee from them.” In addition, we have “a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ, and with love and delight” we live according to the will of God in all good works.
“But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?” And the answer is: “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 the commandments of God.” This answer is sobering, if not humiliating. Even the holiest men...a small beginning! As far as the sprouting seed is from the full harvest, so distant are we from that perfect obedience to God’s commandments. Paul calls himself the chief of sinners, upon whom was bestowed great mercy (1 Tim 1:15). Peter is the one who cried out, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8). This is the confession of those who are converted.
Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: September 1986
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lovelandprctest1/home
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