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August 18 – LD 33, Day 6: What True Conversion Consists Of

Sunday the 18th of August

in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations

Colossians 3:5, 8, 12: "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:... But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth... Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"

True Conversion consists of 2 parts: the mortification of the old and the quickening of the new man.

That means that the Christian life is one of a constant struggle between the new man and the old man. It implies therefore, that the Christian will never be perfect in holiness and obedience before God in this life. Those who teach that we can achieve perfection in this life are wrong. They forget that the Christian life is a constant struggle as a result of the existence of the old nature of sin in him, and thus of our constant need to mortify him.

Q/A 88 of this LD maintains that both natures will be there in the believer. In doing so, it gives an understanding of conversion that is thoroughly biblical (cf. Col 3: 5, 8, 12).

Q/As 89 & 90 point out the two godly affections of True Conversion: the sincere sorrow of heart on account of our sins against God associated with the mortifying of the old man, as well as the sincere joy of heart in God when living in holiness associated with the quickening of the new man.

We conclude today's devotion on the note of the Joy of True Conversion. This, like godly sorrow (2 Cor 7:10), is a thoroughly biblical idea. For Paul, when he speaks of the quickening of the new man in Col 3:12, brings up “love” in v. 14 and “peace” in v. 15. Where there is true love and peace, there is also true joy!

For Meditation: True joy is a vital ingredient to the Christian life. In the midst of trials and afflictions that we experience, let us not forget that we are abundantly blessed by God and experience the great riches and comfort of His Word and gospel. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.” (Phil 4:4). For we are “…more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom 8:37).


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