October 21 – LD 42, Day 7: The Heart Lesson of the Eighth Commandment
Monday the 21st of October
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
2 Corinthians 8:9 - “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”
The eighth commandment teaches a powerful and blessed lesson to us who are in Christ Jesus.
In the first place, this eighth commandment, as all the other commandments, exposes our own sinfulness. It exposes not only our sinful deeds in the failure to exercise faithful stewardship, but more particularly, it exposes the sins of our hearts. How plagued we are with covetousness as it pertains to earthly possessions! How little thought we give to the sovereign mercies of God in what He has given us! How pitifully weak is our exercise of stewardship! How great is our need for Christ! Don’t you see? For this stealing that has characterized our lives in many different forms is a sin that calls for the execution of God’s righteous justice. But Christ has delivered us from the bondage of this sin too. He did so by bearing the punishment for our guilt, even to the death of the cross. He did so by becoming poor, that we through His poverty might be rich.
Now, by the work of His Holy Spirit, our Lord Jesus Christ has instilled in our hearts a love for Him and for the neighbour, a love which also will express its gratitude by seeking God’s will concerning earthly possessions. By the wonder of God’s grace, we are made servants of God rather than slaves to the world. We have been transformed from being slaves to material things and seekers of earthly possessions which do not last, to servants of God and stewards in His everlasting house.
In that light, we see that God’s law is sweet. It leads us to the positive calling of godliness with contentment, which is great gain. Contentment is the grace of the Holy Spirit in our hearts whereby we are happy in the way in which God leads us. That is ours because we are rich — rich toward God. You are, aren’t you? When you see that, then you also confess with the apostle in 2 Cor 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”