Read: Ephesians 1
The Catechism makes our confession very personal. As in the Apostles’ Creed, I confess that I believe in God the Father Almighty. I believe that He upholds and governs all His creation by his eternal counsel and providence. I believe and confess that this God is my God and my Father.
The question arises: on what do I make such a great claim? Is it not preposterous? Is it not presumptive to claim all this? The Catechism earlier stated that I learn from the Law of God (the Ten Commandments) that I am so wicked and corrupt that I am wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness (L.D. 3). That means that I of myself have nothing to offer to God to earn sonship. I am wholly incapable of doing any good thing in myself. How dare I, then, to claim that He is my Father?
The claim that God is my Father rests on the completed work of His Son in our flesh, Jesus Christ. I needed One who could represent me before God, who could remove from me all guilt before God. If my guilt for all of my sins were removed, if One could bear the just sentence of death because of those sins, then I can call God my Father. I needed such a Mediator between God and myself who is able to represent me as very man, and as God He is able to bear infinite wrath of God for my sins. Jesus is the One. He suffered the agonies of hell for me. He died under God’s wrath. He made the payment God required—and the proof is in the fact that He arose again the third day. He ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God. Because of Christ’s work, I can call God my Father.
From that, it follows that my Father “provides me with all things necessary for soul and body.” I can rely on that truth without doubt or question. He provides all that I need for the body—food, clothing, and shelter. He provides care over me and defends me from my enemies. Above all, He provides for my soul—for that spiritual aspect of my being. He will take me to glory when my soul is separated from my body at death. And He will reunite my soul with my resurrected body at Christ’s return. What a wonderful confession and assurance!
Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)
Ordained: October, 1956
Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994
Emeritus: 1999Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Gise_Van_Baren
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