I Thessalonians 2:13: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
The Heidelberg Catechism concludes its exposition of the Ten Commandments by reminding us of the importance of preaching that law of God. The authors of the Catechism recognized the need for piercing preaching, preaching which lets no one escape its personal application. They understood that, because they were students of the preaching of the prophets, of Christ Himself and His apostles. So they taught that when the Ten Commandments are preached sharply and faithfully, then God will work by His Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who are His, conforming them unto His own image.
Such preaching of the law is necessary, in order that “we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature.” This growing knowledge of our sinful nature is a deepening of spiritual life. The strict preaching of the law exposes our sinfulness and shows us how susceptible we are to wandering and living apart from God.
As our own sinfulness becomes a frightening reality for us in an ever-increasing measure, to that same measure we hear the glad tidings of redemption in Christ are heard more clearly. When God exposes our sin by the preaching of His Word, He does so not to cast us off but to bind us more and more to Himself, drawing us by His grace. So the Spirit works. There is a deepening, therefore, not only in the knowledge of sin, but in the knowledge of our redemption. Christ is found indispensable to us. If we do not enter into fellowship with Christ daily, we wither spiritually. By the preaching, God moves us to fervent spiritual life.
Faithful preaching calls us to a life of true conversion, evidence of the Spirit’s work in us. We long to glorify the God of our salvation! The more the preaching of the law finds entrance into our hearts, the more we yearn for the perfection that awaits us. May God soon fulfill our desire for the perfection of holiness, that His glory may be perfectly revealed in us who are the work of His hand.
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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