It certainly is a blessing to have one's sins forgiven. But with that blessedness always comes a life that flees from sin and walks in God's law. No, our flesh does not consider hatred of sin to be a blessing. Our flesh is happy when we walk in sin. It never wants to sing:
That man is blest who fearing God,
From sin restrains his feet,
Who will not stand with wicked men,
Who shuns the scorner's seat.
Yea blest is he who makes God's law
His portion and delight,
And meditates upon that law
With gladness day and night.
Now, when it comes down to it, he who simply counts it a blessing to escape the punishment his sins deserve, and calls that heaven, does not really want forgiveness. Yes, he wants to escape misery and have joy for his flesh, but in the measure that he delights in sin he hates God. Listen! He who is only interested in escaping the punishment of sin is interested in sin. Such love self and not God. Being happy with sin and being happy about forgiveness of sin just cannot go together. You can hate the bitter taste of the medicine but be happy that it is bringing relief from a far more serious condition. But you cannot love sin and love being clothed with the righteousness of Christ. And that is the positive side of forgiveness of sins.
God, Who sent His Son to fulfill the law for us, and to suffer the punishment of our sins, not only removes our guilt but implants His love in those for whom Christ died. Such will not sit with those who ridicule God and His law. Of them David says in Psalm 1:1 2: ''Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night.''
Remember that not to keep God's law is to scorn and ridicule it. Those who ridicule His law do not want to be covered with Christ's law-abiding righteousness but simply with an armor — that does not exist — to keep them from God's holy wrath while they continue in sin. No, a sincere desire for forgiveness also wants a life that loves God.
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 234
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
… How, then, shall we judge that any man has been sent by God, and is guided by his Spirit? By “anointing; “ that is, if he is endued with the gifts which are necessary for that orate. If therefore, having been appointed by the Lord, he abound in the graces of the Spirit and the ability which the calling demands, he actually has the Spirit. And if he wish to make profession of enjoying that teacher, and if he have no doctrine, let him be held as an impostor. – John Calvin
- Date: 11-January