July 17, 2016
We will pull double-duty today in order to stay on schedule. Part One of our discussion will center on guilt. Part Two will center on Grace. Next week, Part Three will center of Gratitude.
This is our 3G network: Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude.
- Part One: Guilt / SC Qs 82-84
- Q. 82. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
- A. No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God (Eccl 7:20; 1 John 1:8, 10; Gal 5:17), but does daily break them in thought, word, and deed (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Rom 3:9-21; Jas 3:2-13).
- Q. 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
- A. Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others (Ps 78:17, 32, 56; Ezek 8:6, 13, 15; Matt 11:20-24†; John 19:11†; 1 John 5:16).
- Q. 84. What doth every sin deserve?
- A. Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come (Eph 5:6; Gal 3:10; Lam 3:39; Matt 25:41; Jas 2:10†).
Romans 7:7-25 describes life according to the flesh as a wretched person suffering under the Law, enslaved to sin, apart from Christ, without the Spirit, in two minds. This is what guilt looks and feels like in an unregenerate person.
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
- Part Two: Grace / SC Qs 85-87
- Q. 85. What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
- A. To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life (Mark 1:15†; Acts 20:21), with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption (Prov 2:1-6; 8:33-36; Isa 55:3; Acts 2:38†; 1 Cor 11:24-25†; Col 3:16†).
- Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
- A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace (Eph 2:8-9†; Rom 4:16†; Heb 10:39), whereby we receive (John 1:12; Isa 26:3-4) and rest upon him alone for salvation (Phil 3:9), as he is offered to us in the gospel (John 20:30-31†; Gal 2:16; Isa 33:22†).
- Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?
- A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim 2:25†), whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin (Acts 2:37-38), and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ (Ps 51:1-4†; Jer 3:22; Joel 2:12; Luke 15:7, 10†), does, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God (Jer 31:18-19; Ezek 36:31; Luke 1:16-17†; 1 Thess 1:9†), with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience (2 Chr 7:14†; Ps 119:59†; Isa 1:16-17; Matt 3:8†; 2 Cor 7:11).
Romans 8:1-4 describes life according to the Spirit as a redeemed person rejoicing under the Gospel, in Christ, liberated from sin, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, in one mind. This is what grace looks and feels like in a regenerate person.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 ESV)