Whenever the catechism speaks of a saving grace it means that the subject under consideration is a fully orbed gift from above. The Lord in His love for you has not only given the means for sanctification, our being renewed in the image of Jesus, but He has granted to you the ammunition to keep killing sin like Rambo in a southeastern Asian triple-canopy jungle.
This week in our catechism time we only have one question to look at, and this will be true for our next lesson as well. In this part of the SC we are in the midst of talking about what it means to believe in Jesus, and how we are to follow Him as His disciples. Not only that, but specifically how that hope goes about affecting every area of our lives. The writing out of the Ten Commandments and all the implications they touch on is meant to encourage us to consider the way we are living and walking in light on the glorious work of our Trinitarian salvation won unto us by the decree of the Father, the work of the Son, and the application of it all by the Holy Spirit. Jesus speaks more about the fruit born of redemption than just about any other topic.
Believers ought to have no problem understanding that when we confess Christ as our Lord and Savior that this is not a one-time event. At least, they shouldn’t. However, many cultural Christians have this idea that as long as they get baptized, sign a card, say the magic words “I believe in Jesus” that whatever they do after that is immaterial. They said it publicly, or at least intimated it by attendance at a church building for a while. Maybe even their name is still on the register as a member somewhere, that ought to be enough to get into Heaven. Right? Well, no. Our Redeemer is pretty clear that if there is no fruit which follows faith than there is no there, there. As the old saying goes you are no more a Christian by taking up space in a pew than you are a car by sitting in a garage. If there is anything that drives unbelievers away from considering the truth claims of the Christian religion its false confessors who deny its power. Why should they want to be a Believer if it apparently makes no change in the lives of the people they meet?
We need to understand that if you have truly placed your trust in the Son of the Living God than you’ve entered into a citizenship in a new kingdom which has with it new responsibilities, well not so much new as in never before seen, but in the sense of a fresh relationship to the person and work of God, especially in His commandments. No longer do they have the ability to kill you dead, and no longer do you desire to be saved by them. To expand on that a little we see this language of new meaning new to you in the Psalms for example when the Psalmist in Psalm 96 uses the term new song.