It is a dangerous way of thinking to consider ourselves outside the need of the means of grace, outside the call to sanctification. Often we do not take advantage of worship, prayer meetings, the Sabbath Day, singing, etc… because we don’t think we need it. Brothers and sisters, if this catechism question teaches us anything it is the simple message that we need Jesus, and to especially experience the free offer of His forgiveness, daily, weekly, regularly, through the reminder offered in the Holy Spirit’s ministering labors.
Today is going to be the last post for 2023. I am taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off and we’ll come back with WLC Q.150-151 on January 4, 2024, and then the Tuesday devotion will return January 9, 2024. As we continue the Tuesday/Thursday blogs I want to thank you for reading them. I never talk about it in this space, but over the last year the readership of this Substack has doubled, and that doesn’t count the folks who take this in other forms and places. I am grateful, and humbled, you consider the reading of the Tuesday/Thursday posts worth your time and it is my goal to continue to write these for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at your leisure. Likewise, after we conclude the Larger Catechism in August (d.v.) this Thursday space will be taken up with a to-be-determined confession, same chronological format. It has been without a doubt helpful for me as a pastor and as a Christian to be reminded of the richness of the Reformed faith as it has been summarized by our forefathers.
Again, thank you for reading. The responses and commitments I have already received from people are a blessing in and of themselves. Y’all have a blessed rest of 2023.
Now to the Q/A:
Q. 149: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
Having completed the ten our Divines now come to the first use of the law. They have, in various ways, mostly by the what/why/how structure of the catechism’s take on the commandments, already in some sense done this. However, they want to always ensure that as we as believers are molded and formed into the image of God so that we do not forget that at its base the law acts as a mirror for us. In other words, the more the law is in our eyes the more we see the glory and perfection of the person of our Lord, and by that our inability to either match-up with Him in His holiness or keep the law perfectly in order to be saved is made known to us.
It is important for believers to never fail to recall that we are sinners, even after the historical application of the redemption purchased by Christ. Read Romans 7, or Romans 3 for that matter. We still struggle with the old man within us and when we cease to fight, we will be crushed by the weight of it. Romans 6 of course is taken up with recoiling against the idea that the free grace granted in justification (Romans 5) means we no longer need to follow the law, that we can be antinomians, that is outside the law. We are never away from the content of the ten commandments.