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the heidelberg

The Heidelberg: Lord’s Day 4

Q & A 9

Q. But doesn’t God do us an injustice
by requiring in his law
what we are unable to do?

A. No, God created human beings with the ability to keep the law.
They, however, provoked by the devil,
in willful disobedience,
robbed themselves and all their descendants of these gifts.

Q & A 10

Q. Does God permit
such disobedience and rebellion
to go unpunished?

A. Certainly not.
God is terribly angry
with the sin we are born with
as well as the sins we personally commit.
As a just judge,
God will punish them both now and in eternity,
having declared:
“Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey
all the things written in the book of the law.”

Q & A 11

Q. But isn’t God also merciful?
A. God is certainly merciful,
but also just.
God’s justice demands
that sin, committed against his supreme majesty,
be punished with the supreme penalty—
eternal punishment of body and soul.

the heidelberg

The Heidelberg: Lord’s Day 52

Question & Answer 127

Q. What does the sixth petition mean?
A. “And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one” means:
By ourselves we are too weak
to hold our own even for a moment.
And our sworn enemies—
the devil, the world, and our own flesh—
never stop attacking us.
And so, Lord,
uphold us and make us strong
with the strength of your Holy Spirit,
so that we may not go down to defeat
in this spiritual struggle,
but may firmly resist our enemies
until we finally win the complete victory.

Question & Answer 128

Q. What does your conclusion to this prayer mean?
A. For the kingdom
and the power
and the glory are yours forever” means:
We have made all these petitions of you
because, as our all-powerful king,
you are both willing and able
to give us all that is good;
and because your holy name,
and not we ourselves,
should receive all the praise, forever.

Question & Answer 129

Q. What does that little word “Amen” express?
A. “Amen” means:
This shall truly and surely be!
It is even more sure
that God listens to my prayer
than that I really desire
what I pray for.

Sanctification and the Local Church

The church is the primary context for our sanctification, which is just another way of saying that God’s “plan A” for our progressive transformation and spiritual growth is the participation in a local church body. It is another great reminder that we exist as interdependent creatures. Even before we take into account the effects of the fall and sin, it is not good that man be alone.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Genesis 2:18 ESV

God’s Mission and the Public Square

Here is a quick excerpt from a post Brad Brisco shared on the VERGE Network.

Most Christians live in the ordinary everyday world, working, making a living, raising families, paying taxes, contributing to society and culture, getting along, doing their bit. But in what sense is the life of believers living in the “ordinary” realm – what we call the public square – part of the mission of God’s people?

Has God called us to a particular vocation for His purposes? Is God active in our places of work? Is He even interested in the public square? [Christopher] Wright answers:

Many Christians seem to operate on the everyday assumption that God is not. Or at least, they assume that God is not interested in the world of everyday work for its own sake, as distinct from being interested in it as a context for evangelism. God, it would seem, cares about the church and its affairs, about missions and missionaries, about getting people to heaven, but not about how society and its public places are conducted on earth.

– Wright, Christopher, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission

You can read the rest here.

Faith and Conviction

Our willingness to sacrifice for an enterprise is always in proportion to our faith in that enterprise. Faith has the genius of transforming the barely possible into actuality. Once men are dominated by the conviction that a thing must be done, they will stop at nothing until it is accomplished.

– Samuel Zwemer, The Glory of the Impossible

Economics and Human Dignity

Because the market evaluates people in terms of their production and consumption, a society that nearly defies the market’s “invisible hand” can start to value people based on the same criteria. Christian hospitality, in contrast, accepts people wholly as they are, with no advantage seeking or expectation of reciprocity, no litmus test of economic worth or usefulness. A person’s worth is derived permanently and unequivocally from their status as the precious handiwork of God. Thus, our hospitality should emerge as we seek to follow the Bible’s ordinary yet deeply radical call to embrace the other.

– Smith, C. Christopher, Slow Church, IVP Books, 2014

Greenwood

Greenwood is a visually beautiful movie set in the woods of upstate New York. In it, an Oak tree is turned into a traditional post and rung stool.

Assorted Variety: Friday, August 14, 2015

12 Wendell Berry Quotes That Will Give You a Fresh Perspective
In honor of the great American author’s 81st birthday, RELEVANT Magazine has shared some of his more memorable quotes.

The Bible Project
The Bible Project produces beautifully animated videos that tell the narrative of the Bible. These videos are a wonderful resource for families, educators, and churches alike. You can watch Part 1 of Genesis below.

Assorted Variety: December 4, 2015

Four of Pope Francis’ Most Challenging Ideas
RELEVANT Magazine takes a look at four of Pope Francis’ most challenging ideas—and how he connects them back to the Gospel.

Think Your House Isn’t Good Enough for Hospitality? Think again.
Jessica Schaeffer explores the ideas related to hospitality and challenges us to take these ideas past mere concepts and put them into practice by addressing the myriad of excuses, fears, and concerns that befall us when we consider out home as a place of hospitality.

Strangers and Sojourners

We should thoughtfully consider how we might care for those who are strangers and sojourners among us. This is all the more important as the church is called upon to care for the refugees fleeing the atrocities of the Syrian civil war.

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV

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