[CF Devotionals] 2008-01-09 - Heidelberg 4.1

Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 7

Question: What does the law require of us?

Answer: Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22 -

Love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind
and with all your strength.

This is the first and greatest commandment. (Deut. 6:5)

And the second is like it:

Love your neighbor as yourself. (Lev. 19:18)

All the Law and the Prophets hang
on these two commandments.

My temptation is to squeeze the above rendering of Matthew 22 into a shorter span of space, so that I can say more - but I like how the edition of the Heidelberg Catechism we are using breaks this passage down, and part of explaining what it is saying, should be, it seems, to present it in the most helpful and clear manner.

Ursinus is helpful here, when he says respecting our love to God, that we love Him when we acknowledge his "infinite goodnesse" to us. God has been ever-gracious to us. His mercies are really new every morning. It is not just a catchy Bible phrase. It is for this reason that we love Him. How can we not? Consider the kindness of the Lord, even in afflictions. Afflictions are often given to us that we might return to the Lord and with renewed vigor, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Loving God is part of glorifying Him. It is our chief end. Ursinus says that we are, "to account him our principall and chiefest blisse, and for this cause to love him above all things, to rejoice in him, to relye on him, to preferre his glory before all things..."

<sic> Is God your chiefest bliss? Oh, how our lives would change in such a blessed manner, if we had the Lord as our cheifest bliss. How different would our lives be, if we pursued His glory above our own glory. It is something surely to strive unto. Let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, and glorify Him above all else.

The love of God is the greatest commandment. What does this mean? It means that if we place the love of God first and foremost in our lives, then all the other commands will come into play. If we love God, we will not hate our brother in our heart. If we love God, we will not lie to save our reputation. If we love God, we will not love the world. The love of God will change who we are and how we act. Our proclivities will be more toward those things that are of an eternal lasting nature, and less tied to this passing, rusty world. If we love God, we will love the things that He loves and is pleased with. Our lives will be different. If love Godward sets ablaze our inclinations, all things will be centered less on us, and more on Him. This is the joy of the saints in Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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