2008-04-21 - Heidelberg 9.2
Heidelberg Catechism Seires, Part 20
Question 9.2: "But doesn't God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do?"
Answer: No, God created humans with the ability to keep the law. They, however, tempted by the devil, in reckless disobedience, robbed themselves and all their descendants of these gifts.
In our first look into question 9, we focused on the imputation of Adam's sin to all who have followed from him. This includes all of us, and we dealt with the objection that some might have, that it isn't fair to have the sin of our representative, Adam, imputed to (laid upon) us. It is a truth we find taught in the Bible, and regardless of how it strikes us personally, we must believe it - because God has said it, and He has done it. Our objections to God's sovereignty only show us how deep our sin really has penetrated into our lives. The truth is that we have all sinned, and even if we reject this teaching of God's Word, we are still sinners ourselves, and in need of redemption. We all desperately need a Savior, and we find Him in Jesus Christ.
There is another matter that we can touch on in this question. What about the unpardonable sin? The answer to question 9 talks about the "reckless disobedience" which "robbed" our first parents and all who have followed them. Some today feel that they have been recklessly disobedient to the point that they are beyond the grace of Christ. They have committed the "sin leading to death," 1 John 5:16. This unpardonable sin, as it is called, is also talked about in Hebrews 6:4-6. What can we say if we ourselves feel, or someone we know feels, they have committed the unpardonable sin? The first observation I would make is that no one has ever figured out what the unpardonable sin is. Many have written on the topic, but the only sure thing anyone can say is that everyone else who disagrees with them is wrong. Any discussion on the unpardonable sin will spend the majority of the time discussing why other views on the unpardonable sin are incorrect. In general, the only conclusion we can draw from such pontifications on this topic, is that the person writing or speaking on the topic is about as correct as everyone else. And he has shown them all to be wrong.
Whatever the sin against the Holy Spirit is, whatever the unpardonable sin is (maybe it is different with different people), we can be sure that nobody who feels the need for forgiveness of sin, salvation by the grace of Christ through His atonement for sin, has committed it. How can I say this with certainty? Because the unpardonable sin is the sin unto death, and dead people don't feel their need for Christ. Dead people don't feel anything. "There is a sin unto death," 1 John 5:16. If you or I had committed this sin, we would not feel our need for repentance. Many of us have been reckless in sin. But let us be more honest here - All of us have been reckless in sin. There are no exceptions to this. However, if we know this, if we regret our sin, if we seek forgiveness, and desire to be made new creatures in Christ, it is a sure sign that we have not committed the sin unto death. No one who is dead spiritually can have such feelings. Rather than despair of our sinful past, let us "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," Acts 3:19.
Soli Deo Gloria,