Sermons on the Heidelberg
By Rev. G. Van Reenen
LAW OF GOD AND ITS FIRST
COMMANDMENT"Psalter No.40 St. 3,4,5.
Read Hebrews 12.
Psalter No.435 st. 1,
Psalter No.222 St. 5.
Psalter No.333 St. 1, 2,3,4.
Beloved hearers! It was an
eternally memorable event which took place in the desert of
Arabia on the fiftieth day after the exodus of the children
of Israel out of Egypt. For at that time the Lord, amid
thunders and lightnings as symbols of His awful majesty,
proclaimed His holy law as the constitution of His
What an awesome event it was
is evident from the careful preparations made. That people
which the Lord in His sovereignty had chosen as His own
peculiar people, were wrought upon in a special manner to be
a people in which He would manifest all His glory. The Lord
had promised them that they would be a kingdom of priests,
and a holy people to whom He would show all His goodness and
grace if they would obey His voice unconditionally.
At the Lord's command Moses
had set bounds about the mount. He had called to the people
that they should sanctify themselves and be ready on the
third day. He had solemnly charged them that they should not
go up to the Lord, nor even touch the mountain, lest they be
put to death.
Then the third day has dawned.
Since early morning Sinai shows itself in an entirely
different light, the whole mountain has changed its
appearance. Amidst thunders and lightnings the King of
kings, descends as the Highest Lawgiver.
Is it any wonder that the
mountain quaked and trembled since feet of the Creator and
Judge of heaven and earth stand upon its summit? Is it any
wonder that Sinai sent up smoke as a furnace, and flames of
fire proclaim the fearful majesty of Jehovah of hosts to the
thousands of Israel?
And then suddenly the voice of
God resounds in the ears of that living and listening
people: "I am the Lord, thy God which have brought thee out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
Dreadful was the effect. All
Israel quaked and trembled. Yea, they prayed that God would
no more speak to them, for they could not endure it; so that
they even wanted to flee from the sound of God's voice. And
Moses, that great man of God, said, "I exceedingly fear and
And now we are called to tarry
a few weeks at that ever memorable place, to meditate upon
the ten commandments of God.
Nay, people of God, in
discussing the law of the Lord we shall not put a yoke upon
you which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. But
we hope to present the Law to you as an amiable rule of
You will find our text in
Exod. 20:1-3. "And God spake all these words saying, I am
the Lord thy God, which hath brought thee out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other
gods before Me."
Upon these words our catechetical
instruction is based as you will find recorded in the
Q. 92. What is the law of
A. God spake all these words,
Exodus 20, Deut. 5, saying: I am the Lord thy God, which
hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house
I. Thou shalt have no
other gods before me.
II. Thou shalt not make unto
thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing
that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in
the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down
thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God,
am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation
of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of
them that love me, and keep my commandments.
III. Thou shalt not take the
name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not
hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in
IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to
keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all thy
work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy
God; In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, nor thy
son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid
servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and
earth, the sea, and all that in them Is, and rested the
seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day,
and hallowed It.
V. Honor thy father and thy
mother, that thy days may be long In the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee.
VI. Thou shalt not
VII. Thou shalt not commit
VIII. Thou shalt not
IX. Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbor.
X. Thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's
wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his
ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that Is thy
Q. 93. How are these
A. Into two tables; the first of
which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second,
what duties we owe to our neighbor.
Q. 94. What doth God enjoin In the first
A. That I, as sincerely as I
desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all
idolatry, sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, Invocation of
saints, or any other creatures; and learn rightly to know
the only true God; trust In him alone, with humility and
patience submit to him; expect all good things from him
only; love, fear and glorify him with my whole heart; so
that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than
commit even the least thing contrary to his
Q. 95. What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is, instead of, or
besides that one true God, who has manifested himself in his
word, to contrive, or have any other object, in which men
place their trust.
Upon the question "What are good
works," the Instructor answers, "Only those which proceed
from a true faith, are performed according to the law of
God, and to His glory." Because the law of God is our rule
for good works, and because it teaches us how God wants us
to serve and thank Him, therefore it is discussed at this
time in detail.
You know that God gave to the
people of Israel, a three fold law: the civil law, the
ceremonial law and the moral law, that is the Ten
Commandments, It is well to keep this ever in mind. If then
you read in God's Word, "Christ is the end of the law" and
"I am not come to destroy the law," you will understand that
these statements do not contradict each other. Christ is the
end of the ceremonial law, that is of those sacrifices and
cleansings and bathings performed in the temple. Of these
Christ the true sacrifice, the true Priest, is the end. But
the law which Christ does not destroy are the ten
commandments, which are an everlasting law.
In the second Lord's Day the
Instructor has already explained the law's demand, and now
he comes back to it. Does he wish to bring us again into
bondage to Moses?
Nay, beloved, that the Instructor
will not and shall not do.
The traveler to heaven also faces
the law twice. After God has led His people out of bondage
to sin, He brings them to Sinai, so that they may learn to
know their sins and misery. The law then becomes for them a
schoolmaster to Christ. From Sinai the Holy Spirit goes with
them to Calvary. But then He leads us back again to
But what a difference! The
first time we stood there as a slave before his stern
master. Then we trembled as did Israel of old. Then we cried
with Isaiah, "Woe is me, for I am undone!" Then we wanted to
flee from Him Who is a devouring fire and an everlasting
burning to the guilty sinner. But as we come there the
second time, we stand as a child before his father, as a
beloved disciple before his beloved master. Then we sing,
"The Lord's commands which I have loved, shall still new joy
People of God, it is pure
goodness that the dear Lord was willing to proclaim that law
again. God had written His law in Adam's heart, so that he
knew instinctively what was well pleasing to God, and he was
also able to live accordingly. But because of sin that
knowledge is lost, although some of it has remained in the
conscience, so that the Gentiles do by nature the things
contained in the law. But conscience is not dependable.
However, God Who is good, gave the law again. What a
precious gift the law is!
Those ten commandments are for
the child of God what the compass is for the mariner. It is
for us what a guide is for a stranger. Therefore David
prayed, "I am a stranger in the earth, hide not Thy
commandments from me." It guides all our actions.
In the original the law has
two significant names: thora which means instruction and
nomos which means law or custom. And, the Lord willing, we
shall hear how the law instructs us, both to our shame and
to our comfort, and that it gives to everyone his
Allow me to remark first that
the Law not only sees and judges our external actions but
also is a discerner of the attitude of our heart. It judges
not only the actual sin but also the occasion to sin. And
when it forbids a sin, it commands the opposing
Let us then in accordance with the
93rd Question and Answer notice the remarkable division of
cannot surprise us that before the Catechism Instructor
begins to explain the spiritual meaning of the law, he first
inquires into the division of the law and its ramifications,
so that we would thoroughly understand its coherence and
contents and the purpose of the Lord in giving His law to
man, especially to His people.
the word of God we know that God Himself inscribed that law
upon two tables of stone, of which the first contained four
and the second contained six of the ten commandments.
Roman Catholics and the Lutherans have made the first and
second commandments into one, while they made two
commandments out of the tenth one. This was done to legalize
their image worship. I think it unnecessary to show the
foolishness of this attempt. For, in the first and second
commandment two distinct sins are named, while the tenth
commandment mentions but one sin, covetousness, as we shall
The demand of the first table is
love to God.
loves Himself before and above all else. You must not think
this is the same as our sinful self-love. God is the Most
high, and as such He loves above all that which is perfect
and highest, that is: Himself.
God will that man shall love Him first of all. That was the
purpose of creation; that is also the purpose of
re-creation. That is also the demand of the first table of
when the Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner, it also becomes
his desire, his prayer and his aim that above all else God
may be known, loved, honored and praised by himself, by all
those dear and precious to him, yea, by all people, by all
then the Lord Himself tells how that must be done. As the
only God He wants to be served and glorified, and that not
in a material way, by image worship, but in Spirit and
truth. He wants His Name to be honored and His day to be
The demand of the second table is:
love to thy neighbor.
created all mankind of one blood, and therefore it is all
one large family. This is especially true of God's people,
who have all come forth from one womb, the womb of God's
Oh! were all people
now notice what tender care the Lord has for man as His
creature, and especially for His children: In the fifth
commandment He guards the honor of our parents and other
authorities. By the sixth commandment He protects our life,
by the seventh our marriage bonds. By the eighth commandment
He protects our possessions. In the ninth commandment He
cares for our good name, and in the tenth commandment, He
takes care of our contentment.
purpose of the entire law is a world of love! an ocean of
blessedness! a holy peace! "Great peace has he who loves Thy
law." Yea, the purpose is a paradise here below and
imagine that everyone kept that law, what a pleasure life
And then also did well!
The world were then a paradise,
Now it is oft a hell.
Let us now speak about its
the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of bondage." I ask you: is that not
an impressive introduction. The dear Lord according to His
great goodness wished to place the gospel of grace above His
said it was impressive, in the first place because of the
Person who is here speaking. For it is the Lord; the Creator
of the ends of the earth who speaks, "I am the Lord."
purpose of His speaking thus is to awaken immediately in His
people a deep reverence and holy fear, so that with holy awe
and child-like fear they shall hear what the God of the oath
and of the covenant speaks to them.
am the Lord, the Jehovah!" With these words the Lord says,
"I am the All-sufficient covenant God. I am sufficient for
you for all eternity. Who will and can and shall fill you
with all blessedness eternally. I am that God Who shall not
repent of that which I once have spoken, Who in My
threatenings as well as in My promises am unchangeable, Who
shall always be and remain the same."
a terrible threat this introduction contains for all wicked
men, for all hypocrites who are yet without God and Christ.
For them the all-sufficiency of God is a dreadful
condemnation, for it declares to them that all their works
are an abomination to God, that He has no need of their
fleshly sacrifice. At the same time it declares that God is
also unchangeable in all the threatenings He has proclaimed
over the wicked and the hypocrites.
But also, what a comfort it
contains for all God's concerned people, when the Lord says,
"I am the All-sufficient Covenant God.
need bring me nothing. No, indeed. Do you find yourself
empty of blessedness and full of sin? Hear, O complaining
people: I will fill the treasures of thy empty soul with
durable goods and righteousness out of My All-sufficiency
and out of the fulness which is in Christ Jesus."
that introduction also contains much assurance for the child
of God. For when it says, "I am the Lord! I am the Jehovah!"
it declares to God's people that God will never change, that
their salvation lies eternally firm in the God Who declares
"I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are
We also call this impressive
because it expresses the relationship of God to his
Lawgiver here declares, "I am thy God! I am thy possession!
I am thine in life and death, in trouble and distress! I am
thy God, always and forever."
now we ask: may we not cry out at this point, "Happy is that
people, whose God is the Lord"? For notice it is that people
to whom we may say, nay, to whom God Himself says, "Thou art
become the people of My possession! Thou art My people by
eternal election. Thou art the rod of my inheritance. Thou
art become the people of My possession by purchase! For you,
in your stead, I sacrificed Mine only One, in Him I made you
Mine own, and I have blotted out thy guilt and sin as a
thick cloud and as a morning cloud! Yea, thou art My people
and I am thy God. I have called thee effectually and
arrested thee in thy sinful way! I have called thee out of
thy life of sin, out of thy sleep of death. I drew thee with
cords of a man, with bands of love! I bound thee to Me and
to My service by the Spirit of faith! I have laid upon you,
as upon My people, all My promises! Yea, I am the Lord, thy
God. Thou hast chosen Me as thy covenant God. After I drew
thee with almighty power and bound thee to Me, thou hast
also chosen Me to be thy God!"
all whom God has truly quickened will say: "That God is my
God." One expresses it as his desire, and as the issue of
his heart, and another in consciousness of faith and in
actual appropriation. But they all say, "That God is my God,
even though I perish thereby." That people see so much in
the dear Lord that they cry out, "He is worthy to receive
all my love."
The introduction to the law is
impressive especially for the deliverance which it calls to
"The lot to me that fell
the Lord says, "I have brought thee out of Egypt, out of the
house of bondage."
a reminder this is for Israel to whom these words apply in
the first place, but also for each of God's children,
because of the yoke broken by God.
delivered His people from the whip of the driver; He
delivered them from Pharaoh; for their sakes He slew all the
first-born of the enemy; for them He made a path through the
sea, so that they passed through the deep freely and safely;
and He destroyed their enemies. "I did that!" says the Lord.
"I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the
land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
also God's people are here reminded of their spiritual
deliverance. Oh, child of God, how He delivered you from the
hard yoke and terrible bondage of the hellish Pharaoh! How
graciously He broke the yoke of our sins and by regenerating
grace, led us out of the house of bondage, out of the world
once again, what a reminder for Israel and for each of God's
children, and that of the way in which God led them.
Israel it was, and with all God's people it still is, a way
of miracles. How sweetly He drew them! How ready they were
to follow Him! And how after that He led them into the
wilderness! They were brought to material and we to
spiritual poverty. "We went through fire and through water:
but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." Then the
Lord provided an Elim of rest, prepared a table in the
wilderness, and gave us water out of the rock Jesus
truly, it was an impressive reminder which the Lord placed
above the law. It was impressive because of the purpose for
which the Lord intended it.
purpose for Israel was the Canaan of rest, the land flowing
with milk and honey. And that purpose for each of God's
children is none other than to lead them into the better,
the heavenly Canaan, where they shall sing:
Is beautiful and fair;
The heritage in which I dwell
Is good beyond compare."
do you think, beloved, had we no reason to call the
introduction to the law impressive?
you also not marvel at the incomprehensible goodness and
wisdom of God that He, before proclaiming the ten
commandments of His holy covenant law, first reminded us of
His covenant love and faithfulness and of the great blessing
bestowed on us and the intimate covenant relationship in
which He stands to us and we to Him, since He declares that
He is our God?
not think this is superfluous. Rather consider this
introduction a balm which you will need for the soul
piercing words you are to hear, and the wounds you will
thereby receive, especially then, when the Lord proclaims
His holy law in your soul with power.
the first commandment, which we now in accordance with
Questions 94 and 95 will discuss, will cause us, if we may
receive discovering light, to cry out, "Have mercy upon me,
O God, and enter not into judgment with Thy servant: for in
Thy sight shall no man living be justified."
Come, beloved, let us notice
concerning the first commandment:
What it demands;
What it forbids;
it drives us.
Let us then first hear what it
demands. To that end let us listen with attention to the
answer our Instructor gives to the 94th question.
"My soul, in silence wait for
answer speaks of a soul-saving knowledge, "that I learn
rightly to know the only true God." Yea, that is a blessed
knowledge. The Lord Jesus Himself says of this knowledge
that it is life eternal. "And this is life eternal, that
they might know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom
Thou hast sent." (John 17:3)
hearers, God demands that we shall know Him as a God Who is
strictly righteous and spotlessly holy, as a God Who will
not tolerate sin and will not be mocked. "Be not deceived.
God is not mocked."
God also demands that we shall know Him as the God so rich
in mercy and so abundant in grace; a Lord, so good and kind,
so eternally faithful and so unutterably beneficent, Who did
not spare His only Son but delivered Him up to death, yea to
the death of the cross, and that to save the world of His
then He also demands to be known as the Jehovah Who is
worthy to be honored and served, Who must be served and
feared for His own sake.
answer of the Instructor to Question 94 also speaks of a
confident trust. "That I trust in Him alone." God demands
that we learn to depend on Him alone for body and soul, for
time and eternity.
what a blessed rest that gives to our soul, if we may give
our lot and our way in His hand with holy
He is my help approved,
He only is my rock and tower,
And I shall not be moved."
worthy the Lord is to be trusted in all things and in all
circumstances. The poet had experienced that so blessedly,
and therefore he calls on all God's people to thus trust
"On Him, ye people,
Rely with confidence;
Before Him pour ye out your heart,
For God is our defense."
people of the Lord, your God is in a covenant with you. He
will not put you to shame in days of distress and of death,
but He will give you His help when you need it and save you
from all dangers. But then He also demands that you trust
The first commandment also demands
a childlike submission. "That I with humility and patience
submit to Him only."
"With childlike trust, O
what is sweeter than that childlike submission of which
In Thee I calmly rest,
Contented as a little child
Upon its mother's breast."
how sweet and blessed it is to bow before the Lord, yea
what is more fitting than humility before Him Who is the
Most High, our Creator and Maker, our God and King? Truly no
garment is more suitable for us than the garment of
naught else does He demand. Hear what Micha says "He hath
shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to
walk humbly with thy God?"
is that not your choice and the heart's desire of everyone
that is born of God?
A happy expectation is the fourth
virtue the Lord demands of us in the first commandment.
"That I expect all good things from Him only."
must expect from Him all things necessary for the body. And
from whom else could we expect it but from Him?
must expect from Him a blessing in our business, in our
labor, etc. And who can give us a blessing, who can bless
our field with dew and rain, and warm our field with the
sun? Is it not the benevolent Lord?
Him we must expect the life of our spirit, the salvation of
our soul and sustenance on the way to heaven. He possesses
this all in large measure and He bestows it so very gladly
on those who have forfeited all things, even to His
rebellious children, for He gives it out of grace for
Christ's sake. Therefore faith can never expect too much. "O
God Jehovah, good and kind, Thou art our sun and shield
forever. Thou givest glory, truth and grace."
The first commandment also demands
that we love, fear and glorify Him with our whole heart. And
what do you say, beloved, is the Lord not fully worthy of
this? May, yea must the Lord not demand this of His
creature? Who has ever loved as God Who as it were tore His
only Son from His heart? Is He then not worthy to be feared
God demands in the first commandment that in which the
blessedness of His people consists.
then He also demands that we do it so steadfastly and so
seriously "that I renounce and forsake all creatures rather
than commit even the least thing contrary to His
After we have thus briefly and
concisely, heard what God demands in the first commandment,
let us now hear what He forbids.
Let us now sing Psalter
No.222 st. 5.
is forbidden. "Idolatry is (see Answer 95) instead of, or
besides that one true God Who has manifested Himself in His
word, to contrive or have any other object in which men
place their trust."
What a foolish sin it is! There is but one God. There can be
only one Almighty and Omnipresent God. Oh, certainly many
gods are spoken of, even in Scripture, but they are called
gods because of their office or ministry, not because they
what is an idol? "We know that an idol is nothing, says the
Apostle, and that there is none other God but one, namely
did man get idols? Alas, beloved hearers, when man turned
his back to God, he lost the key of knowledge. He does not
know who the true God is. Still man feels that there is a
Supreme Being, and he feels that there is a God who must be
served. But who is He? The most honest ones admit "I do not
know." Thus we read, for example, of the altar "to the
unknown God." Others began to worship all kinds of
creatures. Scripture says, "God is a sun." Blind mankind
said "The sun is God." While it seems that before the flood
godlessness was predominant, after the flood idolatry broke
out in a dreadful manner. Men devised a thousand gods. And
even the people of Israel cleaved to idols. Yea, it became
their principal sin, for which God punished them by exiling
them to Babylon.
forbids in the first commandment: sorcery. That is imitating
God's omnipotence; that is, in fellowship with Satan men
perform acts which are like miracles and at which people
marvel. Take, for instance the Egyptian magicians.
forbids: all soothsaying. That is imitating God's
omniscience. But soothsayers are not omniscient and can not
predict the future, They are crafty people, advanced in the
skills of calculating and guessing.
forbids: all superstition. That is the sin so common in the
Roman Catholic Church, which ascribes an influence for good
or for evil to crosses, relics, etc.
also forbids all invocation of saints or any other
creatures. That is forsaking the God of heaven.
these abominable sins I must flee from and avoid, as
sincerely as I desire the salvation of my soul, says the
Finally let us ask concerning
the first commandment where it drives us.
drives us to Golgotha, to the blood of the Crucified One.
Certainly we must all testify also of this commandment that
it is holy and good. Nothing could be more fitting than that
which is commanded and forbidden here. Yea, if the Lord
would give us our choice as to keeping or discarding this
commandment, we would have to say, "Lord, please keep it for
our sake; we cannot spare that dear commandment which Thou
didst set at the head of Thy law."
But are we not guilty in this? Have
we not terribly transgressed this commandment?
My unconverted fellow-traveler to
eternity, are you not, in respect to this commandment black
as an Ethiopian?
first commandment demands that we learn rightly to know the
only true God, trust in Him, with childlike humility, submit
to Him; love, fear, and glorify Him, and expect all good
things from Him only. And how is it with you in all these
of course, you do not know Him. The Lord is a stranger to
you. And you much rather trust and expect all good things
from a generous person. Do you fear Him? You are afraid of
Him. You wished He were not there. You do not love Him, you
hate Him. You have other gods. You commit idolatry with
everything: with your sinful body by adorning it, with your
wife or husband and children by esteeming them more than
your soul's salvation. God wants to be the first and have
the highest place, and what do you do?
consider God last and give Him the lowest place, or you do
as thousands of apostates do in our days, who do not
consider God at all, who give Him no place at all, who say
they have finished with God and with religion.
be not deceived! God has not yet finished with you. That
must still take place. That will happen soon. Then you will
stand before Him as one who has served idols, who has cast
God and His law behind your back. How then will you justify
yourself? You can not answer Him one of a thousand. And then
that God who engraved the first commandment in stone with
His finger, shall have the last word and that will be:
"Depart from Me into outer darkness."
we still call to you: Repent ye, repent ye, before it is too
late. Flee with your guilt and sin to Golgotha, to Him Who
can and will save idolators.
Lord grant you thereto His grace and Spirit!
And we, children of grace, where
shall we hide our guilty head, except at the cross of
Calvary? For do you not also acknowledge yourself guilty of
transgressing this commandment, even after having received
little do we know the one true God, Who has manifested
Himself in His Word, and in principle in our heart! And do
you know that our ignorance of the Lord is already a
transgression of the first commandment?
how is it with that "confident trust"? Do we not trust much
more in our own strength and wisdom for time and eternity
than in the Lord? Alas, on how many reeds we lean and
how is it with our childlike submission? How often we would
be master and dictate to the Lord what to do and what not to
do. Is it not so with you, to your bitter sorrow?
all good things from Him only." And we often expect more
good from our soul from a tear and a sigh than from God's
grace and rich mercy.
must love, fear and glorify Him, but how often our love and
childlike fear is as the smoking flax and the bruised
we could go on to enumerate a long list of sins of omission.
And the sins of commission must also be added. For we would
not worship idols, but we commit idolatry with our gifts,
experience and prayers, with our friends and pastors, yea
with what do we not commit idolatry? Do we not also, like
the foolish Galatians, allow ourselves in a spiritual sense
to be bewitched? Soothsaying, how gladly we do it, although
we are but of yesterday and know nothing. And how proud we
are when our predictions come true, when we have guessed
right. Superstition and idolizing creatures we are guilty of
those sins constantly. Attend the meetings of God's people
and you will often find more idolizing of the creatures and
invocation of saints than praising and glorifying Christ and
dear children of the Lord, we are born as idolators, and
therefore we constantly transgress the first
our idolatrous existence is dishonoring to the Lord, but
also causes sorrow to our soul. David says (Ps. 16 :4)
"Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another
god." And oh, if we love an idol whether it be man or woman,
money or possessions or whatever it may be, we experience
the truth of these words. We are punished with our idols, by
our idols and for our idols. Child of God, our idolatrous
nature cannot be changed. That old man, that idolator must
die or else he causes our death.
there is but one cure. That cure you will find at Golgotha.
The blood of the Crucified One, that precious, priceless
divine blood of Christ is a covering for our sins, that is
the comfort for our heart, that is the medicine for our
ailment, that is the balm for our wounds, but it is also
poison for our idolatrous existence, for our old man.
what a rich comfort it is to know that what God demands in
the first commandment is also a promise for all God's
that dear covenant law the dear covenant God comes to His
dear covenant child, and says, "I know that you have
sincerely chosen Me to be your God. I know that it is the
inmost desire of your heart and soul to love, fear and
glorify Me. I know you have broken with your idols, and that
you loathe both your idols and your idolatrous existence." I
heard you say, "Get thee hence, what have I to do with idols
any more?" I know that you pray and plead against it, and
strive and wrestle with it, but that you cannot rid yourself
of it. Now hearken diligently unto Me: I am the Lord, thy
God. I have brought thee out of the house of bondage. Thou
shalt have no other gods before Me. I, thy God, shall bring
that to pass. I shall cause thee rightly to know Me, the
only true God and to love, honor and glorify Me always, and
never to worship other gods any more. I, thy God, shall do
people of God, what a precious, comforting promise this is!
Oh, when the Lord whispers it to us personally, and we may
believe Him on His word, then our heart melts, and we yield
ourselves to Him and we solemnly promise that if the Lord
will thus take care of it, then He alone and always shall be
our God, Whom we shall love, fear and glorify.
a lovable Lord our God is! Must we not love such a God with
all our heart? How easy is His yoke and how light is His
will understand that on this side of the grave, we shall not
attain such heights. But it shall be so hereafter. Wherefore
comfort one another with these words.
ministers have written sermons on the fifty-two Lord's Days
as we find them in our Heidelberg Catechism. One of these
ministers and servants of the Most High, is the late Rev. G.
Van Reenen, of the Netherlands. When he was not able to
preach any more because of a throat ailment, God inclined
his heart to write sermons, and work while it was day. This
work he continued until the day of his death in the year
Rev. Van Reenen has written
these sermons for the common people. In all these sermons he
breathes the spirit of humility and self-denial. Throughout
all these sermons he indicates the necessity of knowing by
experience these three important parts, misery, redemption,
and gratitude, as he himself was not a stranger thereof.
Van Reenen does not know that his Catechism sermons and
others have been translated into the English language. He
confessed in his life not to be worthy of any honor or
praise; that we may then by grace give all honor and praise
to Israel's God and King, saying with the Psalmist, "Not
unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory,
for Thy mercy and for Thy truth's sake." Psalm
115:1. (Pastor J. Van Zweden)
Reprinted and Translated from the
Holland by the Netherlands Reformed congregations in America
(1955). This series on the Ten Commandments was taken from
the W. B. Eerdmans' December, 1979 edition of the book,
The Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. G. Van
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