This Sunday we started going through the New City Catechism (http://newcitycatechism.com). The goal of doing this is to help us grow in our understanding of God’s word and how it applies to our life, so that our joy in God would be increased to His glory.
Here’s what we went over this Sunday.
Question 1: What is our only hope in life and death?
Answer: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.-Project Slide 1
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.- Romans 14:7-8
Commentary by Tim Keller
What is does it mean to live the Christian life? We could make a list of the commandments we should be keeping or a list of all the character traits we should be exhibiting. But instead, we are given a basic motive and a basic principle.
The basic motive is that God sent his Son to save us by grace and to adopt us into his family. So now, because of that grace, in our gratitude, we want to resemble our Father. We want the family resemblance. We want to look like our Savior. We want to please our Father.
The basic principle then is this: that we are not to live to please ourselves. We’re not to live as if we belong to ourselves. And that means several things. It means, first of all, we are not to determine for ourselves what is right or wrong. We give up the right to determine that, and we rely wholly on God’s Word. We also give up the operating principle that we usually use in day-to-day life; we stop putting ourselves first, and we always put first what pleases God and what loves our neighbor. It also means that we are to have no part of our lives that is immune from self-giving. We’re supposed to give ourselves wholly to him—body and soul.
And how do the motive and the principle relate? Because we’re saved by grace, we’re not our own. There was a woman who said, “If I knew I was saved because of what I did, if I contributed to my salvation, then God couldn’t ask anything of me because I’d made a contribution. But if I’m saved by grace, sheer grace, then there’s nothing he cannot ask of me.” And that’s right. You’re not your own. You were bought with a price. Jesus gave himself wholly for us. So now, we must give ourselves wholly to him.
Application Question from Pastor Jeff
- Does my state of being (peace of mind, satisfaction, contentment, etc…) reflect that my hope is in God or things of this world?
- Is there any part of my life that I have not given over to God?