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New City Catechism - Question 7
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Posted by Taryl Jasper, Cornerstone Elder

 

New City Catechism - Question 7

 

Q7: What does the law of God require?

 

A: Personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience; that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves. What God forbids should never be done and what God commands should always be done.

 

KIDS’ ANSWER: That we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

SCRIPTURE TO MEMORIZE (kids’ portion in bold):

  • Matthew 22:37-40 And [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES TO READ: James 2:8-10; Deuteronomy 10:12; 1 John 5:2-5; John 1:17

 

LIFE APPLICATION: As Christian believers, we know that we are saved by the grace of Christ and apart from the law of God. That knowledge causes many believers to struggle to understand their proper relationship to God's law.

 

A ditch that some believers fall into is believing that their freedom from the penalty of law is freedom from the demands of God's moral law. They think that "God loves to forgive sin and I love to sin. This is a great relationship!" But the law of God is a guide that shows how we are to relate to God’s holiness. The law shows us a God who is so holy that He does not tolerate the elevation of anything in our life above or even alongside the reverence, honor, worship, and obedience that is due to Him. Obedience to God's moral law is worship of the God whose law is perfectly holy.

 

On the other side of the Christian walk is a ditch that intertwines the believer's righteousness and the favor of God with their own keeping of God's law.  They minimize the demands of God's perfect and holy law and think that it's within their power to keep it.  They think that "Jesus kept it simple: Love God and love others. I can do that." God's law is demanding, not lenient. Failing to perfectly love God and love others is the very thing that condemns us. Jesus himself cranked the law up to 1000 when he said things like "everyone who looks ... with lust ... has already committed adultery". The brightness of the law of God illuminates our hopeless state without the grace of Jesus Christ.

 

The New Testament believer who is rightly related to the law of God understands that they are first condemned by it apart from the righteousness imputed or credited to them by Jesus Christ. This leads to a life of thankfulness and worship for the God who saves from sin and makes us righteous. Secondly, because the law of God shows us what God hates and what He delights in, a believer rightly oriented to God's law will increasingly delight in obedience.

 

CONNECTION TO CORNERSTONE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH: The first seven questions in the NCC focus on God, His creation of man, and our duty to bring Him glory. Therefore, take a few moments to review those related portions of our Statement of Faith.

  • GOD - We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  (Deut. 6:4; Jn. 1-3, 6:27; Acts 5:3,4; Mt. 28:19)
  • MANKIND - We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin, and is therefore lost, and that only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.  (Gen. 1:26, 27, 2:7, 22, 3:1-6; Rom. 3:9-12,23, 5:12,18, 6:23Jn. 3:3, 5-7)
  • SALVATION - We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus by faith are born of the Holy Spirit, become children of God, and are saved for eternity.  (Heb. 9:22Mt. 26:28; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Rom. 3:24, 25; Rom. 5:19, 18; Jn. 1:12; 3:16; Eph. 2:8,9)


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