Q. “Since no one in this life can obey the Ten Commandments perfectly, why does God want them preached so pointedly?”
A.: First, so that the longer we live the more we may come to know our sinfulness and the more eagerly look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and righteousness. Second, so that we may never stop striving and never stop praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to be renewed more and more after God’s image until after this life we reach our goal: perfection.”
– Heidelberg Catechism
Even in the Christian life we need this first use of the law to drive us out of ourselves to cling to our Savior.
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 43-44
And notice that all of the Ten Commandments are oriented toward others: God and neighbor. Much of our piety is focused on “me and my inner life.” Just look at the Christian Living section of the average bookstore. Yet God’s commands are focused on what it means to be in a relationships with other: to trust in God alone and to love and worship him in the way he approves and to look out for the good of our fellow image bearers.
– Horton, Michael, T; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 43
God is immortal. He “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no on e has ever seen or can see” (I Timothy 6:16). So how do we learn about him? Through his Word. And how do we perceive his glory? Primarily through the church. The body of Christ is the fullness of God (Ephesians 1:23) and the most visible manifestation of God’s glory in this present age (Ephesians 3:10). And so describing community in the local church is like describing the light radiating from the heavenly throne. The point is not the community; the point is God. Community is merely the effect.
– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 29
Since our failures are liberally pardoned by a merciful Father in Christ, we can strive to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” We are not motivated by fear of rejection or a need to seek approval. Instead, it is a life of “endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Why? “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:10-14)
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 42-43
It is with this confidence that we can embrace the exhortations in Scripture to press on, to grow in knowledge and maturity, to keep up with the Spirit rather than grieve him, and to offer our bodies to righteousness and put to death the deeds of our sinful nature. Instead of mounting up to heaven in self-righteousness ambition, we reach out to those who are right under our nose each day who need something that we have to offer. Christ is our rock. And when we fall off, we get back on that rock, secure in the identity that he has given us, and we keep striving to distribute his loving gifts to others.
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 42
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong, body and soul in life and death – to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; In fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
as quoted by Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 41
We never offer up our good works to God for salvation, but extend them to our neighbors for their good. As a result, everyone benefits, God, who needs nothing from us, receives all the glory; our neighbors receive gifts that God wants to give them through us; and we benefit both from the gift of others and the joy that our own giving brings. Reverse this flow, and nobody wins. God is not glorified, neighbors are not served, and we live frustrated, anxious joyless lives awaiting the wrath of a holy God.
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 40-41