Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Right Knowledge of Misery by the Law

Date: AM
Text: Romans 3; Lord's Day 2
Psalters: 425, 192, 159, 364
Series: Heidelberg Catechism
  1. My wretched misery.
    1. The Catechism assumes the existence of misery, physical, mental, and spiritual.
    2. Every sinner needs Jesus the Savior, but only some know that they need such a Savior.
    3. We must realize that human nature (our old man) always handles misery incorrectly.
  2. The correct standard for evaluating misery is God, Who shows us that misery is the result of sin.
    1. God correctly identifies misery with His law, which commandments reveal God Himself.
    2. Sin is missing the mark, which is God’s own person and being.
    3. By the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20), that the carnal mind is enmity against God (Rom. 8:7).
    4. The heart of God’s law, reflecting God’s own heart, is love (Rom. 13:10): “want to” is the heart of “must.”
  3. The bright light of the God’s law shows me that the cause of all my misery is me/my sinfulness and my sin.
    1. We confess that no one is righteous; all have sinned and come short (Rom. 3:10,23); man’s heart is desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9); spiritually dead in sin (Eph. 2:1) living in malice and envy, hated and hating (Titus 3:3).
    2. Only the believer has the ability to admit honestly his constant depravity and his natural proneness to hate God and neighbor.
      1. Grace breaks our pride, so this admission of godly sorrow is a way of life.
      2. We continue in the knowledge (James 1:25) that we actually hate God and our neighbor.
    3. But there is no reason to despair; we are to be troubled but not to despair.
      1. The grace which brings the consciousness of sin, also brings the consciousness of the good news in Christ.
      2. God’s law becomes precious to us as its revelation of my sin makes me fly for refuge to Christ crucified.
    4. Realize that to follow Jesus is first a declaration of what a wretch I am, then what He has done for me, and then a doing what I am moved to do in gratitude.