Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Accurate Knowledge of Misery by the Law

Minister:
Date: AM
Text: Romans 7; Lord's Day 2
Psalters: 425, 192, 159, 362
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2015-16)
  1. My misery.
    1. Everyone needs Jesus the Savior, but only some know that they need Him.
      1. We know this need only by knowing our sin – who and what we are by nature.
      2. Important to correct knowledge of self is that misery is the result given to indicate something is wrong.
      3. Unless we see the cause of our misery and treat it, there will be no deliverance and recovery.
    2. Aware of his misery, natural man uses the standard of himself and thus only increases his misery.
  2. The correct standard for evaluating misery is God – as He reveals Himself in His law.
    1. God’s law is not just some great principles (put in courthouses), but it reflects God Himself.
    2. God’s law, reflecting His own perfection, requires one thing: love (Rom. 13:10): “want to” is the heart of “must.”
      1. The demand of love for God examines the heart, the motive of the mind and sub-consciousness.
      2. Further, true love for God is reflected in loving our neighbor as ourselves (I John 4:20,21).
    3. Sin is missing the mark which God’s law identifies for us.
  3. The law shows me the deep-seated cause of my misery is me.
    1. The correct identification of me: I have a natural proneness to hate God and my neighbor.
      1. We are constantly self-centered, thinking of our rights, our interests, and what we think we deserve.
      2. No one is righteous; all have sinned and come short (Rom. 3:10,23); man’s heart is desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).
    2. The true believer is the only one with the ability to admit honestly his natural and constant depravity.
    3. But there is no reason to despair, for the same faith which acknowledges sin, also acknowledges justification (Romans 5:1 and 8:1).