Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Accurate Knowledge of Misery

Date: AM
Text: Romans 3; Lord's Day 3
Psalters: 425, 192, 159, 364
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2016-18)
  1. The presence of misery.
    1. Everyone needs Jesus the Savior of sinners, but only some know that they need such a Savior.
    2. Essential to have a correct knowledge of oneself is to remember that misery is the result of sin.
      1. God gives misery as a consequence of sin to teach us that we are sinners!
      2. Unless we see sin to be the cause of our misery and treat it, there will be no deliverance and recovery.
    3. We must realize that human nature (our old man) always handles sin and misery incorrectly.
  2. The correct standard for evaluating misery is God, Who has been pleased to reveal Himself in His law.
    1. God’s law reflects God Himself and it is not just some great principles (put in courthouses).
    2. Sin is missing the mark which God’s law identifies for us.
      1. By the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20), that the carnal mind is enmity against God (Rom. 8:7).
      2. The problem is not the law, for it is good (I Tim. 1:8). Often we want to blame the diagnostic tool.
    3. 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.
    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. The true believer is the only one with the ability to admit honestly his natural and constant depravity and his natural proneness to hate God and my neighbor.
    3. But there is no reason to despair, for the same faith which acknowledges sin, also acknowledges justification (Romans 5:1 and 8:1).