LORD’S DAY 40, 2019.

On each Lord’s Day this year, we will display the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.

The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.

Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity.

The devotional for LORD’S DAY 40 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. This morning’s devotional addresses The Ten Commandments.

Q. What is God’s will for you in the sixth commandment?

A. I am not to belittle, hate, insult, or kill my neighbor—not by my thoughts, my words, my look or gesture, and certainly not by actual deeds—and I am not to be party to this in others;1 rather, I am to put away all desire for revenge.2 I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself either.3 Prevention of murder is also why government is armed with the sword.4

1 Gen. 9:6Lev. 19:17-18Matt. 5:21-2226:52.
2 Prov. 25:21-22Matt. 18:35Rom. 12:19Eph. 4:26.
3 Matt. 4:726:52Rom. 13:11-14.
4 Gen. 9:6Ex. 21:14Rom. 13:4.

Q. Does this commandment refer only to murder?

A. By forbidding murder God teaches us that he hates the root of murder: envy, hatred, anger, vindictiveness.1 In God’s sight all such are disguised forms of murder.2

1 Prov. 14:30Rom. 1:2912:19Gal. 5:19-211 John 2:9-11.
2 1 John 3:15

Q. Is it enough then that we do not murder our neighbor in any such way?

A. No. By condemning envy, hatred, and anger God wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves,1 to be patient, peace-loving, gentle, merciful, and friendly toward them,2 to protect them from harm as much as we can, and to do good even to our enemies.3

1 Matt. 7:1222:39Rom. 12:10.
2 Matt. 5:3-12Luke 6:36Rom. 12:10, 18Gal. 6:1-2Eph. 4:2Col. 3:121 Pet. 3:8.
3 Ex. 23:4-5Matt. 5:44-45Rom. 12:20-21 (Prov. 25:21-22).

May God’s truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

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