[CF Devotionals] 2008-10-18 - Heidelberg 10.1

Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 22

Ephesians 1:7, 8, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us.”

Question 10.1: Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?

Answer: By no means, but is terribly displeased with our original as well as actual sin; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, as He hath declared, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

We begin a dive back into the Heidelberg Catechism today. We were in it earlier in the year, took a break for the Summer, but all vacations must come to an end.So we start today with question 10, having briefly covered 1-9 earlier. There are 129 questions in the catechism.

Our question today asks if God will allow sin to go unpunished. The answer is an almost unqualified yes. He will punish sin, and has promised his wrath (Romans 1:18 against all unrighteousness and ungodliness. Without even bothering to defend the claim, I will plainly state that we are all sinners, and all guilty of falling short of the perfect standards of God. I can appeal to your life, and ask, “Have you ever told an untruth, a half-truth, an out-and-out lie?” We have all violated the 9th commandment. There is no argument here from anyone. I don't even bother to appeal to your conscience. I don't need to. I appeal to your life. We have all broken God's perfect rules that He as Creator set up, and as the catechism here maintains, God will punish sin.

That is the bad news. God will punish sin, and we are all sinners. Having set the table, I would like to focus on the good news. The hard reality that I tell you above is the most loving thing I could possibly say to you. The sinner, outside of Christ, is not at peace with God, and I would be most unkind if I pretended that the sinner who lives in their sin, and lives apart from Christ, is safe. The kind thing to do is to warn someone of their danger. If I were a doctor, and I found a cancer in you, one that many had been treated for and survived, and I did not tell you of it, I would not be a very good doctor. It would be the most unkind turn that I could do you. The truth is that we are all sinners, and God has promised to punish sin. I have told you the truth. But there is another side of the truth that I have alluded to. There is forgiveness from all our sins in Christ.

Christ has taken the punishment of all who come to Him in faith upon Himself on the cross. We look outside of ourselves, to Christ, for our hope. God will punish sin, but He has done so in Christ. All who come to Him seeking forgiveness from their sins have full remission. We believe in Him, on Him, and trust Him for forgiveness from our sins - and He graciously pardons all our transgressions. Outside of Christ, our situation is hopeless, but in Him, we have new life. God will not allow sin to go unpunished, but He has punished sin in Christ. He removes all our sins, when we come to Him in faith. We all know we have sin. If you are seeking release from your sin, may I suggest the following prayer as a starting point. “Lord Jesus, I know my sin will not go unpunished. I ask You to forgive me through Your sacrifice for sin on the cross. I ask You to be my Substitute, taking my deserved punishment upon Yourself.” It is a great start for anyone, and I hope you consider making such a wise prayer to God.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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