Date:         Wed, 1 Feb 1995 10:11:44 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Catechism, 2
  How many things  are necessary for thee  to know, that you  enjoying real
  comfort may live and die happily?
  Answer: Three: first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how
  I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how  I shall
  express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.
  This is an important question. Life is full of sorrows: days of grief and
  distress; of mourning  and woe.  Moses says  "The days of  our years  are
  threescore years and  ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore
  years, yet is  their strength labour and sorrow; for  it is soon cut off,
  and we fly away." (Ps.90:10) The cause  of this is that we are  submitted
  to the judgement  of God,  and that the  earth is cursed  because of  our
  sins. But now, there is one consolation, which exceeds and takes away all
  sorrows. Should  we not  seek that  consolation? You  could ask,  how you
  could  get this  comfort. That is  also the  thing where our  question is
  dealing with. What do you need to know to live enjoying real comfort, and
  to  die happily? To get the consolation of God, we need three main things
  to know:
  1. How great our sins and miseries are.
  2. How we may be delivered from all our sins.
  3. How we shall express our gratitude to God for such deliverance.
  So, our  answer makes mention of three things  to know: our miseries, our
  deliverance  and our gratitude.  You can find these  three things in many
  places of the Scriptures.
  In the next text,  taken from Psalm 32, you see  that David had knowledge
  of those three points.
  Miseries      Vs.3-5 When I  kept silence, my bones  waxed old through my
                roaring  all the day long.  For day and night  thy hand was
                heavy upon  me: my moisture  is turned into  the drought of
                summer. Selah. I acknowledged  my sin unto  thee, and  mine
                iniquity  have  I  not  hid.  I  said,  I will  confess  my
                transgressions unto the LORD.
  Deliverance   5 And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
  Gratitude     6 For this shall every one  that is godly pray unto thee in
                a time when  thou mayest be found: surely  in the floods of
                great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
  Also the writer of Psalm 116 experienced those three things:
  Miseries      Vs.3 The  sorrows of death  compassed me, and  the pains of
                hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
  Deliverance   4 Then  called  I upon  the name  of  the LORD;  O LORD,  I
                beseech thee, deliver my soul.
  Gratitude     5  Gracious is  the LORD,  and righteous;  yea, our  God is
  He knew his miseries for he was compassed with sorrows of death, even the
  pains of hell got hold  upon him. Then he  called upon the LORD,  saying:
  Deliver my soul! After God had delivered him, he expressed his gratitude,
  saying: The LORD is gracious, righteous and merciful.
  This knowledge,  which we need to have, must not be a knowledge only with
  our reason. For such knowledge  gives no consolation. The knowledge which
  gives  consolation  is  an  experienced   knowledge.  You  need  to  have
  thoroughly  experienced your  miseries,  before you  will appreciate  the
  deliverance.  And  you need  to  have had  the  deliverance  of so  great
  miseries,  in  order  that  you  can  be  really  grateful  to  God.  The
  experienced knowledge, that comforts.
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands

file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-002.txt