Date: Wed, 8 Feb 1995 08:23:22 +0100 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 3 Q. Whence know you thy misery? A. Out of the law of God. The question may arise, how it can be said that we know our misery out of the law of God. The answer is plain: for we are unable to keep the commandments, and that shows our misery. Who does not keep God's commandments, is rejected by God, and that is real misery. Already in the beginning, Adam and Eva were banished from paradise, because of their transgressions. Likewise are we banished from God's community by our transgressions. Were there no law, we would not know our transgressions, and we would not feel our misery. But now there is a law, which says: "Do this!", we know our distress, being unable to keep the commandments. The law, which was originally intended to reveal us God's will, and to enable us to obey God in joy, now has changed to a source of knowledge of our miseries. So, the law had in the beginning another goal as it has now, but we have, by our weak and sinful flesh, changed the working of it. They, who weaken the law, in order to be able to "keep" it, think that they see and experience the joy of the law, but they are blind for their own weakness to keep the law. May God open their eyes to see the truth. We do not belong to those weak-makers of the law, but we keep it in its original power. "Do that!", it says, "and you will live". We answer: "O no, I cannot keep it, so I must die". So, the miseries are known by the law, and the guilt is ours. Q. What has God commanded thee in his law? A. That is contained in the ten commandments, which he has revealed in Scripture, as follows: Exodus 20 and Dent. 5: 6, 7, etc. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 1. You shalt have no other gods before me. 2. You shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of any thing, that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 3. You shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain. 4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: six days shalt you labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it you shalt not do any work, you, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. 5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 6. You shalt not kill. 7. You shalt not commit adultery. 8. You shalt not steal. 9. You shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 10. You shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; you shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's. This law was spoken out by God Himself, from mount Sinai, from the midst of the fire and the darkness. This shows us the terrible nature of the law, for all who not are able to keep it. The law was spoken from that mount, that burned with fire, that was black, that was dark, where was a tempest. There also sounded the trumpet, and God let hear His voice. When the people heard that voice, they prayed that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. For they could not endure that which was commanded. And so terrible was the sight that Moses said: I exceedingly fear and quake. When even Moses, that holy man of God, could not endure this sight, how would we endure it? Let we therefore not think too easy of the law, but accept it in its pure form. "Do that! If not, you will die!". ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - firstname.lastname@example.org No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-003.txt .