Date:         Wed, 8 Feb 1995 08:23:22 +0100
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
     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
     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-003.txt