(Kersten, The Heidelberg Catechism in 52 Sermons, Vol.2, Part 9)

Of Divine Worship According to God's Word

Lord's Day 35

Psalter No. 268 st. 2, 4
Acts 17: 15-34
Psalter No. 423 st. 4 & 8
Psalter No. 33 st. 5
Psalter No. 290 st. 2, 6, 11


    A plain man, a maker of tents passed through the city of Athens.
His spirit was so stirred because of the idolatry committed in that
place by the very superstitious people, that in holy zeal he was eager
not only to speak in the synagogue of the Jews, but even in the market
place, to debate with anyone that would listen. It was Paul. To
everyone with whom he conversed he spoke of the only true service of
God and of Him Who arose from the dead, to be the Author of eternal
salvation for His people. Even the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers
debated with Paul in the market place saying, "What will this babbler
say?" Some said, "He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods", with
the result, he had to defend himself on Mars' Hill. Paul appeared
before that Court for the purpose of determining whether he could be
accused of having introduced a new religion in Athens.
    We have just read to you Paul's discourse on Mars' Hill, in which
we can observe the light which God, the Holy Spirit gave him, and with
how much wisdom and discretion he spoke to the Athenians, telling them
that he had seen an altar upon which was written, "To The Unknown God".
That God Whom you do not know, I shall declare to you. I do not bring
you something new, but I declare to you the God Who created heaven and
earth and made of one blood all nations of men. That unknown God has
given His Son, Who is the resurrection and the life. One day He will
raise all the dead to appear before His judgment seat."
    Would not our hearts be stirred if we could see the idols in our
Christian nation? Were we ever shown that the God who made heaven and
earth does not dwell in temples made by hands, but that He has
glorified Himself in the Son of His eternal good pleasure? Then we
would forsake all that displeases Him and seek that only Mediator and
receive through Him the preparation necessary for that great day of
judgment that shall surely come, when we shall stand before the
judgment seat of God.
    The manner in which we bring our religion into practice is of
utmost importance. The Lord demands that we shall serve Him according
to His Word and that we shall set our hearts on His truth, as the means
whereby He shall glorify Himself in us through the power of His Spirit.
    How clearly has He Himself taught us in what manner He wants to be
served when He forbade our making any image to serve or worship Him
thereby. We are now to consider the commandment which forbids image
worship, as it is explained in the thirty-fifth Lord's Day of our
Heidelberg Catechism which reads as follows:
Q. 96. What does God require in the second commandment?

A. That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship Him in any
    other way than He has commanded in His Word.

Q. 97. Are images then not at all to be made?

A. God neither can, nor may be represented by any means: but as to
    creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to
    make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship
    them or to serve God by them.

Q. 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the

A. No; for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have His
    people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of
    His Word.
    This Lord's Day deals with the prohibition against image worship
and our attention is drawn to:
     I. the sins forbidden in this commandment;
    II. the spiritual keeping of this commandment.
    The second commandment is not merely an appendix to the first. It
differs from the first, although all God's commandments are so closely
related to each other that whosoever offends in one commandment, is
guilty of all. Yet there is a difference. The first commandment teaches
us *Whom* we are to serve, namely, the Lord alone. The second tells us
in what *manner* God wishes to be served; namely, according to His
Word, and by not making an image.
    The Roman Catholic Church combines the second commandment with the
first, thereby allowing only three commandments in the first table. Why
does Rome do this? To make room for images in the church. Does not this
tampering with the Holy Law of God to cover its sin, bring the
strongest indictments against Rome's image worship?
    In this second commandment the Lord teaches us that He does not
want to be served by means of images. "Thou shalt not make unto thyself
any graven image, nor the likeness of anything"--no graven image, no
painted image, no sculptured image. Here God forbids image worship.
There is to be no image of anything that is in heaven above, which is
the third heaven, the throne of God--the third heaven, created by God,
where He reveals His glory more than anywhere else. Does not the Lord
say that heaven is His throne and the earth His footstool? The Lord
reveals His radiance and majesty in the third heaven more than on
earth. There God Himself swells. Therefore it is forbidden in the first
place to make an image of God, either of His Essence or of His
Attributes. We may not make an image of His Essence, because the
Essence of God can never be expressed by any image. God is a Spirit,
and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. He is
the Omnipresent One, and every effort to portray God violates His
Omnipresence. Furthermore, His Attributes can never be expressed by an
image. Remember for example, what Israel did when it attempted to
express God's Omnipotence through the golden calf with these words,
"These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of
Egypt." To represent God in this way conflicts with the spiritual
existence of God, because, in the first place God's Attributes are God
Himself. Secondly, when we attempt to separate those attributes we
strike at the Divine Essence. Our Catechism speaks correctly when it
says that God neither can nor may be represented in any manner. The
Lord pronounced a curse upon it in Deut. 27:15, "Cursed be the man that
maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the
work of the hands of the craftsman." Yet the children of Israel became
guilty of this repeatedly. They did not intend to stop serving God, but
wanted to serve Him by means of images. I have already mentioned the
golden calf at Mt. Sinai. Later, when Israel revolted, Jeroboam
introduced the golden calves at Dan and Bethel. Micah, too, of whom we
read in Judges 17, gave two hundred pieces of silver to have an image
made, the same sin which was forbidden here, and into which sin Israel
fell time after time. God neither can nor may be represented in any
    In the second place this commandment refers to the creatures in
heaven. In the third heaven are the angels and the souls of them who
shall be heirs of salvation ... Of them no image may be made to worship
God thereby. No doubt the intent here expressed is singled out and
emphasized. The service of God is so spiritual that the making of any
image whatever is entirely condemned by the Lord. Thou shalt not make
any graven image of the starry sky or of the clouds. Neither shalt thou
make any graven image of men, animals, plants, or anything else that
may be found on earth, in order to serve or worship God thereby.
Neither fishes, nor creeping things, nor any other creatures may ever
be represented by images. God cannot be, but creatures can be so
    The making of images is not always forbidden. The Lord has even
given talents to do so. Think of Aholiab and Bezaleel who were given
wisdom by the Lord to make the tabernacle according to the pattern
which the Lord had shown to Moses on the mount. God gave them the
talents for it. Later in the temple there were cherubim and the brazen
sea set upon twelve oxen. On the steps to Solomon's throne there were
images of lions. When the Lord Jesus was on earth He was shown a penny
bearing the image of Caesar. The Lord did not show His disapproval of
this, but only said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's,
and unto God the things which are God's." Hence, to make images of
creatures is not condemned as such. God does not condemn the art of
sculpture and painting. This we must remember, that the work of art
must be sober and modest. Nakedness in sculpture must not be publicly
displayed, lest iniquity abound. Now, though images creatures are not
forbidden, it is forbidden to make them a part the service of the Lord.
    Although it is possible to make images of creatures, God forbids
our making or having them for the purpose of honoring them or serving
God by them. For that reason the punishments of the Lord were so
dreadful upon the children of Israel that on one day three thousand
died at Mount Sinai. For that reason also God pronounced a judgment
upon the altars at Dan and at Bethel. He shows His displeasure with
will-worship, which includes the use of images in the service of God.
This is the practice of Rome which kneels before images and sponsors
pilgrimages. Therefore the instructor says that we may not make them to
bow down to them or to serve them. Rome honors its images decorated
with gold and silver, and bestows incense and glory upon them, but it
is God Who forbids such practice. We should be deeply moved that our
land is filled with Romish idolatry, and that this great evil is
progressing from North to South and from East to West. I ask you, is it
mere hatred of popery to do so or is it the glory of God that makes us
concerned about it? We have the Word of God and therefore it is
disturbing to see that our people are fast asleep and indifferently
close their eyes to the danger of Rome. All that Rome stands for is
tolerated much too easily. Why? Because the honour of God does not
weigh heavily enough upon our souls; because we are blind to the holy
displeasure which God will manifest toward a people that is forsaking
Him, a people on whose behalf the Lord performed His miracles in times
    This will become more evident when we consider the reason why the
Lord gave this commandment. He says, "I am the Lord thy God." He is the
God of gods, Who dwells and is enthroned in the high and lofty place,
surrounded by His holy angels who cover their faces with their wings,
crying out, "Holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full
of His glory." This God placed Israel in a covenant relationship with
Himself, and the people of Israel bound themselves at Mt. Sinai with a
solemn Amen, to keep the covenant of the Lord God and to observe His
ordinances. Now the Lord says, "I am thy God Who forbids you." This
word alone should sink so deeply in our hearts, that we would utterly
abhor all that God forbids in His Law. In addition the Lord says also,
"I am a jealous God." By jealous is meant, "zealous for My honour." As
a man cannot tolerate his wife's attention to others, much less can the
Lord tolerate our bowing to images. The Lord is jealous of His honour,
and is zealous for it. Does He not in His Word speak of image worship
as spiritual adultery? Did He not often remind His people with
reproofs, that they were unfaithful to Him when they bowed to idols?
Time and again the Lord uses the example of a man who is forsaken by
his wife. Will he approve of such conduct? Will he not rather vindicate
his honour? "I shall do likewise", says the Lord, "for I am a jealous
God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the
third and fourth generation of them that hate Me."
    God punishes sin in succeeding generations. God punishes the
fathers by visiting the children in the third and fourth generation. Is
this not contrary to what is told us in Ezekiel 18:20, namely that the
son shall not bear the iniquity of the father? No, that text does not
conflict with these words of the second commandment. Israel tried to
hide behind the guilt of the fathers by using the sins of the fathers
as an excuse. But the Lord says, "I am punishing you for your own
sins." In these words of Ezekiel the Lord shows not only that Israel is
indeed punished for its own sin, but also that God punishes sin with
sin. This means that the succeeding generations follow in the footsteps
of their parents, multiplying their iniquities and making themselves
all the more deserving of the judgments of God. Sin is a steep incline
and whoever sets his foot upon it will find that he with his posterity
is running faster and faster toward destruction. This is the motive by
which the Lord persuades us to fear sin - in this case image worship -
so that our hearts may cleave to Him, fear Him, and serve Him, as He
testifies in His Word.
    On the other hand, the Lord proclaims the riches of His mercy and
the greatness of His Divine grace: showing mercy unto thousands of them
that love Me and keep My commandments. The Lord delights in mercy
rather than judgment toward those who walk in His ways; who honour Him
according to His testimonies, who direct their lives according to His
commandments, and shun those things that are displeasing to the Lord.
Yes, God shows His mercy. From what source does this mercy flow? Not
from our keeping of His commandments. It flows from His sovereign and
eternal good pleasure. God is indeed a rewarder, but the reward is of
grace. Do not these considerations serve as motives for us to hate
image worship and to testify against it? For this commandment says not
only: "You may not have an image in church"; "We may not have an image
or crucifix in our homes"; "You may not bow the knee to such an image
and say, 'Holy Mary, Saint Peter, pray for me'"; in other words, the
commandment not only makes a demand upon our personal life, but it also
requires of the government to put away the images out of our country,
and to destroy that idolatry which has become almost totally
heathenish. See what the pious kings of Israel did and what our
forefathers did: They demolished those images, and the Lord gave His
approval. Read all the Scriptures and see how the Lord lays upon the
government the duty of leading the people according to His commandment.
In keeping with the Scriptures, our fathers confessed this duty in the
unabridged Article 36 of the Belgic Confession. The duty of the
government is to remove and prevent all idolatry and false worship.
Notice how this commandment is set aside. They say, "We, the
government, refuse to accept that responsibility." However, will not
the Lord see it and execute vengeance? Is not this nation making itself
ripe for divine judgment? This commandment calls upon the government
and calls upon everyone in every walk of life to fulfill the holy duty
of testifying against image worship. So we see that the second
commandment differs from the first. God must be served, not by means of
dumb images, but as He revealed Himself in His Word and glorified
Himself in Christ Jesus.
    Having briefly mentioned the forbidden sins, I come now to my
second main thought:
    The spiritual keeping of the law.
    May not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?
The answer is no.
    Rome says they may. "We hang," says Rome, "an image before your
eyes, that you may the better think about your saints, and we use those
images as books to instruct you as we teach children. We teach the
people to form a mental image to make them think more on Christ and on
the saints." We do not need such books. We do not choose such visible
instruction because it is contradictory to the positive Word of God. He
will have His people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively
preaching of His Word. We must not pretend to be wiser than God. We are
told emphatically that we must not worship Him in any other way than He
has commanded in His Word.
    We are now to consider the keeping of this commandment. Now has God
revealed Himself in His Word, and how are we instructed out of His Word
concerning the service of God? This brings us to the one and only
foundation of the true worship of the Lord God. According to the second
commandment God has revealed Himself in His Word as holy and just; as a
God Who can have no fellowship either with sin or with the sinner. He
is a devouring fire and everlasting burnings with whom the sinner
cannot dwell. He has revealed Himself also in that Word as merciful and
righteous, giving His only begotten Son in a way of sovereign
compassion; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life. That is the manner God speaks of in His Word by which
He will be served. It must be only in Him, in Whom all His attributes
were glorified perfectly. He is worshipped spiritually by His people in
communion with Christ by faith, and His people find their salvation in
such glorifying of God. Since the Word of God instructs us in this
matter so clearly that even a child among us knows and understands, we
need no other instruction.
    The message of the second commandment is this: Do you want to see
the image of God? Behold it then in His Word; behold it in the glass of
which the apostle speaks in 2 Cor. 3:18, "with open face beholding as
in a glass the glory of the Lord." There you see the attributes of God;
there you see the majesty of God; there you see God's demand that His
justice must be satisfied; and there you see the redemption prepared
for His people in Christ Jesus. Is this not plain enough?
    How does God wish to be served by His people? Are you desirous of
seeing the image of God? Behold it in the incarnate Word, Who is the
express image of God's person. He upholds all things by the Word of His
power and in Him the divine Essence has magnified itself perfectly.
    What then is the message the Lord gives us here? That our formal
religion does not please Him when we are cold, unmoved, and dead under
the preaching of His Word, leaving the church with the same stony
heart. Is it not worthy of consideration that the Lord says, "I have
revealed Myself in My Word? Therefore you shall learn to know and seek
Me, because in that knowledge of God lies eternal life." The least
impression of the majesty, righteousness, and holiness of God humbles
man so deeply before Him, that he cries unto God out of the dust. This
is the fruit of the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Every concept we
form of God, every work of ours presented to Him is contrary to God's
revelation in His Word. They are basically nothing but idolatry in our
hearts, a slighting of His righteousness, and a depending on God's
mercy and grace without His justice. All are contrary to this
commandment, for they find support in our self-righteousness and in our
church attendance as though with them we could stand before God. They
are in conflict with the revelation in His Word.
    God will not be served by our works and by our deeds, not even by
the best we can produce, but God will be served in communion with Him
Who gave Himself as a ransom for many and Who came, not to be
ministered unto, but to minister. He was born for those who know
themselves to be guilty before God, transgressors of all His
commandments, lost in themselves; but who seek their salvation outside
of themselves in Him, Who delivers their souls from death and saves
them from eternal perdition. Not to make an image, means to resolve by
regenerating grace, to reveal the image of God in us, according to
which He created man in the beginning. By the renewing of the heart,
God's children become partakers of the divine nature, and they are
renewed according to the image of Him that created them. They obtain
the true knowledge of God, of His attributes and perfections, which
humbles them, but also enables their souls to find life in communion
with God unto their eternal salvation. It is this keeping of the law of
which the Lord speaks here. It is a spiritual endeavor that is well
pleasing to God.
    In every prohibition lies a commandment. The Lord not only forbids
sin, but He also commands that spiritual obedience to and delight in
His law which His people can never accomplish, but which He in the
active obedience of Christ has accomplished for them, so that in Christ
they shall also be perfect in obedience, shall receive their strength
from Him, and shall persevere until they receive that perfect image
which God's people shall one day have in heaven. They shall be perfect
before the throne of God. There God's image will shine in glory, and
they will behold God in His majesty and in His glory, as Moses did in
the cleft of the rock, where the Lord covered him with His hand,
because no man can endure the full manifestation of God's perfections.
There, mortality shall have put on immortality, and they shall know Him
perfectly. It is this that comforts and strengthens the church of God.
This encourages their souls and enables them, even in tribulations, to
lift up their heads on high. There, some day, they will serve the Lord
perfectly. They will be satisfied, when they awake, with His likeness,
as we now sing from Psalter No. 33 st. 5:
         "Soon I in glorious righteousness
         Shall see Thee as Thou art;
         Thy likeness, Lord, when I awake
         Shall satisfy my heart."
    In this way the Lord would have us put away the images out of our
land. Once Rome had dominion in this part of the world. In the Eighty
Years' War our fore-fathers fought in God's strength and obtained their
freedom, but not without the sacrifice of much goods, blood, and lives.
They did not sacrifice merely for external liberty, nor to stage a
revolution and an uproar against the king of Spain, but they sacrificed
in the firm conviction that God must be served according to His Word.
You have heard the history, especially in regard to the image worship,
how our people were stirred by holy indignation when it destroyed the
images. The same thing happened in Scotland when in a moment as it
were, the people were aroused to destroy image worship. Let us notice
how none less than Marnix of St. Aldegonde defended the action. No
matter what the prevailing opinion may be, it would be desirable if the
government would put an end to the God-provoking idolatry of Rome.
Where are the protestants to whom the Lord has magnified His wonders
and whom He so richly blessed, when they contended for His Name and His
service? From the highest authorities to the common citizen, men bow
the knee to Rome. You need not go far to find out. Inquire from members
of the congregations and learn how they feel about it, how Rome sets up
its idols in our land. How few there are that are filled with holy zeal
to oppose it! How many shrug their shoulders when the peril of
Catholicism is pointed out, and say it is all enmity against persons.
When we speak of their idolatry, it is not because we hate the Roman
Catholic people as if they are beneath us, but we do so in the first
place because God demands it of us, and in the second place because our
nation incurs God's wrath by these things. When you see the upheavals
in the world since the latest world war, and observe what is going on
in our nation, you will be filled with fears and ask, "How long will
God still tolerate us?" On the other hand, God does not need to send
war, but His judgments are so general and the burdens are so heavy upon
us, we fear, will be still heavier upon future generations. We ask
ourselves, "How shall we be able to bear the burden and survive?" For
the support of our government, how ought our entire nation to return to
the law of God, to the God of our fathers, and to His ordinances. I
wish I could indoctrinate our boys and girls especially so that there
would be a generation firmly rooted in God's Word, opposing the Romish
idolatry with a holy conviction. Has not the Lord specifically
described that image worship and said, "I will pour out My wrath upon
the third and fourth generation"? Please do not say, "that is their
responsibility", for this concerns God's holy law. May that conviction
take deep root, so that our lives may be directed according to the
commandment of Him, Who makes transgressors of His law to dwell in a
dry land.
    Has not David said, "Thy commandment is exceeding broad"? This
commandment refers, not merely to the letter of the law. Think of Paul,
for example, who in his former life as a Pharisee, lived a blameless
and conscientious life according to the law, so conscientious that he
himself said, "If any man think to glory in the flesh, I more." He even
dared to challenge all the Pharisees. He had not ceased living as a
Pharisee, because he no longer lived as strictly according to the law
of God as formerly - by no means: "I did not know the law", says Paul,
"for at that time I lived without the law." God's law has a spiritual
meaning which the natural man does not perceive.
    Now I return to my second main thought, the spiritual keeping of
the law of God. Let us ask ourselves one by one, What is our
relationship to the Word of God, that Word which instructed us from
childhood? We have the privilege in our own schools where our children
are instructed according to God's Word and not settled upon false
grounds. Oh, that the seed of that Word might sprout early in their
hearts. Do we appreciate enough the privilege of having our own
schools? One thinks the distance too far, another thinks the dangers
for the children are too great. I have seen Roman Catholic children go
to church everyday in summer and winter, in the early and dark morning
hours, to perform their religious duties. How lax we are by comparison
and how little we see the necessity of good instruction for our
children. May there be more zeal among us.
    Instruction from God's Word is not strange to us. We have it in our
homes and we read it morning, noon, and night, or have we also become
lax in that? Is it too much trouble to separate ourselves for a little
while to search the Word together? Are you too busy? Boys, do you still
read the Word at work? Have you a Bible in your pocket so that you can
read it after eating. When you are on a journey, or travel much, do not
neglect to take God's Word with you. Do you still go eagerly to God's
house on Sundays, or is it too cold one Sunday and something else
another Sunday? God is a jealous God and demands a zealous keeping of
His commandments. The Word of God is worth the effort of reading and
meditation, but also of placing ourselves under it, because it serves
as a means in the hand of the Spirit to learn to know Him who is the
only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent, which is life eternal.
Through His Word the Lord wishes to instruct us in that great mystery
that we can be saved by grace. It is with this, namely, the whole
service of God, that the second commandment is concerned. Then it is
evident that going to church twice on Sunday is not enough. Ask
yourself whether you have ever kept God's Word in a spiritual sense so
that you said, "Lord let Thy Word be conducive to my eternal salvation,
for it shall be as a savor of death unto death, if it is not a savor of
life unto life." We are traveling to eternity and some day that Word
will be remembered by us. You and I, all of us will soon stand before
God. Then He will inquire of ministers whether they have instructed you
in the truth correctly. I may not, and cannot do otherwise than to
direct you to that one thing needful, so that I may make myself free of
you. Then I shall always tell you it is insufficient to be baptized, to
go to church, to sit at the Lord's Supper, perhaps even with some
impression in our conscience; but we must learn to know God as He
reveals Himself in His Word.
    God can have no communion with us, because we have separated
ourselves from Him with no intention of returning, and that breach must
be healed. Do we still have impressions? Do we sometimes bow our knees
to say, "Oh, that I might be reconciled with God!" Or do we go on in
our habitual course and our deadly security? What if the Lord would
come suddenly, as a thief in the night? Then it would be forever too
late. Boys, take it to heart; take the message with you, and be not so
unconcerned. Reflect for a moment: This Sunday has passed, and I have
only increased my guilt. What will become of me? You older people,
consider how you are approaching the grave. Your best days are past,
for God converts people mostly in their younger years. But you can
still come to know that God. It is not yet too late. Be earnest in
using the means, so that with supplication and weeping you may seek
refuge in God. Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and
Christ shall give thee light. It is well to note that knowledge of God
comes when by means of the Word, He begins to reveal Himself in the
heart by the efficacious working of the Holy Spirit. It is these
impressions of His perfect divine essence which He works in the soul
that give the sinner to see something of God. For this he needs no
image, but the knowledge of God in His eternal perfections brings the
soul into such deep humility, that he falls at His feet to make
supplication to His Judge. Such a person can never meet God, because an
infinite breach has been made which cannot be healed. That breach
cannot be healed not even with all our tears and prayers. Because God
chooses to be glorified according to His Word, we can contribute
nothing. On the contrary, even with our best works we rob God of His
honour. God has given us His revelation in Christ, so that the sinner
who has learned to know himself, shall go to God through Him.
    Are there any here who are not strangers to these things? May your
hearts be turned from all your image worship to know Him as He has
revealed Himself in His Word. What is it that so often causes your
prayers to return into your own bosom? Why is it that so many prayers
go no higher than our lips? Because our hearts are lukewarm and filled
with the idol of self. How often do God's people condemn themselves,
because there is so little zeal in their hearts to serve Him in the
only way that is well-pleasing to Him. We would experience more of
Christ by faith, if we were more dissatisfied with our condition. We do
not come to the point of saying, "There is no hope." May God so deal
with His people that they shall find peace for their souls. To that end
God often uses deep ways. He deprives His people of everything they
cherish. Sometimes they sink in discouragement, and sometimes they
faint with grief. The Lord still deprives them of everything so that
they shall come with supplication and weeping. The Lord uses means to
teach His church to abhor their image-worship, for He is a jealous
lover of His people. He wants the honor alone; He wants us to have no
strength except in Him, and to strive for that spiritual knowledge of
Him which is to know God and to follow on to know Him in the face of
the Lord Jesus Christ. What is the result of putting away all false
religion? That God's children need the Spirit because by themselves
they can never attain to true prayer and cleaving to God. They are as
wandering sheep, and now they need that Spirit to lead them. They
become dependent persons who cleave unto the Lord as a girdle cleaves
to the loins of a man. What is the fruit of beholding the image of God
as it is in Christ? That God's children behold Him in the eternal
splendor of His mercy and grace. Then they know of a seeking for
fulfillment, for the Lord will soon bring them to perfection, and take
them up in His glory. That causes their reins to be consumed within
them. There they will see God perfectly, the one and only triune God of
their salvation. There they will dwell eternally in blessed communion
with Him, and there they will see the Lamb who purchased them with His
blood, and Who as the Mediator, is the express image of God's Person.
    The Lord grant us to feel our need of the leadings of His dear
Spirit, to hate what He hates, and in the keeping of His commandments,
to have those spiritual exercises by which we shall find more and more
that our obedience is in Him, Who kept also this commandment perfectly.
During His sojourn on earth He humbled Himself under the Law, not only
to deliver His people from the curse of the law eternally, but also to
cause them to walk in His commandments by His power, to the glory and
praise of God's thrice holy Name. Amen.

Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism in 52 Sermons, Vol.2
(continued in part 10...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc2-09.txt