Saturday, October 18, 2008
You Have What? Where? Really?
The questions relate to a little song sung by many children in Sunday School, Children’s Church and Daily Vacation Bible School.
I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!!
Down in my heart to stay!
There are several other verses but I prefer not to post them. Now an objection can be raised about what difference does it make for children to sing a harmless little song? The answer is that it forms the understanding of the Christian faith on into adult hood. How many times can you ask how a person knows they are a Christian but they will answer “I know in my heart!”
Matthew 15:10 And he called the people to him and said to them, "Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person." 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" 13He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. "15 But Peter said to him, "Explain the parable to us." 16 And he said, "Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone." ESV
This section tells us what is really in the heart. It is the seat of all evil and so it is the last place one should look for assurance of salvation. And this old sinful nature cannot be improved on or taught to obey. So what one has to look at is what is from outside him or her. This is received by the gift of faith and from that moment on the battle rages. This battle can cause a person to have many doubts and will blind her to any and all improvements that may take place.
Notice also how Jesus refers to those who do not understand this saying. How that they are blind and fall into the ditch and lead other whom they lead. We must be very careful to whom we listen. If the person is preaching law as a means of getting right with God, getting closer to God or as confirmation of your faith in Jesus what you have is a blind leader. He will lead his followers into the same ditch as he himself is falling.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ESV
The water of baptism comes from without and through this act God delivers to us the benefits of the crucifixion of our Lord. This is all the evidence that we need to carry us through the dark times in this vale of tears and death. The promise that we are indeed walking in newness of life and in the resurrection of Jesus. What a glorious gift that we have in this sacrament!
In the Name of Jesus. †