From Your Pastor: The Biblical Importance of Catechizing

“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed…Train yourself for godliness” (1 Tim. 4:6-7).

A friendly, pastoral reminder to remember to review and memorize your catechism this year! I especially encourage parents and officers to go through the Westminster Shorter Catechism as a helpful and important reminder of what you believe. “Catechize” comes from a Greek word that means to teach, to instruct, it can have the nuance of covenantal nurture in the faith, for both adults and especially children in the covenant.

Briefly, why should you catechize yourself and your family? A few reasons to get you thinking…

  • Meditation/Nurture of Your Soul: Good catechisms, like the Westminster Shorter Catechism teach Scriptural truth that we are called to meditate upon day and night and remember (Deut. 6:6-7; 11:18-19; Psalm 1; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15- Timothy’s catechizing was used to bring him to faith in Christ!).
  • Jesus was catechized: Jesus sought to understand the scriptures, sitting at the feet of His teachers, learning from an early age how to understand and interpret the Scriptures (Luke 2:40-52). (If Jesus needed to be catechized, how much more…?? Well, you get the idea!). Jews were catechized from the Law (see Rom. 2:18, lit. “catechized” from the Law).
  • Jesus catechized: Between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, he catechized His disciples with the truth about His Kingdom (Luke 1:44-53; Acts 1:1-4; cf. Luke 1:4). Jesus is also teaching catechism when he says that disciples should be receiving constant teaching: “…Teaching them everything that I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:20a).
  • Early believers were catechized: Luke knew Theophilus had been catechized (see Luke 1:4: “…Certainty of those things, you have been “catechized” or instructed in”). The great Apollos had been catechized in the Scriptures (see Acts 18:25).
  • Better hearing and “getting” of sermons: Catechism helps you to understand rich, theological, words that have been inherited from our forefathers and foremothers in the faith. Catechism is honoring our fathers and mothers in this way. You can better “hear” and understand sermons. It is an observed truth that those who “get” sermons the best in the Reformed tradition of preaching, are those who are catechized (see Nehemiah 8:8 and context).
  • Membership Commitments/parental responsibility: As a congregation in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, catechism is a very important way of covenantal nurture: “Do you promise to teach diligently to [name of child] the principles of our holy Christian faith, revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and summarized in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church?” (Book of Church Order, DFW, chap. III). If you’re a member of the OPC, we have vowed to do this in reliance upon God’s grace in Christ.
  • Meditation on Scripture: While you seek to be faithful in catechism, don not neglect the reading, memorization and meditation upon Scripture. Biblical truth is the foundation on which we build faithful catechism. Meditation on scripture is the parent of prayer and the care and ministry of others.

There are free copies of the Shorter Catechism in the front of church building available, and the catechism is also at the back of the Red Trinity Hymnals. Let me know if I can assist you in your pursuit of catechizing, and practically, let me know if I can purchase more copies for you to have to keep in your pockets.

For more information on catechizing and catechism, you may read these excellent articles:

Your pastor and elders pray for you regularly to grow in your faith, this will help you to grow. If your child completes the memorization of catechism, please let your elders know and we will glorify God in praising Him by featuring this in the OPC’s ‘New Horizons’ issue. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask myself or one of your elders.

“The One who is taught [lit. “catechized”] the word must share all good things with the one who teaches [“catechizes”]” (Gal. 6:6).

“…What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).

Lets’ begin now. Ketoctin Covenant: “Question: What is the chief end of man?” Answer: “_________________”

Now see, that wasn’t too difficult. Mediate on your answer today, and in Christ, you will be “blessed”; it is a promise of God (Psa. 1:1-3).


IN Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs


From Your Pastor: The Sacrament of Baptism: Preparation and Reflections



Dear Family in Christ at KCPC,

We have the privilege of participating in the baptism service of Clara Elaine Davis during the morning worship this Lord’s Day, September 25th, 2016.

Fathers and Heads of Households: This brief study is provided to help your family to prepare for worship and especially the Sacrament of Baptism to be enjoyed this Lord’s Day. Would you please pray this week that as a congregation we would all prepare our hearts to meet with God, that God would fill us with His Spirit to grant us expectant and eager hearts to hear from Him this Lord’s Day, and that He would fill the preacher with power from above so that we might experience the fullness of the Spirit in a demonstration of power to transform us and make us more like Christ (Eph. 6:18-20; 1 Cor. 2:1-5)? Remember: the sermon does not begin the preacher opens his mouth to preach, but begins when you begin praying for the preaching, and often you will get from the ministry of the word what you pray for! 😉


Baptism Service this Week

In the Orthodox Presbyterian Book of Church Order (Order for Public Worship, Chap. III.B.5), ministers are required to ask the following questions during the baptism of our infants and young children. I encourage you to remind yourself of these vows:

“The minister shall then require the parents to vow publicly their duty as Christian parents to present their children for baptism and to nurture them in the Christian faith, by answering these or equivalent questions in the affirmative:

(1) Do you acknowledge that although our children are conceived and born in sin and therefore are subject to condemnation, they are holy in Christ by virtue of the covenant of grace, and as children of the covenant are to be baptized?

(2) Do you promise to teach diligently to [name of child] the principles of our holy Christian faith, revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and summarized in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church?

(3) Do you promise to pray regularly with and for [name of child], and to set an example of piety and godliness before (him/her)?

(4) Do you promise to endeavor, by all the means that God has appointed, to bring [name of child] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, encouraging (him/her) to appropriate for (himself/herself) the blessings and fulfill the obligations of the covenant?”



Sermon Title – The Sacrament of Baptism- Clara Elain Davis: “…Through Water”

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Sermon Summary: Our children pass safely through the waters in Christ!

Here are the scriptures for our Scripture Lesson in worship: Exodus 14:29; 1 Corinthians 10:1-2; Ephesians 2:4-6


Scriptures/Quotations to Meditate Upon with Your Family – Learning the love of Christ with “together with all the saints” (Eph. 3:18).

ESV Acts 2:38-39: And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

ESV Acts 22:16 “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”

ESV Ephesians 5:26 “…That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…”

ESV Titus 3:5 “…He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…”

ESV 1 Peter 3:20-21: “…When God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

John 13:6-8: “He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”


Our Reformed Forefathers on Baptism

“The first object of the sacraments is to assist our faith towards God, the second, to testify our confession before men.” – John Calvin

“…Water baptism signifies and seals the work of the Holy Spirit in us, thereby applying the benefits of Christ to us. This is the all-important inward spiritual fact which baptism by water signifies and seals. The Spirit is the agent who unites the soul to Christ, and at the same time regenerates the soul, takes away its sin and gives it a new life, and…the application of water signifies and seals these things.” – Francis Beattie

“Baptism is a sign and seal to the party baptized of his ingrafting into Christ. I can read God’s Word and say [as one baptized], ‘I have in my own body the sign and seal of the King who promised me the remission of my sins. He promised me that I would be ingrafted into Jesus Christ, that I would participate in His death and resurrection by faith, and that, if I believe, I can trust the promise of God because I am baptized’. How can we ever despise the significance, the value, and the importance of God’s promise to redeem us?” – R. C. Sproul

“In Baptism the outward sign is (1) Water, and (2) The water applied in the name of the Triune God to the person of the subject baptized. The inward, spiritual grace, thereby signified is: (1) Primarily, the spiritual purification by the immediate personal power of the Holy Ghost in the soul; and hence (2) Secondarily, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, hence the union of the baptized with Christ, hence regeneration, justification, sanctification, perseverance to the end, glorification, etc.” – A. A. Hodge

“Everyone profits so much in baptism as he learns to look unto Christ…The whole strength of baptism is contained in Christ….Baptism, viewed in regard to us, is a passive work: we bring nothing to it but faith; and all that belongs to it is laid up in Christ.” – John Calvin

“Is then the external baptism with water, the washing away of sin itself? Answer: Not at all; for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Spirit, cleanses us from all sin.” – Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 72

“The offspring of believers is born holy, because their children, while yet in the womb…are included in the covenant of eternal life…Nor…are they admitted into the Church by baptism on any other ground than that they belonged to the body of Christ before they were born….Christ admits infants by baptism, that as soon as the capacity of their age shall allow, they may addict themselves to be His disciples, and that being baptized with the Holy Spirit, they may comprehend, with the understanding of faith, His power which baptism does prefigure.” – John Calvin


Our Confessional Heritage on Baptism: The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A 92:  What is a sacrament? A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers. Gen. 17:7,10; Exod. 12: throughout (larger context); 1 Cor. 11:23,26


Westminster Shorter Catechism  Q. 91  How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation? A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, (1) and the working of his spirit in them that by faith receive them.(2) (1)1 Pet. 3:21; Matt. 3:11; 1 Cor. 3:6,7 (2)1 Cor. 12:13


Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 162  What is a sacrament? A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church,(1) to signify, seal, and exhibit (OE meaning for “apply”) (2) unto those that are within the covenant of grace,(3) the benefits of his mediation,(4) to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other graces;(5) to oblige them to obedience;(6) to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another;(7) and to distinguish them from those that are without.(8) Scripture References: (1)Gen. 17:7,10; Exod. 12; Matt. 28:19; Matt. 26:26-28 (2)Rom. 4:11; 1 Cor. 11:24,25 (3)Rom. 15:8; Exod. 12:48 (4)Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 10:16 (5)Rom. 4:11; Gal. 3:27 (6)Rom. 6:3,4; 1 Cor. 10:21 (7)Eph. 4:2-5; 1 Cor. 12:13 (8)Eph. 2:11,12; Gen. 34:14


Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 163  What are the parts of a sacrament? A. The parts of a sacrament are two; the one an outward and sensible sign, used according to Christ’s own appointment; the other an inward and spiritual grace thereby signified.(1) Scripture References: (1)Matt. 3:11; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 2:28,29


Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 165  What is Baptism? A. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,(1) to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself,(2) of remission of sins by his blood,(3) and regeneration by his Spirit;(4) of adoption,(5) and resurrection unto everlasting life;(6) and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church,(7) and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord’s.(8) Scripture References: (1)Matt. 28:19 (2)Gal. 3:27 (3)Mark 1:4; Rev. 1:5 (4)Tit. 3:5; Eph. 5:26 (5)Gal. 3:26,27 (6)1 Cor. 15:29; Rom. 6:5 (7)1 Cor. 12:13 (8)Rom. 6:4


Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 166  Unto whom is baptism to be administered? A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him,(1) but infants descended from parents, either both or but one of them professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are, in that respect, within the covenant, and to be baptized.(2) Scripture References: (1)Acts 8:36,37; Acts 2:38 (2)Gen. 17:7,9 compared with Gal. 3:9,14 and Col. 2:11,12 and Acts 2:38,39 and Rom. 4:11,12; 1 Cor. 7:14; Matt. 28:19; Luke 18:15,16; Rom. 11:16


Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 167  How is our baptism to be improved by us? A. The needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to others;(1) by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made therein;(2) by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements;(3) by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament;(4) by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace;(5) and by endeavoring to live by faith,(6) to have our conversation in holiness and righteousness,(7) as those that have therein given up their names to Christ;(8) and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body.(9) Scripture References: (1)Col. 2:11,12; Rom. 6:4,6,11 (2)Rom. 6:3-5 (3)1 Cor. 1:11-13; Rom. 6:2,3 (4)Rom. 4:11,12; 1 Pet. 3:21 (5)Rom. 6:3-5 (6)Gal. 3:26,27 (7)Rom. 6:22 (8)Acts 2:38 (9)1 Cor. 12:13,25,26,27


Questions to ask your family for Family Worship to prepare you to hear the sermon:

  • Children: For fun- Take an envelope, and inside it write a short promise, say for a piece of candy to your brother and/or sister (you must have a piece of candy to give, and be more than willing to give it for this to work J!). Sign the promise, then seal the envelope. At the seal of the envelope, place your initials. Now give it to your brother and sister. Let them receive it, take it, believe it. In their hands they now hold your promise of grace toward them to gift them, and you have sealed it with your signature. Now make good on the promise if they have received it. Now meditate upon how your baptism is a seal of God’s grace to you.
  • Children: Do you “improve your baptism”? Parents: Do you “improve your baptism” and help your children to improve theirs at times of formative instruction and discipline, and particularly in times of temptation? (see above Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 167).
  • Children: What does it mean that you are baptized? (see Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 94). Do you see the fruit of God’s grace in your life through repentance, faith and obedience to Jesus?
  • Read 1 Peter 3:19-22. In Noah’s time, who were “brought safely through water” (ESV) or “saved by water” (KJV)? How does baptism “correspond” (ESV; “antitype”-Greek) or “figure” (KJV) this? What is the sign in baptism? What does it signify? What makes the sign effectual (or give it power?)
  • Circumcision and Baptism are signs and seals of God’s saving grace in Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 3:20-21). The signs and seals are empowered by the Spirit, but point us away to the reality of the person and work of Jesus Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of sin. What happens if the people of God overemphasize the signs and they become the reality for us? What happens if we underemphasize the signs and seals and they are merely bare and empty memorials?
  • Have you thanked God for receiving you into His covenant, and are you believing by faith all of God’s covenant promises to you in Jesus Christ? Rejoice in God our Savior!


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: God’s Covenant and the Law of God (WSC 19.1-2)

Westminster Confession of Faith, 19.1-2: “God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables: the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.”

God gave to Adam the law as a “covenant of works” (WCF, 19.1) before his plummet into rebellion and sin. God graciously initiated and entered into this covenant by voluntary condescension (WCF, 7.1), and promised life (sometimes called the “covenant of life”) to Adam if he would be obedient (a personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience), and God threatened punishment and death if he disobeyed. This covenant was perpetual and binding upon every creature who was represented in Adam who was a “public person” for the entire human race (Psalm 51:1-7; cf. Rom. 5:12-21).

The Law of God reveals His perfect holiness, beauty, purity, and the righteousness that He demands of all creatures (Rom. 7:12; see WCF, 19.6). This Law of God has been revealed to all mankind (Rom. 1:19-20). In Romans 2:12-14, the Apostle Paul teaches that every man knows what is right and wrong. Just as every man knows the power and glory of God that is revealed in creation, yet resist, suppress, and exchange this revelation of truth with a lie (WCF, 1.1; Rom. 1:19-25). Every man also has the true God reveal His righteousness in men’s consciences by virtue of their createdness in His image. Image-bearers are given a true knowledge of God’s law in their hearts, “the work of the Law is written on their hearts” (Rom. 2:14-15) that can both excuse them in their sin, or accuse them for their sin. The Apostle Paul wrote:

“…They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them,” Rom. 2:15.

This means that fallen man, though deformed and marred by sin, nevertheless possesses some knowledge of right and wrong, although sin does corrupt, and can sear a conscience so that it no longer works properly. Nevertheless, mankind will be held accountable not only for special revelation given graciously by God, but what their own consciences have told them about God:

“…On that day when…God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus,” Rom. 2:16; cf. Rom. 1:32.

Though God has revealed the substance of His righteous Law in creation and in conscience, and all mankind know God’s perfect law of righteousness to some degree, nevertheless, God is pleased to show Himself more clearly in special revelation (WCF, 1.1). As part of the larger “covenant of redemption” (Heb. 13:20-21, or “Pactum Salutis” as it is sometimes called), the covenant of grace is inaugurated after the fall to bring about the salvation of God’s elect (WCF, 7.3-4). The Father initiated this saving work, the Son freely and willingly took upon Himself our human nature to live, die, be raised, and ascended in it, so as to send forth the fullness of the Spirit of God so that the righteous requirements of God’s law might be fully met in us who walk not after the flesh but the Spirit (Eph. 1:3-14; Psa. 40:6-8; cf. Heb. 10:5-7; Acts 2:33-36; Rom. 8:3-4). Christ was born “under the law” (Gal. 4:4-6) to redeem His own and to make them obedient sons of God according to the Law. Christ came to make men holy according to God’s righteousness, to close the gap that sin had made between God’s righteousness and man, and through grace in Christ to bring believers into conformity with God’s holiness and to establish a harmony between the righteousness of God and the righteousness of man to the praise of His glory. As the Apostle Paul exults in Ephesians 1:

“…Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved,” (Eph. 1:4-6)

The Law of God that was revealed specially to Adam, and has been revealed on all men’s hearts since the creation of man, was revealed very clearly to Israel at Sinai in the time of Moses. This perfect law or rule of righteousness was a clear revelation of God’s perfect holiness, beauty, purity, and the righteousness that He required of all mankind. Although this is revealed in the Old Testament, in the time of the Old Covenant, it is nevertheless part of the one covenant of grace, and should always be understood as part of a gracious covenant because the substance of it is Jesus Christ in promise, shadow and type (WCF, 8.1, 6). When God called the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to be His holy “sons” (Exo. 4:22), he told them that they were to keep the commandments in light of His salvation mercies. The Law is given in the context of God’s gracious and initiating salvation love to His people. God reveals the indicative of their position before Him because He has brought them out of slavery and darkness and into His marvelous light (“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of…slavery…”, Exo. 20:2), and He then teaches them what is required of them by faith in Him and His promises, or the imperative-commands that they are to live before Him (Exodus 20:3-17; cf. “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do,” Exo. 24:3). Grace is given before the Law so that the Law might be kept not for merit, but because of delight in God and His gracious salvation in Christ!

God called the people of Israel to walk with Him in fellowship, and then taught them how to walk in the manner of their calling (Exo. 4:22; Deut. 10:12; Psa. 78:10; cf. Eph. 4:1-2). He also provided graciously elaborate ceremonial rituals that included substitutionary blood to teach the people of their constant need of a substitute, with His merciful offer of cleansing and the forgiveness of their sins that was received by faith (cf. WCF, 19.3). It must be emphasized that the Law of God that was revealed at this point in the covenant of grace during the time of Moses was never to suggest or in any way teach that sinners were saved by keeping the Law! It was to reveal a holy way of life for those who believed, and to demonstrate to fallen sinners the righteous requirements of God’s law that would lead them to understand their great need for a Savior. This law that was clearly revealed in Moses, is summarized by our Lord Jesus as “loving God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves” (Deut. 10:12; Matt. 22:37; cf. Lev. 19:18). Only Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone could do this perfectly according to God’s Law, but those who trusted in God’s promises in both the Old and New Covenant eras, according to the special revelation knowledge that they possessed, could come by faith to know the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving mercies (WCF, 7.6, 8.6, 19.3; cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-4; Heb. 11:27; John 8:56).

     “Why then the Law,” the Apostle Paul asks (knowing that under the inspiration of the Spirit of God that there could, indeed would be some confusion, cf. 2 Pet. 3:16)? Why was the law given again during the time of Moses if Adam (and mankind in him) had already miserably failed to keep it, if there was no way for man to keep it?! Paul answers: “It was added because of transgressions, until…” We should understand that the glory of the Old Covenant was a glorious revelation of God’s perfect righteousness, but it was not as glorious as what was to come in Christ! In fact, the Apostle Paul says that the glory of the Old Covenant era was passing away similar to the glory that was fading from Moses’ face as he descended from Sinai (cf. 2 Cor. 3:6ff). Until what then? Until a greater glory would be revealed! Jesus Christ would eventually come who was the Second Adam, and the True and Faithful Israelite, or the “one to whom the promise had been made”: What promise? “Do this and you shall live!” (cf. Gal. 3:10-14, 19). The promise that if the law is fully kept, there would be life offered in God’s presence.

Jesus was the only True Israelite who kept the covenant of works revealed at creation and Sinai. Jesus was the only Israelite who could actually in perfect and perpetual righteousness say: “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exo. 24:3). The Law was not contrary to the promises of God but served as a tutor or a guardian to aid sinners in knowing of their need of Christ (Gal. 3:21-24). The Law revealed God’s perfect righteousness, but it could not change anyone; it was powerless to change sinners (Heb. 7:19: “…For the law made nothing perfect”). This is summarized in Romans:

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” (Rom. 8:3-4).

Although the Law was a glorious revelation of God’s holiness, and so was “holy, righteous, and good” (Rom. 7:12), man was sinful and needed to more fully and deeply understand the need for Savior. Christ graciously has kept all the Law for all who will believe upon Him for perfect righteousness before God (Rom. 5:19-21).

It is important to emphasize that at Sinai in the Old Covenant era you have both the revelation of God’s perfect righteousness and the glory of the Covenant of Grace in Christ! You have both another gracious and clear revelation of the law of God that was given to Adam in its administration, and written on all men’s consciences, but you also have the glorious substance of the Gospel promises in Christ that God and God alone saves sinners. So while God reveals His righteousness in the law during the time of the Mosaic Law, it can also be said that He reveals that “all fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), and demonstrates that He is just and the justifier of all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). This seems to be what the Apostle Paul means in Romans 3 when he says that “…through the law comes a knowledge of sin… (Rom. 3:20b; cf. Rom. 7:7-12), and the “righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the Law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Rom. 3:21-22). When the Law is revealed at Sinai, Israel gathers and promises to keep God’s law. Yet no one in Israel could have perfectly kept their promises to do all the words that the Lord had spoken to them. This is why immediately after Moses hears this covenant commitment from the people of God, he builds an altar to point the way to a substitutionary sacrifice, and says:

“Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words” (Exo. 24:4-8).

This is a revelation of Christ and His grace in substance.

Jesus Christ as a “public person” (covenant representative of God’s elect) and Second Adam (Rom. 5:12-21) came in the fullness of the times to keep the covenant of works and earn a personal, entire, exact and perpetually perfect righteousness through His active and passive obedience for all who believe. As the first Adam received the Law, so the Second Adam received the Law—yet also fulfilled it (cf. Matt. 5:17-48). The Law was given to Israel as special revelation because Israel was the elected people through which God would bring the Son of God and Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world! The Abrahamic promise of salvation was ultimately made to Christ alone as the Second Adam and True Israelite who kept the covenant of works, and brought the full blessings and benefits of the covenant of grace for all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile. The Bible teaches this clearly in Galatians:

“Now the promises were made to Abraham and his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to man, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ,” (Gal. 3:16).

And thus the promise of God was fulfilled, and the full and glorious manifestation of the covenant of grace was realized in Jesus Christ in His perfect and perpetual obedience to the Law that was required of all mankind (Matt. 5:17-20, 48; Rom. 3:24-26). And in Christ, this Promise of Life, or this “personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience” (WCF, 19.1) is imputed to believers both in the Old and New Covenants by grace alone through faith in union with Him (Rom. 4:4-11; 6:4-17). Glory to God for His grace!

Now as believers we are called to live according to the revelation of God’s perfect and righteous Law. Though Christ has fully kept the law in our place, and this has been imputed to us as our righteousness before God (justification, 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21), we are to live lives of holiness in sanctification, seeking to love God’s righteous requirements revealed in the Law, and to obey Him sincerely from the heart as His glorious grace is infused in us in our union with Christ (sanctification, Psalm 119; Rom. 7:14-25; 8:3-4; Heb. 12:10, 14). Thus, in living in reliance upon God’s grace, the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us (Rom. 8:3-4), and we might possess holiness and blamelessness before Him, realizing less of a gap between, and enjoying a greater harmony of God’s righteousness and our own (Eph. 1:4-6; 4:19-5:2).


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs