Heidelberg Catechism Q89-90

Q.89. What is the dying-away of the old self?

A. It is to be genuinely sorry for sin, to hate it more and more and to run away from it.


Q.90. What is the coming-to-life of the new self?

A. It is wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a delight to do every kind of good as God wants us to.



David’s sin with Bathsheba was one of the grievous errors that he made as a king.  Read 2 Samuel 11:1-27.  Not only did David commit adultery, but he also committed murder. Both of these are horrible acts and should be avoided.  But David’s response to his sin is very instructive.  In Psalm 51 he records his sorrow and understanding of sin. Sin is against God and therefore a cry to God for redemption is needed.  David asks God to help him hate his sin and to run away from it forevermore.  Read Psalm 51.


The prophet Joel called the people of Judah to repent of their sin.  This repentance is described as a tearing of one’s heart. Frequently people would tear their garments when they were sad or when disaster came upon them, but God wants them to understand their sin in the same way.  It is a tragedy and calls for great anguish. But Joel also called the people not only to recognize the seriousness of their sin but also to return to God and seek his face.  In effect, Joel is telling people to run from their sin in to the arms of their God for he is gracious and loving.  Read Joel 2:12-13.


Read 2 Corinthians 7:10.  Do you regret your choices to live a holy life?  Do you often wonder how much “fun” you are missing by being a godly believer?  You shouldn’t.  The Christian who is focused on their Lord understands that sin is disastrous and promises nothing worthwhile.  Godly sorrow and contrition will lead each and every believer on a journey or right living without regret or fear.


In God’s Kingdom there can be no sin and so the believer who has died to sin also come to life again.  They are born into a life of right living, peace and joy.  When we take great delight in following God and his ways of living we can be assured that the Spirit of God is renewing us.  Read Romans 14:17.


The Christian’s newness of life is really the result of Christ living in his or her body.  As a believer dies to sin, they also find the power of God at work in their flesh giving them new desires, new strength and a new ability to resist the temptations of the world.  They run from the sins that would have caught them at an earlier stage of life and their life begins to look more and more like the life of Christ living through them.  Read Galatians 2:20.


Read Ephesians 2:10.  God has specific tasks that he has set aside for each and every believer.  Instead of sinful acts that lead to death, he has prepared good works for his children, works that lead to life and service.  These are works that let our lights shine and which declare the glory and wonder of God.  Let us enjoy fulfilling all the good that our Lord has for us.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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