Tuesday, December 9, 2008
What is Required?
"Q. 160 - What is required of those that hear the word preached?
A. It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they...
1. ...attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer. Do you spend time in prayer prior to church, asking the Lord to help you be fight distraction and be attentive? Do you set the distractions, cares, and anxieties of the world aside for these moments of teaching? Are you disciplined in getting the rest and nutrition your body needs so that your mind is able to focus? Do you listen eagerly and humbly to the Words of God being taught?
2. ...examine what they hear by the Scriptures. Do you keep constantly in your mind that the words before you are our God's words to us, as if it were a letter from Him? Do you consider the message of the preacher and recall to mind or search for related verses to help you gain even better understanding and Biblical discernment? Do you continue investigating after church?
3. ...receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the word of God. Do you treat God's words to us as precious eternal and absolute truths, or do you treat it as if it is any other book? Do you spend your time in God's word trying to fit/allow for your current situation, or do you humbly feed upon God's word, willing for your sin to be exposed and dealt with accordingly? Do you seek to find Christ in every page, or do you carelessly skip through the "boring parts"?
4. ...meditate, and confer of it. Do you spend time frequently thinking back to God's word and its given application, and seek to apply it in every area of your life? Do you spend time discussing what you have learned with others? Do you seek further help if you are uncertain in some areas?
5. ...hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives." Do you daily strive to live and walk in obedience to Scripture? Do you continually seek its guidance for your every step? Do you make God's law your delight?
...question/answer taken from the Larger Catechism of the Westminster Assembly. italicized comments mine.