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Page 236

What rich comfort is missed by God's children when they fall into sin, neglect God's means of grace, and live spiritually careless lives for a time?

After seriously sinning, David cried in Psalm 51:12, "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation," but not "restore unto me Thy salvation." Why? What difference is there between losing salvation and the comfort of it?

All God's children are to strive for spiritual growth, for moret: assurance of faith. They are to do this by seeking grace to:

    1. Faithfully use God's Word and means of grace

    2. Strive to live in loving obedience to God

    3. End in Christ and His work, rather than in themselves and their own sins and shortcomings

    4. Continually pray to God that He might increase their faith.

    Andrew's catechism teacher asked his class the following questions. Can you answer them? How do the following four paragraphs relate to the above four points?

    "What will happen to a person's health and growth if he seldom or sporadically eats? What will happen to God's children's spiritual health and growth if they seldom or sporadically use God's means of grace?"

    "On a cold winter day, when clouds move in between you and the sun, what happens to the sun's light, warmth, and comfort? When a child of God sins, God and his state of grace remain, as the sun remains in the heavens. But his sins, as clouds, produce a separation from the felt light, warmth, and comfort of his relationship with God. How will this affect his spiritual growth?"

    "What will happen to a boat whose anchor is cast within, instead of outside itself to be solidly attached to the sea floor? What will happen to Christians who only look within themselves for their hopes and grounds of salvation?"

    "Who is the Author, Performer, and Applier of saving faith? Why is prayer to God for the increasing of one's faith crucial to spiritual growth and assurance?"

Read Question and Answer 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.

    Q. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
    A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my

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