It is a wonderful season! Fall is here and once more we have begun our studies. We have begun our school work receiving our instruction in grade schools, in high schools, or in colleges. Also, the most important part of instruction has resumed. Catechism classes have started. This season of study is wonderful for God’s covenant youth. It is wonderful because in this season the covenant youth grows in knowledge.
The knowledge that I speak of is not the “knowledge’’ of the world. Natural man is busy in the field of education, too. However, he gains no true knowledge. He has only the vain philosophy of his own making. And this is no knowledge at all. Natural man’s motive for study is self- centered. He desires to study in order to improve this world as a place to live. He strives to learn, so that he can occupy a place of honor and distinction in the midst of his fellow man. The question he tries to answer is; what can I conquer next? Scripture presents the true picture of natural man’s learning. In Romans 1:22-25, we read: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” The season of study is a damning season for the natural man. They are given up to the lusts of their hearts.
How does the covenant youth’s study differ from the world’s study? First, creation and history is much more than a story of what man has done and discovered. History is the revelation of God. To study history is to see God more clearly and to understand His counsel more fully. All of our studies in school concern some aspect of God’s creation or creatures. Therefore, the covenant youth studies God’s creation and creatures and their history, in order to know God. Through all of our instruction we come to know God as our God in Jesus Christ.
Secondly, as covenant youth, our motive for study differs from the world’s self-centered motive. Our studies lead to the knowledge of the One we love. Thus, our motive is the love of God instead of the love of man. There is an example of this motive that has been used before. It is the example of a girl’s search for knowledge concerning her boyfriend. If a girl loves a boy she wants to know, as much as possible, about him. If one asked her why she wants this knowledge, she will answer, I want to know him because I love him. She needs no other motive. This girl’s love is but a weak picture of that great love we have for God. We love God, that is why we say this is a wonderful season.
Covenant youth, if the love of God fills our hearts, we want to know Him. Some of the messages of God are found in trees, some are found in animals, and some are found in the sea or sky. God’s message to us is found in the history of the world. Jehovah reveals Himself to us in all things about us. This we study in our schools. And this study must be grounded in the Scriptures, for God’s revelation is principally there. In the Bible, God makes Himself known through His Word. God’s Word tells us of His Promise and of how He gathers His people. As covenant youth we hear this word in our catechism classes. There we receive the official, authoritative instruction of the church in the truth. In catechism we learn to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. This is our basic and most important study.
It is a wonderful season! Who else but God’s covenant youth in the Protestant Reformed Churches have the opportunity to know God as we do? God graciously gives us this opportunity to know Him. And we read that the knowledge of Cod and His Son is life eternal (John 17:3). Therefore, with thankful hearts pray for grace to be diligent in all of your studies, in which, you are blessed!