Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Ever Heard of “The Triple Knowledge?

Eph 2:1-6 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins (2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— (3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— (6) and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

If you, like myself, were not raised in a Reformed church, you probably haven’t heard of “The Triple Knowledge.” There is a three volume commentary on that topic written by Pastor Herman Hoeksema.

The Triple Knowledge comes from the second question of the Heidelberg Catechism (written in the mid 1500’s in Germany) which reads this way:

2. Q. What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort? A. First, how great my sins and misery are;[1] second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery;[2] third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.[3]

The Triple Knowledge, you see. Now, many of you have gone through much suffering or are still suffering. Your life has not gone according to the script which you planned. Well, when distilled right down to it, when all the dross has been burned away, the ONLY thing that matters to us in this present life is The Triple Knowledge. The first question of the catechism goes like this –

1. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?                                                                  

A. That I am not my own,[1] but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death,[2] to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.[3] He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil.[5] He also preserves me in such a way[6] that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head;[7] indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.[8] Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life[9] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.[10]

If you have been listening to the mid-week Ephesians Bible study I am teaching online (all the videos are posted on our youtube channel (Light for Dark Times), but if you have been following these, you know that we have been considering those first three verses of chapter 2 which begin – “And you were dead in trespasses and sins…”. The first of the three says that we must come to see how great our sin and misery are. This is the first step in attaining the comfort which only Christ can give.

You were dead in trespasses and sins. DEAD. You were in bondage to Satan. You were hostile to God. Divine justice declared you condemned, and in fact you deserved hell. The ONLY reason any of us are freed from Satan’s tyranny and that we are now alive to God, is that God had mercy on us.

I am sure that a common tactic of Satan to distract us from seeing what we were in sin and and haters of God before His Spirit regenerated us, is to get us to focus upon our sufferings in this present world. But even if we could somehow remedy every single one of the pains that come our way, get free from all our oppressors, unless we come to know how great our sin is, and how great a Savior Jesus Christ is, and how we owe God every ounce of gratitude we can find in us, then we have lost everything. We would still be empty and worse than empty.

Here is the fountain of true joy no matter how hard my circumstances are – that I know Jesus Christ as my Savior, that I know the depths of my sin and how great His mercy was to me in saving me, and that from my heart’s depths I offer Him my thanks and praise daily. The rest won’t matter at all on that Day when we see Him face to face.


No Wonder the Lord Calls the Wicked ‘Fools’


Beware the Traditions of Men


  1. Carol Tycholes

    Amen Brother.

  2. Sarah

    Thank you, Pastor

  3. Beth

    Thank you for the food, and my meditation for the day! It led my mind to the 1st chapter of Peter’s second letter, and how important it was to him to keep repeating those things, and summing up their importance in verses 9-11.
    “Savior like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tender care.”

  4. Noka

    The reformed confessions and catechisms are so beautiful!

    I been thinking about this lately, that at the end of the day, we will lose nothing. We will be rewarded and compensated for everything done to us here beyond anything we can imagine and God Himself will make up for everything. We have so much to look forward to in the future!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *