Law Preaching

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by The Lamb, Apr 10, 2005.

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  1. Rich Barcellos

    Rich Barcellos Puritan Board Freshman

    Joseph,

    You said, "Rich I am not claiming anything." In my quote of you (see below), you state three propositions or truth claims. Evertime you use the word "is" you are claiming something, at least I think so. That's why we are discussing this issue. You are making claims. I want to understand what you mean by what you say.

    I think one of the problems could be that I am seeking to understand you through traditional, Reformed, theological catagories. For my sake, could you answer the questions I posed (see below)?

    Originally posted by Rich Barcellos
    Joseph said, "The role of the Holy Spirit and Gods ministers is to constantly point us to Christ. The Law does not remind me how far short I fall. The Holy Spirit reminds me by pointing me to Christ, not the Law."

    Joseph, are you claiming that the law has no place in the process of sanctification? This, if it is the case, would be a denial of the third use of the law (i.e., the moral element of the OT law retains binding force and directing power in the life of the believer as employed by the Holy Spirit). This (i.e., third use) is pretty standard Reformed Theology. Or, are you claiming that the Holy Spirit does not use the law per above, but the gospel alone? This would be catagorized as doctrinal antinomianism, according to Jonathan F. Bayes in his work, The Weakness of the Law.
     
  2. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Huh?

    V. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;[8] and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it.[9] Neither doth Christ, in the gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.[10]

    8. Rom. 3:31; 7:25; 13:8-10; I Cor. 9:21; Gal. 5:14; Eph. 6:2-3; I John 2:3-4, 7; Rom. 3:20; 7:7-8 and I John 3:4 with Rom. 6:15
    9. Deut. 6:4-5; Exod. 20:11; Rom. 3:19; James 2:8, 10-11; Matt. 19:4-6; Gen. 17:1
    10. Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; I Cor. 9:21; Luke 16:17-18

    VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned;[11] yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly;[12] discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives;[13] so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin,[14] together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience.[15] It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin:[16] and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law.[17] The promises of it, in like manner, show them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof:[18] although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works.[19] So as, a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.[20]

    11. Rom. 6:14; 7:4; 8:1, 33; Gal. 2:16; 3:13; 4:4-5; Acts 13:38-39
    12. Rom. 7:12, 22, 25; Psa. 119:1-6; I Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:14-23
    13. Rom. 3:20; 7:7, 13
    14. James 1:23-25; Rom. 7:9, 14, 24
    15. Gal. 3:24; Rom. 7:24-25; 8:3-4
    16. James 2:11-12; Psa. 119:101, 104, 128
    17. Ezra 9:13-14; Psa. 89:30-34; Gal. 3:13
    18. Exod. 19:5-6; Deut. 5:33; Lev. 18:5; 26:1-13; Matt. 5:5; 19:17; II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 6:2-3; Psa. 19:11; 37:11
    19. Gal. 2:16; Luke 17:10
    20. Rom. 6:12-15; cf. I Peter 3:8-12 with Psa. 34:12-16; Heb. 12:28-29

    VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it;[21] the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.[22]

    21. Rom. 3:31; Gal. 3:21; Titus 2:11-14
    22. Ezek. 36:27; Heb. 8:10 with Jer. 31:33; Psa. 119:35, 47; Rom. 7:22




    Huh?

    I. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word,[1] and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intention.[2]

    1. Micah 6:8; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 13:21
    2. Matt. 15:9; Isa. 29:13; I Peter 1:18; John 16:2; Rom. 10:2; I Sam. 15:21-23; Deut. 10:12-13; Col. 2:16-17, 20-23

    II. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:[3] and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,[4] strengthen their assurance,[5] edify their brethren,[6] adorn the profession of the gospel,[7] stop the mouths of the adversaries,[8] and glorify God,[9] whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto,[10] that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.[11]

    3. James 2:18, 22
    4. Psa. 116:12-14; Col. 3:15-17; I Peter 2:9
    5. I John 2:3, 5; II Peter 1:5-10
    6. II Cor. 9:2; Matt. 5:16; I Tim. 4:12
    7. Titus 2:5, 9-12; I Tim. 6:1
    8. I Peter 2:15
    9. I Peter 2:12; Phil. 1:11; John 15:8
    10. Eph. 2:10
    11. Rom. 6:22



    Only if you sorely misunderstand Redmeption.


    Are you convicted that you are purporting bad theology on this point? If you are not convicted, then your statemnt is false.

    It is absolutely impossible to disembody God's character (the law) from God Himself. To do so is to totally overthrow theology, redemption, and the person of Christ at every point.

    I'm befuddled at your "reinvention" of the Confessions and Scripture at this point. Which of the confessions do you hold to that account for your theological view in this regard on the law?

    [Edited on 5-17-2005 by webmaster]
     
  3. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I am with Matt on this. You make absolutely no sense Joseph. How you can say that the law has no role in conviction of sin, and that the Holy Spirit somehow mysteriously and with no standard of judgment convicts of sin is beyond me. It is really simple:

    1. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin
    2. To be convicted of sin requires to have knowledge of our sin and that it is an affront to God
    3. It is an affront to God because it violates his law
    4. The law is the means that the Holy Spirit uses to convict us of sin


    Paul is VERY clear:

    Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20)

    What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (Rom. 7:7-12)
     
  4. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    We are required to do everything in the Law (except the ceremonial typical stuff).
    We never do any of it to God's specifications.
    THEREFORE, we continually need the righteousness of Christ imputed to us in order to be fit to stand before God.
    God continually imputes Christ's perfect righteousness to us.
    This, when we believe it, begins to melt our hatred for God and begins to change us from the inside out so that we want to do what God wants us to do.
    But we never do it perfectly and without sin.

    We need the Law in order to see our need for Christ, to see what He has done for us that we may praise Him for it, and to show us how He wants us to live. We can't do it, but we can approximate it more & more, but we won't unless we believe the gospel first. First we believe, then we love, then we do. We can't do first.
     
  5. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    Matt and Fred. In the original onset of this thread, it was my position that preaching the Law constantly, and putting the tables of stones in front of people was overemphasised by some Puroitans and other reformers even to the present day.

    You have gleaned from my posts that I believe the law is unholy. This is not the case. I have repeatedly said it is Holy. I do not SORELY misunderstand redemption, neither do I misunderstnad Gods Will. WHich for some reason you equate with the Law and nothing else.

    The most important terms are "under law" and "under grace." You can see Paul contrasting these in 6:14b (read). These two terms summarize two totally different ways of approaching God. In general, "under law" means that you do something for God; "under grace" means that you trust Christ to do something for you (charis). Religion instructs us to approach God under law; Christianity invites us to approach God under grace. (Religion appeals to our intuitive sense about how to approach God; grace is counter-intuitive--we have to be convinced of and get used to it.)


    You can pursue it "under law," which means you try to earn God's acceptance as a wage for your good works. Paul spends the first three chapters of Romans refuting this by showing that God's standard is so high that no one could ever attain it (3:23).

    On the other hand, you can pursue God's acceptance "under grace." This means depending not on your works for God, but on Christ's work for you--letting him earn your acceptance through his perfect life and atoning death. If you approach God in this way, he gives his acceptance to you as a free and permanent gift (3:24). (GOSPEL)

    "Under law" says you should serve God by your own moral will-power. Perhaps because you fear God will reject you if you don't, perhaps out of gratitude for his acceptance--your job is now to focus on God's commands and try as hard as you can to obey them.

    This seems obvious--but it is the wrong way! As long as we try to serve God in this way, we will never understand or benefit from serving God under grace. This is why before Paul explains how to serve under grace, he spend a whole chapter arguing why serving God under law is a blind alley.


    God has already delivered Christians from the Law (7:1-6)


    God himself has delivered us from it! Read 7:1. The principle is that death delivers us from law's authority. How many traffic cops do you see at the cemetery trying to collect unpaid tickets?

    This same principle applies to marriage (read 7:2,3). Imagine a woman who is married to a demanding husband. He is righteous, but never helps her. She is nevertheless obligated (under Jewish civil law) to remain married to him, even if she has met a wonderful, loving man. Only if her husband dies is she free to remarry the second man.

    What does this have to do with sanctification? Lots--read 7:4-6. Prior to meeting Christ, we are "married" to the Law--obligated to try to keep it by our own power. This is what Paul calls serving God "in the oldness of the letter." But God delivers us from this obligation--not by having the Law die (it is eternal as the expression of God's moral character)--but by having us die to the Law (through our identification with Christ) so that we are now "married" to him and can have his power work through us to bear fruit for God. This is what Paul calls serving "in the newness of the Spirit."

    This is radical! Paul knows some of his readers are objecting at this point (as some of us may be):"What's so bad about trying to serve God by the oldness of the letter? Why do we need to be delivered from it? Are you implying that the Law is actually evil?" Paul answers these questions in 7:7-24 by describing his own experience trying to serve God under the law. I'm sure glad he included this, because it helps me to understand some of my own deepest spiritual struggles. I wonder if you can relate to what he describes.


    Over against fluctuating cultural standards and consciences that can become seared, God's moral law provides objective, absolute moral standards that define how he has designed us to live. We can look to it for unchanging direction on our sexuality, treatment of other people's property, etc. This is a wonderful provision!

    But the Law also personally exposes sin within our own hearts. Like an MRI, it has the power to look beneath the surface and reveal more deep-seated, attitudinal sins. This is what Paul is emphasizing in 7:7. It is significant that he does not mention something external like murder or adultery or theft. As a Christian, he is pursuing the very heart of God--and he runs up against a terrible realization. His heart is full of coveting (Ex. 20:17). Coveting is an internal attitude that gives birth to the external behaviors. This prohibition is the negative counterpart to what Jesus says is the heart of God's Law--to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40).


    God's Law will expose this kind of wickedness in your heart, but it cannot fix it. In fact, if you try to fix it by yourself, you'll discover another problem . . . When I simply try to stop coveting a friend's situation, my mind becomes more focused on all that they have that I don't have--and I find more and more reasons to covet their situation! I also find that my sin-nature is remarkably adaptive; it is glad to become religious, as long as it can still in control. It will stop coveting crass things like someone's car or salary--but I will begin to covet other Christians' spiritual gifts, leadership position, the way others praise and respect them, etc. It will become much more subtle--not pouting when I don't get enough praise, but learning how to extract attention and praise from others. Merely becoming aware of it and trying to stop it is a hopeless project.



    The key lesson is 7:18. As a Christian, I have the desire to obey God's will, but I don´t have the power to do this in any deep-seated way. Instead, my desire to do God's will is always thwarted by the cleverness and power of my sin-nature. Even though my life is in many ways less overtly wicked than it was before, I realize that my sin-nature is so wily and powerful that I will never be able to defeat it. I am never going to be able to truly love God and others by my own strength.


    Read 7:24,25a. Instead of diving into sin in despair, instead of becoming superficially self-righteous, Paul acknowledges his bondage--then looks outside of himself and the Law for help from Jesus to set him free.

    we discover that he will empower us to gradually fulfill God's will for our lives through the Holy Spirit (8:4). This is serving God "under grace, in the newness of the Spirit,"



    There is a HUGE difference of living under the Law vs Living under grace for God.

    When I am living Under Grace the following occur:

    1)The underlying principles of the law describe the ultimate goal toward which God is moving me: a loving life-style

    2)I am regenerate, but I still can't keep the law, because of my "outer man." By relying on the Spirit, not the letter, I can gradually change.

    3) Depend on the Holy Spirit for all power, Motivation, and direction

    4) Know self-effort is futile Romans 7:18

    5) My duty is not to do what the rules require, but an Identification with Christ

    6) The Law goives me an External conformity, but increasing internal defeat and hypocrisy. Growing cynicism and despair OR Self-righteous externalistic comparisons, self deception


    Grace Gives me Gradual transformation into a person with a measure of victory over sin and a spiritual mind-set

    what law is written on our hearts in the new covenant? It´s the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. It´s the law that teaches us there is no condemnation between us and God. It´s the law that teaches us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. It´s the law that teaches us that God already declared us righteous, holy and without blame before him in Christ apart from our works or performance. This is all in Christ, and Paul's definition of a righteous person - not someone who still walks around with a "œsinner" mentality. In Christ we are no longer sinners, but righteous because Jesus removed the very obstacle that declared us unrighteous and sinners before God "“ THE LAW. It´s the finished work of the Cross that brought us near to God without our performance or efforts, and it´s this revelation that brings God's peace and rest to our hearts. It´s this new law of the Spirit that brings the fruit of love, joy peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control into our lives. If sin was the natural fruit of the first covenant without our help, then how much more will the fruit of the second covenant be part of our lives without our help as we embrace this new law? We cannot produce an ounce of it, it's a natural outcome of this new law.

    there is nothing quite as nauseating or pathetic as the flesh trying to be holy! The only way out of this dilemma is to understand that the law has not been an issue with God for more than two thousand years now. Believing this will save your soul from this dreadful war and your attempts to uphold two opposing covenants. God settled the matter ONCE AND FOR ALL in Christ, but it is of ourselves that we make it an issue once again, thus falling from grace and crucifying Jesus all over again. God purposed the Scriptures (law) to imprison everything and everyone under sin so that the promise could be given "” and because of the faith OF Jesus Christ "” to those who believe this truth. (Gal 3.22) We have been reconciled to God at the Cross while we were still God's enemies, and knowing this truth is what causes the life of Christ to save our souls daily from cause and effect religion (the law). (1 Cor 5:18-19)
     
  6. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Kevin,

    The one's justified WILL be sanctified. It is IMPOSSIBLE otherwise. How do we return created before the fall in knowledge, righteousness and holiness? Simple, we do not. Here is the tremendous error you are introducing in the Christians status and thought. On account of Who Christ alone bore the penalty of my/your sin AND (here's the surprise to many Roman like Evangelical Protestants) HE HAS ALREADY (IT IS FINISHED) AQUIRED ALL, ALL, THAT IS TO SAY ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THOSE WHO ARE HIS - IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED/PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. Therefore, ergo, thus, we are not returned as we were created BEFORE the fall in knowledge, righteousness and holiness - BUT on account of Christ we are legally in the position that Adam and we would have been had Adam (and mankind through Adam) obeyed and gained the reword under the covenant of works. The CoW Christ fulfilled completely as "fulfilled" denotes clearly. That is the point of Paul's comparison in Romans 5 of the two Adams and their federal relationship. In short NOTHING, I mean NOTHING is left undone for those who are in Christ Jesus.

    You must realize that you and I will NEVER be righteous and holy on our own, NEVER. That is the infused righteousness that Rome taught. You and I are imputed righteous on account of another. And thus so we now live FREELY to Christ and the Law. We love God's Law BECAUSE of Christ and in this life live to it imperfectly, confessing our sin daily as we go. You and I never have, are or will FULFILL the Law. Not even post conversion. In short you and I need Christ today, post conversion, JUST as much as we did the day He died on the cross for our sins.

    The sting of death is NOW on account of Christ removed from the Law for the Christian resting in Christ. And he/she thus lives out of gratitude, not fear of punishement/hope of reward (the opposite of faith).

    And since we cannot 'look into the divine book of life and find our names', election realized so to speak, since we don't live based upon an unfallable knowledge of each of our personal divine election - we live continually in this life by faith/trust. Thus, the Gospel must be unadultrated to cause, sustain and strengthen this same faith. Apart from which all is sin.

    ldh

    [Edited on 5-17-2005 by Larry Hughes]
     
  7. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    Joseph-

    Are you disagreeing with the third use of the law entirely, or are you disagreeing with an improper use of the third use? Answering this may help clarify and further the discussion.
     
  8. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Larry...

    And it is impossible to be sanctified without the law coming into play. Sanctification is a dying to sin. Sin is any want of conformity or transgression to the law of God. Therefore, in order to die to sin, and live to righteousness, it must needs be that we obey the law of God.

    I didn't mean fully to Adam's state. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I meant exactly what Paul means when He writes in Col. 3:10, and Eph. 4:24.

    I have introduced no error, and would heartily agree that we are definitively justified and sanctified. However, we must still be conformed to the image of His Son. This is progressive sanctification, and this may not occur apart from the law of God. It is wrought within us by Christ. We are not meriting anything. It is not a renewal to the covenant of works. As you have said, we will be sanctified if God has justified us.

    But you must see the already/not yet. We are justified, we are adopted. These are one time acts and there is nothing left to be done. However, sanctification is the work that continues. Again, we do not obey the law FOR our salvation, but BECAUSE OF our salvation. Therefore, how can we participate with the Spirit, because of His promptings, because of God's will, because of the works He has prepared beforehand that we should walk in, without the law of God? We cannot do the will of God without knowing and doing His law.

    How many times can you misunderstand me? We obey the law not FOR our salvation, but BECAUSE OF our salvation. Obedience is a byproduct. This has nothing to do with infused righteousness. Rome's idea of infused righteousness leads to one's justification. No one here is even advocating obedience to the law as one's justification. We are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed, not infused, but imputed to us. That has nothing to do with the obedience we render unto God after we have embraced Jesus Christ in the Gospel. As you have well said, we love God's law because of Christ. And therefore John has rightly said, that we love God not if we do not obey Him. We have no part in our Savior, if obedience does not flow from His grace. Obedience to what? God's law and revealed will.

    Again, you are projecting your ideas on to mine. We are not advocating a servile fear, but a humility and meekness to learn from Christ who is the same, to take His yoke upon us. HE DIDN'T TAKE US FROM THE FIELD OF PLOWING. But now we are yoked with Him so that we are free to obey the law of God and have been delivered from the prison house of works-righteousness.

    I have said nothing contrary to this. Living by faith does not give us license to sin with impunity. Therefore the people of God, just as they have always been, must be enjoined to fear the Lord and obey His commandments. Why else would Jesus give us the command to teach disciples to OBSERVE all that He has commanded?

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  9. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    J -


    Who, and where. Cite them.

    You did not answer my question on which Confession upholds your view. It looks to me (and others) that you are holding to NCT.

    Which confession upholds your view? Cite it. (Holding one of the confessions is a prerequisite for being on the board.) We don't want deviant theology propagated (new innovations trying to overthorw traditional forumulations), so we need to cut to the chase here.
     
  10. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    Improper use. The word "bind" is not entirely true under grace.
     
  11. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Kevin,

    I fear we are simply going in circles. So, I'll make it simple. I've never once said we should sin with impunity as you accused, God forbid, not once (which I'm happy to say was the same accusation leveled at Paul for his purity in the Gospel). I'm not, nor have I said we don't love and strive to do God's law BUT that both the love and power to do so comes from the Gospel, which Paul too makes abundantly clear - which is apparently contra to what your saying (hence the debate as evidence).

    So, I'll speak for myself & simply seek to serve God (which entails His Law) out of gratitude for the Gospel and by alone the power of the Gospel which FULFILLS THE LAW. I will keep my eyes fixed upon Christ alone & He alone will be my confession to death if necessary. NOBODY, NO mere man, for I fear no man at all, but God alone will change that. And I am assured of eternal life for I know in Whom I've trusted.

    Any formulation that follows in essence this law, gospel, law IS Roman catholic and is to be rejected the reformers where CRYSTAL CLEAR on this issue. For example purgatory which throws the Christian back up onto himself rather than conviction of sin by law then immediate repair by the Gospel. This distinction, not dichotomy as before noted, was essential to the Reformation as the few quotes below show.

    J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937). A new and more powerful proclamation of law is perhaps the most pressing need of the hour; men would have little difficulty with the gospel if they had only learned the lesson of the law. As it is, they are turning aside from the Christian pathway; they are turning to the village of Morality, and to the house of Mr. Legality, who is reported to be very skillful in relieving men of their burdens... 'Making Christ Master' in the life, putting into practice 'the principles of Christ' by one's own efforts-these are merely new ways of earning salvation by one's obedience to God's commands (What Is Faith?, 1925).

    Louis Berkhof (1898-1975). ...the purity and integrity of the gospel stands or falls with the absoluteness of the antithesis between the function and potency of law, one the one hand, and the function and potency of grace, on the other (Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1957], 186).

    J.C. Ryle (1816-1900). To be unable to see any difference between law and gospel, truth an error, Protestantism and Popery, the doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of man, is a sure proof that we are yet dead in heart, and need conversion. (Expository Thoughts on John, 2:198-199).

    Theodore Beza (1534-1605). We divide this Word into two principal parts or kinds: the one is called the 'Law,' the other the 'Gospel.' For all the rest can be gathered under the one or other of these two headings...Ignorance of this distinction between Law and Gospel is one of the principal sources of the abuses which corrupted and still corrupt Christianity (The Christian Faith, 1558)

    Caspar Olevian (1536-87). For this reason the distinction between law and Gospel is retained. The law does not promise freely, but under the condition that you keep it completely. And if someone should transgress it once, the law or legal covenant does not have the promise of the remission of sins. On the other hand, the Gospel promises freely the remission of sins and life, not if we keep the law, but for the sake of the Son of God, through faith (Ad Romanos Notae, 148; Geneva, 1579).

    John Calvin. I besides hold that it is without us, because we are righteous in Christ only. Let them produce evidence from Scripture, if they have any, to convince us of their doctrine. I, while I have the whole Scripture supporting me, will now be satisfied with this one reason, viz., that when mention is made of the righteousness of works, the law and the gospel place it in the perfect obedience of the law; and as that nowhere appears, they leave us no alternative but to flee to Christ alone, that we may be regarded as righteous in him, not being so in ourselves. Will they produce to us one passage which declares that begun newness of life is approved by God as righteousness either in whole or in part? But if they are devoid of authority, why may we not be permitted to repudiate the figment of partial justification which they here obtrude? (Antidote to the Council of Trent, 1547).

    John Calvin. But they observe not that in the antithesis between Legal and Gospel righteousness, which Paul elsewhere introduces, all kinds of works, with whatever name adorned, are excluded, (Galatians 3:11, 12. For he says that the righteousness of the Law consists in obtaining salvation by doing what the Law requires, but that the righteousness of faith consists in believing that Christ died and rose again, (Romans 10:5-9.) Moreover, we shall afterwards see, at the proper place, that the blessings of sanctification and justification, which we derive from Christ, are different. Hence it follows, that not even spiritual works are taken into account when the power of justifying is ascribed to faith (Institutes, 3.11.14).

    In the Sufficiency of Christ Alone,

    Larry

    [Edited on 5-17-2005 by Larry Hughes]
     
  12. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    My sincerest apologies Matthew. I am not here trying to propogate some heretical theology. I am here to discuss. I am seriously struggling with the application of thew Law according to the confessions. This by no means is me displaying any contempt for them or in fact Gods Holy Law.

    I have recently read much of Cotton Mather, Ames and a few others who appear to project a moralism, pieism that leads to nothing but distress in the believer.

    I am not convinced that NCT is entirely correct either. It is not the Law that I am dismissing, it is the traditional understanding and application that I believe is not warranted under the New Covenant.

    And Larry appears to be agreeing with this idea also, so I am not alone here. I guess I am not a full subscriptionist of any confession.

    As an aside, Someone with your education and biblical insight should also realize that perhaps God is not through revealing distinct understandings in the last 500 years. If He did it throughout history, there is no reason to doubt He will continue to do it. Or is it easier to just parrot those that have gone before us without testing what they confessed? Faith by proxy is a terrible faith. Am I to agree with everything you write Matthew? I am not asking ANYONE for their support here, I am asking that people dialogue and be led by the Spirit og the living Lord, and NOTHING else.

    One does not need to sunbscribe to EVERY jot and tittle of any confession to dialogue here do they? IF that is the case, then the numbers will dwindle.
     
  13. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Larry....

    I'll ask you again to treat with the confessions I quoted before. The words in the confession are where I am coming from. Now, you have quoted many people whom I respect, but you are still coming from the angle that to teach the law, along with the gospel goes against what these great men are saying. And you would be wrong in your assessment. Your basic presupposition is that preaching the law means that we call all men once again to the yoke of earning their salvation. That is so far from what I have been advocating. And these men would agree with me. Believe me when I say that if Machen had disagreed with Chapter 19 of the WCF, as you seem to be doing, not one of us would have followed him into the OPC. Further, you would have seen many more problems with him than his stand against liberal theologians.

    Give me your thoughts on chapter 19 from either confession, and we can start there. As it is, we're talking past each other.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  14. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Joseph...

    We're trying to get you to realize that these "truths" you've been purporting are from the Reformation, are not present in the Reformed documents we all subscribe to. And normally, if the differences are minor, the admins and moderators do not place a fence around this board. But when it comes to things touching the doctrine of the Scriptures, the doctrine of God, the doctrine of man, and the doctrine of salvation, they rightly throw up a road block to those who would undermine the clear teaching of the Scriptures and the Reformed faith.

    Now, what you've been arguing is not within the pale of the Reformation to my knowledge. And I may be wrong, I won't deny it. But where I have erred in my thinking, I am still coming back to the gloss of the confessions to steer my thoughts back onto the road. So, if you cannot agree to chapter 19 in either the WCF or the LBCF, I think this is where I should get off. And perhaps our discussion of this topic should end.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  15. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman


    I do not think it should end Kevin. I read every one of your psots with admiration and enthusiasm.

    For some reason I am under the conviction that there is a history of imporper use of the Law, and not enough of Grace. That is the crux of my struggle.

    I just keep reading in Scripture that the Old is done and we are in the New. We are not under the Law, but under grace. The letter has no life, but the Gospel does.

    WHile maintaining a proper use of the Law is extremely important, I am being led to look at this new Law written on our hearts. The Law through Christ and His cross. This by no means is an admission against what Jude wrote about turning it in a lisence to sin.

    I am making a distinction that I believe scripture warrants that the is a difference, there is an improper use of the Law vs grace.

    When Paul preached Christ alone and Him crucified, that is what motivates me, not the Law.

    [Edited on 5-17-2005 by The Lamb]
     
  16. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Joseph...

    Perhaps something that might help you, we do not understand the law to be a convenant in and of itself. We understand the law runs alongside all covenants. In other words,, when God graciously made a covenant, like the one with Abraham, the law governs that covenant. When God says to Abraham, "Walk before me and be blameless," the blameless part of that is the government of the law. The law defines how Abraham is to walk. When Paul talks about us walking circumspectly, the circumspective standard by which we look at ourselves is the law of God. What does God require of us? He requires obedience to Himself. What governs that obedience? It is the law. When Christ told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, what judged whether or not she obeyed His command? The law is the underlying standard.

    If you think of the law as old and grace as new, you need to qualify it. Just because the grace is in the new, does not mean it was absent before. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And just because the law is in the old, does not mean it was not brought over into the new. When Paul tells the Ephesians in chapter 5 what should not be named among them, what is the standard of his laundry list? It is the law that underlies all he tells the Ephesians to do (or rather, not to do.)

    If you make a line in the sand between the old and the new, and then demark law from grace, that is only partly true. The law should be running through the new, just as grace was running through the old. In the final analysis, Abraham knew the grace of God before it was actually accomplished on the cross, and not because of works, but by faith. Abraham was in the bosom of God long before the grace that put him there was fully accomplished on his behalf.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  17. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    J -


    But this is where we would depart. Jude tells us that the "faith (i.e. doctrine - the whole corpus of Christian teaching) has already been given to the church. The saints 1000 years ago were not depleted as to understanding in comparrison to the saints 500 years ago, or 5 years ago.

    I don't believe He's done anything like this through history.

    If you are referring to "penning down" what the regula fide had always been, that's one thing. But God, NEVER, at the expense of determined heremnueticall verified truth, has "undone" something previous to "redo" it "today."

    When we say "Jesus is Lord" are we parroting, or confessing?

    You must be baptististic!

    No, only when I'm right, as we would do with the Confessions which ARE what the bible teaches...

    Why is it that I've read the same and was not distressed, but believe in the three uses of the law?

    I'm glad - its not.


    This is not a "little" jot - if you reread my posts above, this is overthrowing MUCH of the Christian faith, not to mention Reformed Theology.

    Here are the board rules:

    Officially, the Puritanboard is governed by the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Standards and will acquiesce to its standards in ultimate matters of any controversies on the Puritanboard. Some of our moderators are Baptist and hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Others hold to the Three Forms of Unity. Those who desire to join the Puritanboard must embrace an historic confession.

    So if anyone has a problem with this, then the board is proabably not the place for them. Remember - these are the board rules you signed up for.

    There are "jots and tittles" that our denominations accept as "exceptions." The use of the Law is not one of them.
     
  18. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

     
  19. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    When studied in the light of God's purpose to redeem man through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, nothing in the Bible can put us into the bondage of legalism (the keeping of laws in an effort to please God). Law is not the theme of the Bible, but redemption through the grace of God.

    People are brought into the bondage of legalism when they stop studying the Word of God with the idea of redemption and salvation in mind. Many people come under bondage, not through reading the Word, but through what someone else has said "the Word says," quoting only a portion of Scripture or quoting a particular interpretation of that verse.

    The law reveals our sins, but God's grace points us to Jesus and His blood to cover and atone for our sins




    Writing to the Romans Paul rhetorically asks, "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary we establish the Law" (Rom 3:31). Those who advocate continued application of the Law are quick to affirm that "the Law is not nullified," rather "the Law is established." Paul uses the Greek word katargeo, which is here translated "nullified." At the root of this word are two other Greek words, a meaning "no," and ergeo meaning "work." Paul is asking, "Are we saying that the Law did not work, that it was a failure historically? Most definitely not. We establish that the law served God purposes. We affirm that the Law "stands" within its historic purposes and validate the Law as having fulfilled its purposes." Contextually, Paul seems to be making the point that the disengagement of the Law does not necessarily crate an antinomianism which would allow for behavioral chaos in lawlessness, as would have been the assumption of Jewish thinking.

    In Romans 7 Paul affirms the Law and its purposes in several verses. "The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good" (Rom. 7:12). "The Law is spiritual" (Rom. 7:14). "...I agree with the Law, ...that it is good" (Rom. 7:16). Obviously Paul is not equating God and the Law as some seem to do, and thus in effect deify the Law. God is good and holy and righteous. Nothing else can be said to be "good and holy and righteous, in the same sense that God is essentially good and holy and righteous. Attributes of God are not to be attributed to something else. The statement that Paul makes here in Romans 7 must mean that the Law serves a beneficial purpose that is good, holy and righteous. Contextually, Paul is making the point that the Law is not to be faulted for our sinfulness. "Is the Law sin? May it never be (Rom. 7:7). The Law is good. There is nothing wrong with the Law. It served an instrumental purpose to expose our indwelling sinfulness (7:17). The Law is "spiritual." Not that it provided the indwelling dynamic of the Spirit of Christ, but it was used by the Spirit of God to serve the purposes of God. It was used instrumentally for a spiritual purpose, so that the law-directive of God might be internalized in out spirits (Heb. 8:10; 10:16), rather than just externalized in directives for external behavioral activities.

    In Romans 8:4 Paul explains that "the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Walking by the Spirit, allowing the Spirit of Christ (8:9) to live in and through us, allows the character of God in Christ to be expressed in our behavior. This is what the Law required, but it did not provide the necessary enabling to fulfill.

    I Cor. 7:19 is another text which affirms the Law but is often used to confirm the continued application of the Law. "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God." Using the man-made categories of Law, some argue that the ceremonial Law does not matter, but what matters is keeping the commandments of the moral law. Such employment of arbitrary categories for Biblical exegesis is illegitimate. It is more contextually appropriate to recognize that Paul was combatting the legalism that was being introduced into the Corinthian congregation by false teachers in contradistinction to his gospel of grace in Jesus Christ. Why would Paul capitulate and say that we should keep some of the Law, but not all of the Law, when he notes the inconsistency of such elsewhere? (Gal. 3:10;5:3) Paul is eschewing the keeping of all law and indicating that since we are "joined in one spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ" (6:17), what really matters is allowing the divine directive of the Lord Jesus Christ to function in and through us to manifest the character of God.

    "Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be!" (Gal. 3:21) Paul is arguing that the promises given by God to Abraham (3:16) 430 years prior to the giving of the Law to Moses (3:17), have precedence over the Law. This does not mean that the Law is to be disdained or discounted as contrary or contradictory to the promises of God. The Law simply served its historical, instrumental purpose "until the seed" (Jesus Christ) should come, concerning whom the promise had been made.


    The temporality of the Law is explicitly revealed in Heb. 8:13 - "He made the first (covenant) obsolete." The writer of Hebrews explains the obsolescence of the Law by using the Greek word palaioo, meaning "to make old, antiquated, out-moded, out-dated, a thing of the past." It was growing old, decaying, falling apart, and ready to vanish, disappear, be abolished. The service of the Law "fades away" (II Cor. 3:11) and no longer has glory. God "takes away the first (covenant) in order to establish the second (covenant)" (Heb. 10:9). The old is rescinded, removed, repealed, revoked.

    An important verse for our consideration is Romans 10:4 - "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." It has already been noted that the Law was not an end in itself, but an instrumental "means to an end." That "end" is Jesus Christ. The Greek word for "end" is telos. This word can mean terminal-end, objective-end, or completion-end; terminus, objective or fulfillment. It could be argued that in Christ Jesus God intended the termination of the law being used to try to establish religious righteousness. We know, of course, that the Law continues to be misused by religionists to establish righteousness. Jesus Christ was the end-objective of the Law, the One to whom the Law was pointing in its instrumental purpose. Jesus is therefore the fulfillment and completion of the divine objective for the Law, thereby terminating the purposes thereof. The temporality of the provisional purposes of the Law were fulfilled, so that Christ is seen as the end-objective of the Law.

    The Scriptures also indicate the abolishing of the Law. Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians of Jesus Christ "abolishing...the Law of commandment in ordinances" (Eph. 2:15). Jesus idled the Law. He unemployed the Law. He "laid it off," terminated its work. He disengaged the services of the Law, discharged the Law. Its job, its purpose was abolished.

    The occasion of Christ's negating the effectual employment of the Law is revealed in Colossians 2:13,14 where Paul refers to Christ's "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us...", that on the cross. "Canceling out" translates the same word used in Heb. 7:18, "setting aside." The word was used as a legal term and meant to annul, to repeal, to revoke, to rescind. It implies that the Law was abrogated and invalidated. The behavioral requirements of the Old Testament Law were "set aside," "canceled out," made void, vacated, negated, terminated and displaced. Jesus "paid the price" and "redeemed us from the curse of the Law" (Gal. 3:13), "redeeming those who were under the law" (Gal. 4:5).

    Disassociation from the Law is also evidenced in Romans 3:21, when Paul explains that "now apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, having been witnessed to by the Law and the prophets." Jesus Christ, "the righteousness of God," has been manifested by His incarnation. This was prophetically witnessed to be the Law and the prophets, but Jesus has come without any association with the Law to bring righteousness by God's grace.



    The temporality of the Law is explicitly revealed in Heb. 8:13 - "He made the first (covenant) obsolete." The writer of Hebrews explains the obsolescence of the Law by using the Greek word palaioo, meaning "to make old, antiquated, out-moded, out-dated, a thing of the past." It was growing old, decaying, falling apart, and ready to vanish, disappear, be abolished. The service of the Law "fades away" (II Cor. 3:11) and no longer has glory. God "takes away the first (covenant) in order to establish the second (covenant)" (Heb. 10:9). The old is rescinded, removed, repealed, revoked.

    An important verse for our consideration is Romans 10:4 - "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." It has already been noted that the Law was not an end in itself, but an instrumental "means to an end." That "end" is Jesus Christ. The Greek word for "end" is telos. This word can mean terminal-end, objective-end, or completion-end; terminus, objective or fulfillment. It could be argued that in Christ Jesus God intended the termination of the law being used to try to establish religious righteousness. We know, of course, that the Law continues to be misused by religionists to establish righteousness. Jesus Christ was the end-objective of the Law, the One to whom the Law was pointing in its instrumental purpose. Jesus is therefore the fulfillment and completion of the divine objective for the Law, thereby terminating the purposes thereof. The temporality of the provisional purposes of the Law were fulfilled, so that Christ is seen as the end-objective of the Law.

    The Scriptures also indicate the abolishing of the Law. Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians of Jesus Christ "abolishing...the Law of commandment in ordinances" (Eph. 2:15). Jesus idled the Law. He unemployed the Law. He "laid it off," terminated its work. He disengaged the services of the Law, discharged the Law. Its job, its purpose was abolished.

    The occasion of Christ's negating the effectual employment of the Law is revealed in Colossians 2:13,14 where Paul refers to Christ's "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us...", that on the cross. "Canceling out" translates the same word used in Heb. 7:18, "setting aside." The word was used as a legal term and meant to annul, to repeal, to revoke, to rescind. It implies that the Law was abrogated and invalidated. The behavioral requirements of the Old Testament Law were "set aside," "canceled out," made void, vacated, negated, terminated and displaced. Jesus "paid the price" and "redeemed us from the curse of the Law" (Gal. 3:13), "redeeming those who were under the law" (Gal. 4:5).

    Disassociation from the Law is also evidenced in Romans 3:21, when Paul explains that "now apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, having been witnessed to by the Law and the prophets." Jesus Christ, "the righteousness of God," has been manifested by His incarnation. This was prophetically witnessed to be the Law and the prophets, but Jesus has come without any association with the Law to bring righteousness by God's grace.
     
  20. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Kevin,

    I agree with every word of it, so where's the disconnect? I'll repeat it again for the cheap seats and for the millionth time (hyperbole), I NEVER said the Law should not be preached in its fullness just the distinction between the two maintained and SO did the Reformers, nothing could be more clear in their thoughts. Thus, the Gospel is sweet.

    The guidance comes from the Law, but the power from the Gospel (which WCF XIX:VII states plainly). You seem to be saying the power comes from the Law. If so, then we totally disagree, so would the reformers, so does the WCF, Heidelberg, Augsburg, not to mention Scripture itself.

    ALso, Westminster Larger Catechism. Q. 73. How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God? A. Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification; but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness.

    Perhaps if you could explain what you meant by there is Gospel in the Law and Law in the Gospel - for if theologically then you run counter to the confessions, Calvin, Luther, Machen...etc. If you meant historical then I misunderstood you and could have saved a lot of electrons.

    Blessings,

    Ldh

    [Edited on 5-18-2005 by Larry Hughes]

    [Edited on 5-18-2005 by Larry Hughes]
     
  21. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Okay, y'all, this here is way too many for me! However I think that we need the Law in order to appreciate the Gospel. If the Law is not preached, many of us are so depraved that we would lose sight of our sinfulness & need for Christ. That being said, a moralistic "pull yrself up by yr bootstraps" approach, which is what happens regularly in many evangelical churches, is counter to the Gospel.

    We are not "under the Law" in the same way that the ancient Israelites were, but we still need the Law. My pastor says this is like going down a road with a ditch on either side. It may be that some Puritans appeared to be falling into the legalistic ditch sometimes, but they were probably trying to avoid the antinomian ditch. The legalistic ditch is still a ditch, though. I notice that I keep finding myself being mighty proud of my spiritual disciplines, (when they're going well), as if God should be pleased with me. I need to remember that by the works of the Law shall no man be justified, precisely because no one can keep it, least of all me!
     
  22. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    A few random thoughts:

    Jesus said if we love Him we must keep His commands. Which commands? Which laws? Grace does not pull us out from under obedience to the law, it does the opposite - grace gives us the desire and ability to obey the law.

    In fact, 1 John 2:3-6 and 5:3 tells us that to love Christ is the same as obeying Him. If you do not know the law you do not know how to love Christ.

    As for making a distinction between law and grace preaching we must remember from 2 Tim 3:16 that ALL Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in right living.

    In my experience most "Christians" who refer to the law or the Old Testament as "useless" end up in licenciousness - using grace as an excuse to sin and directly disobey the law of God.

    Pitting the law against grace is wrong and proves a severe misunderstanding of both law and grace.

    And I would find it helpful for Joseph to answer Pastor Rich Barcellos' post from earlier - I think he pinned it down succinctly. The view you are putting forth, Joseph, sounds, looks, and acts like antinomianism. And I do not say that lightly.

    Everything else aside, your view of the law as it is "developing" through this discussion is troublesome and confusing at the least and dangerous error at most. Are you denying the third use of the law or are you saying saying that the Holy Spirit uses something beside/other than the law to convict us of sin? Or are you saying both ?

    Phillip
     
  23. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    I may be wrong here and am not taking sides at this point, but it seems to me that this is exactly what Joseph has been trying to say. Grace/gospel is what gives us the desire and ability to obey the law. The law does not give us this desire or ability. I haven't read anywhere in Josephs posts where he has stated the law has no use or place in the life of a believer. I think he is just stating that the third use is correct and biblical, but there are some who misapply this third use by 1. using law to motivate instead of as a guide, or 2. by overemphasizing the law to the neglect of an equal emphasis on the gospel. The gospel motivates holy living, the law guides what that holy living should look like. The only thing the law motivates is a turning to the gospel.

    Why do I think this is what Joseph is saying? Because:



    which answers:

    Am I correct in this Joseph? If not then, I stand corrected in my willingness to help you clarify what you're trying to say and then would myself like to know just what it is you are saying.

    To which I have some diagnostic questions for you Joseph-
    Which of the following do you believe, if any:
    1.is the gospel for the soul only and bodily behavior is irrelevant?

    2.the motive and intention of love is all that God now requires, and the law is just rules that can be discarded or accepted as love sees fit?

    3.that the law is not God's direct command for believers, but only triggers the Spirit's work in us?

    4.that being obedient to the moral law is never necessary in any sense for the believer?

    5.that since we are in Christ God no longer sees sin in a believer and therefore law keeping is not important or necessary at all?

    6.that we do not need any teaching of the law at all in how to live, because the Spirit inwardly prompts us naturally to follow the law written on our hearts?

    7. that our works add to the gospel? that a focus on the law makes us obedient?

    8. that a focus on Christ/gospel makes us obedient, the law instructs as to how to be obedient?

    a short yes or no to each would be preferrable, please.

    [Edited on 5-18-2005 by RAS]

    [Edited on 5-18-2005 by RAS]
     
  24. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    Well Antinomianism says "I will Lower the Law to MY standards" OR I have license to sin all I want. I am not thinking such a monstrous thought as that. If you would read my posts it is obvious.




    I am DENYING the improper use of the Law. Christ was not set before us as an example. He is God. THis error was heretical in the early church. Christ as a moral example was a theory on the atonement and is as heretical as paying ransom to the Devil.


    LEt me use some examples.

    Witsius made the following remarks about the Ten Commandments: "all prescription of duty belongs to the law . . . [in the teaching of Christ and the apostles] there is a certain mixture of various doctrines . . . each of which ought to be reduced to their proper heads, so that the promises of grace be referred to the gospel, all injunctions of duty . . . to the law"

    in the New Covenant, my "duties" are done because of my relationship to the Gospel, not to the Law.

    "Under grace," duty flows out of union with Christ. "Under Law", my duty flows in relation to Moses.


    Samuel Bolton put it like this: "The law sends us to the Gospel that we may be justified; and the Gospel sends us to the law again to inquire what is our duty as those who are justified . . . It is a hard lesson to live above the law, and yet walk according to the law . . . to walk in the law in respect of duty, but to live above it in respect of comfort"

    Where in the WHOLE NEw Testament is this taught? NOWHERE.

    this is contrary to the N. T. teaching on sanctification. On the one hand, some say that the law promotes transgression, stirs up sin, brings death, and cannot be the means of sanctification. Yet, on the other hand, we are told that "grace is more commanding than law," "that it is a mark of spiritual infancy . . . to be under law." and that in sanctification we are left "within the law as a rule of life" This is very confusing to me to say the least.

    When Christ said, "if you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15), He did not mean, "keep all the old covenant commandments"; He meant that our attention was to be fixed on His commandments.

    In our sanctification, we are "in-law to Christ" (1 Cor. 9:210, and are enabled to "fully fulfill (anaplerosete) the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).


    If "law-preaching" is essential, as the Puritans asserted it is, why do we not find any examples of this method in Acts? Would we not expect something so allegedly crucial to be clearly revealed in apostolic preaching?


    John 16:8-11 is admittedly the most important passage concerning Holy Spirit conviction. I can see nowhere the teaching that the Spirit will take law-preaching and drive men to Christ. Was the Philippian jailor "prepared" for the imperative to "believe" by Ten Commandment preaching? Who determines when a man is "sufficiently" convicted by the law so as to be "fit" for advancing on to the gospel


    IT appears to me that some here and in the past have seperated the means of justification and sanctification. You will argue that we are not under the law for justification, and rightly so, but you will then say we are under the Law for sanctification. This is an impossibility. If we are justified by faith, so we are sanctified by faith, the just live by faith in all of their days.

    If justification does not come by law, than, to Paul, neither does sanctification: "if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law" The gospel brings justification, sanctification, and all blessings in Christ.


    Joseph
     
  25. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    RAS> You are on target brother. I tried my best to answer your questions. Some were confusing. hahahahaha

    I hope I was clear enough. My whole point of contention is the improper use of the Law that stems from the reformers and puritans. Christ is the bar now not the Law. The Law through the cross of Christ is how it should be approached.

    TO use the Law, the ten words, as part of our sanctification is error. Big error. The Gospel convicts me, the Gospel saves me. The Law brings death and a curse.

    To say the Law is gracious is error. Christ said Preach the good news. This is the Gospel not the Law of Moses. The Law says go, the Gospel says come. The Law brings burden, Christ said His burden is easy. TO diefy the Law is almost pantheistic. The Law is not God. The Law and all the prophets point to Christ.


    Joseph
     
  26. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Joseph,

    Just some clarifying questions to make sure everyone is not talking past each other...

    When you say:
    Do you view that duties were done in the OT because of trying to justify themselves through the law or out of gratitude for God being their God and taking them out of Egypt as well as looking forward to the promise of the Messiah?

    When you say:
    Do you view Moses as the lawgiver or God? Were OT saints duty keeping flowing in relation to Moses or as part of their duty to keep God's holy law?

    When you say:
    Since the OT God was the Triune God and As God gave the moral law in the OT, do we not equate the law of Christ with the same law in the OT? I'm thinking moral law here as to not get into the ceremonial and judicial discussions. But law keeping as in reference to the ten commandments and other summaries of the law. This brings up the continuity/discontinuity issue of covenant theology.
     
  27. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Joseph,

    What is your take on Psalm 119? Can a Christian today use it as a confession of his heart?
     
  28. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    The Law for for Israel only. All of Israel, not just the Remnant of elect. When one broke the Law, they were punished. The Law was for blessings and curses only. The majority of Israel were lost and unregenerate.

    When you say:
    The Law was given by God through Moses. They looked to Moses as their mediator between them and God. Their duty was to the Law then. The Law written on stones

    When you say:

    SOme do this, but Scripture does not warrant it. This blurs any distinction between the Law and Grace. Christ took the Law to a spiritual level not a fleshly level. He fullfilled it for us. IT is finished. The wrath of God does not fall on those in Christ Jesus. The Law of Christ is the new covenet prophecised in Jeremiah. THis is the one written on our hearts. Not the ten words or else it would not be NEW
     
  29. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    Of course we use the whole council of God. David is a perfect example of being in Christ. Again, I am not dismissing the Law of Moses as being unholy and of no use. IT is useful and should be taught as part of Gods word. But to use it as if it has power in it is not warranted in the NT.
     
  30. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    I found this somewhere, and I enjoy what it says


    "These commandments" spoken of in matthews Gospel, do not reflect a sub-standard, more easily attainable righteousness. Much to the contrary, the law as it is now fulfilled in Christ epitomizes the very highest righteousness, one that surpasses even that of "the scribes and the pharisees" (v.20). These men who in their day represented the very essence of holiness, had at their very best a righteousness which was inferior to that made known by Christ's authoritative interpretation of the law. Indeed, this is the very righteousness of God (v.48).


    Reformed writers often are forced by their hermeneutic to affirm what would otherwise seem unthinkable. It is not uncommon to read them say that Jesus "did not give a condensed and definitive code of morality" and "no new standard," but that He merely gave "clear exposition of old statutes."

    But all this misses Jesus' point entirely. Nowhere here is there any implication that Jesus came to merely "clarify" or more fully explain Moses' law. He did nothing of the kind. He came to "fulfill" the law, to give to it its final "filling up." His teaching is a necessary advance "filling full" that which awaited Him for precisely this purpose. In Jesus is found, indeed, a full and complete "definitive code of morality." Without Him the old law has no relevance whatever, and the "filling" which he gave it reflects and demands a degree of righteousness which Moses' law only anticipated.

    the church is not at all obliged to follow the old law in its older form. She is required to follow the law only as it comes to her through the grid of Jesus Christ, the law's Lord and Fulfiller. Nor does it belong to any hermeneutical system to dictate beforehand what part of Moses remains and what does not -- which parts are "moral" and which are not. It is Christ's, and His alone, to make such determinations.

    Matthew labors to present Christ as greater than Moses. He labors also to show the redemptive-historical eschatological transcendence which he brought about; this is an ages of advance. He labors further to emphasize the supreme authority which Christ presents. It would be most surprising if in the midst of all this Jesus merely reissued the law of Moses. The generally "flat" transition required by the Reformed hermeneutic does not fit into Matthew's scheme of things. What Matthew presents -- what Jesus presents -- is not a re-ratified old covenant law, but a fulfilled law for a new era and a new covenant people.

    Throughout, the emphasis is taken off Moses and placed on to Christ. It is the law interpreted by Him which remains binding
     
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