Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

PARA 1 – Law at Creation

1._____ God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.
Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10, 12 )

OUTLINE

  1. Ten commandments written in man’s heart at creation.
    • God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart
  2. A special command given to Adam
    • a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good
  3. All Adam’s children are perpetually bound to obey God’s law
    • by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience
  4. Reward for obedience and penalty for disobedience of God’s law
    • promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.

PARA 2- Ten Commandments given in writing at Mount Sinai

2._____ The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man.
Romans 2:14, 15; Deuteronomy 10:4 )

OUTLINE

  1. Law is the rule of righteousness even after fall.
    • The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall
  2. Ten commandments delivered in writing at Mount Sinai.
    • and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man

PARA 3 – The Ceremonial Law of Israel’s Worship

3._____ Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties, all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end abrogated and taken away.
Hebrews 10:1; Colossians 2:17; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Colossians 2:14, 16, 17; Ephesians 2:14, 16 )

OUTLINE

  1. Apart from moral law, God gave ceremonial law to Israel
    • Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws
  2. Content of Ceremonial laws are typical (types).
    • Several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties
  3. Duration and end of ceremonial laws
    • all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end abrogated and taken away.

PARA 4The Civil Law of Israel’s National Constitution

4._____ To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution; their general equity only being of moral use.
1 Corinthians 9:8-10 )

  1. The judicial (civil) laws given to Israel expired after Christ   (primarily found in Deuteronomy 12 – 25)
    • To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution
  2. Civil laws have general equity and moral value (Eg: in 1 Cor. 9:1-10, Paul applies one of the civil laws of Israel to the matter of ministerial support and compensation).
    • their general equity only being of moral use.

PARA 5 – The Abiding Nature of the Moral Law

5._____ The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, 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; neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.
Romans 13:8-10; James 2:8, 10-12; James 2:10, 11; Matthew 5:17-19; Romans 3:31 )

OUTLINE

  1. All believers and even unbelievers are bound by moral law.
    • The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, (Unbelievers are held to this standard and judged by this standard.  Though believers are justified in Christ and His perfect law-keeping is imputed to their account, evangelical law-keeping is then the portion of their growth in righteousness (imparted righteousness).
  2. Moral law is binding not only for its content, but authority of God the creator.
    • 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;
  3. Christ in Gospel doesn’t nullify the moral law, but fulfils it.
    • neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

PARA 6 – The New Covenant Believer’s Relationship to the Moral Law

6._____ Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is 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; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his obedience; it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof. The promises of it likewise shew them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as 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.
Romans 6:14; Galatians 2:16; Romans 8:1; Romans 10:4; Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7, etc; Romans 6:12-14; 1 Peter 3:8-13 )

OUTLINE

  1. We are not justified by law.
    • Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others,
  2. Six uses of moral law for believers
    1. It informs and directs us to the will of God.
      • a rule of life, , informing them of the will of God and their duty it directs and binds them to walk accordingly;
    2. It instructs us concerning the workings of sin in our hearts, so that we can turn from sin. It shows us the darkness of our hearts.
      • discovering also the sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin
    3. It illuminates us concerning our need of Christ. It shines the light on Christ and points us to Him.
      • together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his obedience
    4. It restrains us from sin because it forbids sin.
      • it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin
    5. The rigid character of the law, which is a curse upon those who do not keep it, reminds us of what our sins deserve.
      • the threatenings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof
    6. The promises of the Law remind us of God’s pleasure in obedience to His law, and the blessing that He stands to give to those who please Him and keep His covenant .
      • The promises of it likewise shew them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as 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.

PARA 7 – The Harmony of the Law and the Gospel

7._____ Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, 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.
Galatians 3:21; Ezekiel 36:27 )

OUTLINE

  1. Law is not contrary to the gospel.
    • Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel
  2. Gospel makes men to freely and cheerfully keep the law
    • but do sweetly comply with it, 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

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