THE LAW OF GOD
A. God gave Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart , Gn. 1:27; Ec 7:29.; Ro. 2: 12a, 14,15.
B. And a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil: Gn. 2: 16, 17.
C. Therefore he forced him and all his posterity to complete, accurate , and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfillment of his law, and threatened with death by his offense; and also he gave him power and ability to keep: Gn. 2: 16,17; Ro. 10: 5; Gal. 3: 10,12.
A. The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the Fall: For the Fourth Commandment, Gn. 2. 3; Ex . 16; Gn. 7: 4; 8: 10.12; for the Fifth Commandment, Gn. 37:10; for the Sixth Commandment, Gn. 4: 3-15; for the Seventh Commandment, Gn.12:17; for the Eighth Commandment, Gn. 31:30; 44: 8; for the Ninth Commandment, Gn. 27:12; for the Tenth Commandment, Gn. 6: 2; 13: 10.11.
B. And it was given by God on Mount Sinai: Ro. 2: 12a, 14,15.
C. In ten commandments, and written in two tables; the first four commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six, our duty towards men: Ex . 32: 15,16; 34: 4.28; Dt . 10: 4.
A. Besides this law, commonly called moral law, it pleased God to give the people of Israel ceremonial laws containing several typical ordinances; partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his virtues, actions, sufferings , and benefits: I have 10: 1; Col. 2:16, 17.
B. and partly proposing various instructions of moral duties: 1 Cor 5: 7; 2 Cor 6:17; Jud. 2. 3.
C. All those ceremonial laws, having been prescribed only until the time of his reform, when they were abrogated and taken away by Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and only legislator who was invested with power by the Father for this purpose: Col. 2: 14, 16,17; Eph. 2: 14-16.
A. God also gave the Israelites various civil laws, which ended when he finished that town as a state, not being now mandatory for anyone under that institution: .lc. 21: 20-24; Acts. 6:13, 14; I 9:18 19cons 8: 7, 13; 9:10; 10: 1.
B. Being only its principles of equity used today: 1 Cor 5: 1; 9: 8-10
A. The moral law requires forever to all, as well justified as others, to the obedience: Mt. 19: 16-22; Ro. 2: 14-15; 3: 19-20; 6:14; 7: 6; 8: 3; 1 Tim. 1: 8-11; Ro. 13: 8-10; 1 Cor 7:19 with Gal. 5: 6; 6:15; Eph. 4: 25-6: 4; Stg. 2: 11-12.
B. And this not only in regard to its content, but also regarding the authority of God, the Creator, who gave it : Stg. 2: 10-11.
C. Neither Christ in the gospel, in no way cancels this obligation but strengthens considerably: Matthew 5: 17-19; Ro. 3:31; 1 Cor 9:21; Stg. 2: 8.
A. Although true believers are not under the law as a covenant of works , to be thereby justified or condemned: Acts. 13:39; Ro. 6:14; 8: 1; 10: 4; Gal. 2:16; 4: 4, 5.
B: But it is useful for them and for others, as a rule of life that informs them of the will of God and their duties, directs them and forced to walk in conformity with it: Ro. 7:12, 22, 25; Psalm 119: 4-6; 1 Cor 7:19.
C. We also reveals the sinful pollution of their natures, hearts and lives; so that, when examined in the light of it, they can reach a deeper conviction of sin, humiliation for, and hatred against him; along with a clearer view of the need of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience: Rom. 3:20; 7: 7, 9, 14, 24; 8: 3; Stg.1: 23-25.
D. also is the moral law to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and threats serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions can wait for them in this life, even if they are free from the curse and the sheer extent of the law: Stg. 2:11; Psalm 119: 101, 104.128.
E. also promises manifest regenerated obedience that God approves and what blessings they may expect compliance with it are: Eph. 6: 2, 3; Ps 37:11; Matthew 5: 6; Psalm 19:11.
F. While not as if they are due by law as a covenant of works: Lc. 17:10.
G. So if someone does good and refrains from evil because the law commanded prohibited one and the other, not because it shows that is under the law and not under grace: See book Proverbs; Matthew 3: 7;Lk. 13: 3.5; Acts. 2:40; I 11:26; 1 Peter 3: 8-13.
A. The uses of the aforementioned law are not contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; For the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do freely and cheerfully which requires the will of God revealed in the law, Gal. 3:21; Jer. 31:33; Ez. 36:27; Ro. 8: 4; Tit. 2:14.
God governs the universe by law. Nature itself operates under his providential government. The so-called laws of nature are simple descriptions of the normal way that God has to order his universe. These "laws" are expressions of their sovereign will.
God is not accountable to any law outside himself. There are no independent cosmic rules obliging to obey God. On the contrary, God is his own law. This means that God acts according to his own moral character. No character is not only morally perfect, but is the gold standard of perfection. His actions are perfect because their nature is perfect, and He always acts according to its nature. Therefore, God is never arbitrary, capricious or whimsical. He always does what is right.
As creatures of God, we are also required to do what is right. God requires us to live a life according to his moral law, which has revealed in the Bible. God's law is the standard of justice and the supreme standard for judging good and evil. God has the authority to impose obligations to demand our obedience, and require the commitment of our consciences, because He is our sovereign.
It also has the power and the right to punish disobedience when we violate the law. (Sin can be defined as disobedience to God's law.)
Some laws of the Bible are directly based on the character of God. These laws reflect transcultural and permanent elements of relationships, both divine and human.
Other laws were due to temporary conditions of society. This means that some laws are absolute and eternal, while others may be overruled by God for historical reasons, as the ceremonial laws and diet Israel. Only God can abolish such laws. Humans never have the authority to abolish the law of God.
We are not autonomous. That is, we are not allowed to live according to our own law. The moral condition of mankind is to heteronomy: we live under the law of another. The specific form of heteronomy under which we live is theonomy, or the law of God.
1. God governs the universe by law. Gravity is an example of God's laws and nature. The law moral of God is in the Ten Commandments.
2. God has the authority to impose obligations on his creatures.
3. God acts according to the law of his own character.
4. God reveals his law moral to our consciences and in Scripture.
5. Only God has the authority to abolish its laws.
In English there is a little poem that constitutes the theme song of antinomianism. Says: "Free the law, blessed condition, can sin all I want, just have remission."
Antinomianism literally means "anti-legalism." Negates and gives less than the importance of the law of God in the believer's life role. It is the counterpart of its twin heresy, legalism.
The anti-nomian acquire this nuisance by law in various ways. Some believe they are no longer required to keep the moral law of God because Jesus has freed them from this obligation.
They insist that grace not only frees us from the curse of the law of God but frees us from any obligation to obey God's law. Grace then becomes a license to disobey.
What is surprising is that these people hold this view despite Paul's vigorous teaching against it.
Paul, more than any other New Testament writer highlighted the differences between law and grace. He gloried in the New Covenant. However, it was also the most explicit about its condemnation of antinomianism. In Romans 3:31 he writes: "Do we then by faith nullify the law in any way, we establish the law?".
Martin Luther, expressing the doctrine of justification by faith, was charged with antinomianism.However, along with Santiago he said that "faith without works is dead." Luther argued with his student John Agricultural on this point. Agricultural denied that the law had any purpose in the believer's life. He even denied that the law served to prepare the sinner for grace.
Luther responded to Agricola with his work Against Antinomianism in 1539. Agricultural then recanted his teachings antinominianas, but the debate continued.
Subsequent Lutheran theologians confirmed the view of Luther on the law. In the Formula of Concord (1577), the last of the classical Lutheran statements of faith, determined three uses for the law:
(1) The reveal sin;
(2) The rules establish general decency to society as a whole; Y:
(3) Providing a rule of life for those who have been regenerated through faith in Christ.
The main error of antinomianism is confusing justification with sanctification. We are justified by faith alone, without the intervention of the works. However, all believers should grow in faith by keeping the holy commandments of God, not to win God's favor, but in gratitude for the grace that has been given by the work of Christ.
It is a grave error to assume that the Old Testament was a covenant of law and the New Testament is a covenant of grace. The Old Testament is a monumental testament to the amazing grace of God to his people. Similarly, the New Testament is literally filled with commandments.
We are not saved by the law, but we must show our love for Christ by obeying his commandments. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) Jesus said.
We often hear this statement: "Christianity is not a lot of rules, to do this, this and that and not to do this, this and that". There is some truth in this conclusion, since Christianity is much more than a mere collection of rules. It is a personal relationship with Christ himself.
However, Christianity also is nothing less than rules. The New Testament includes several things to do and others not to do. Christianity is not a religion that sanctions the idea that everyone has the right to do what feels good. By contrast, Christianity never gives anyone the "right" to do what is wrong.
1. Antinomianism is the heresy that says Christians are under no obligation to obey God's laws.
2. The law reveals sin, it is a foundation for decency in society, and is a guide for Christian life.
3. Antinomianism confuses justification and sanctification.
4. The law and grace are found in both the Old and the New Testament.
5. Though obeying God's law is not a meritorious cause of our justification, it is expected that a righteous person seek earnestly to obey the commandments of God.
PASSAGES BIBLICAL REFLECTION
John 14:15, Romans 3: 27-31, Romans 6: 1-2, 1 John 2: 3-6, 1 John 5: 1-3.
Every Christian should be discussed with the question: How Old Testament law applies to my life? Does the Old Testament law is irrelevant to the Christian or in some sense there are still portions of it that force me? The need to answer this question becomes more pressing and urgent as the heresy of antinomianism extends our culture.
The Reformation was founded on grace and not above the law. However, the reformers did not repudiate the law of God. John Calvin, for example, wrote what is known as "the triple function of law" to show the importance of the law in the Christian life.
The first purpose of the law to be a mirror. On the one hand, the law of God reflects God's perfect justice.The law tells us a lot about who God is. But even more important than this, the law also illumines human sinfulness. Augustine wrote: "The law instructs us that after trying to do what has been ordered, and so feeling our weakness under the law, may learn to implore the help of grace.
The law highlights our weakness to seek strength in Christ. The law acts as a severe teacher who leads us to Christ. This is the saving grace that makes you recognize that the sinner can not save himself.
The second purpose of the laws keep us from evil. The law, itself, can not change human hearts. You can, however, serve to protect the righteous from the unrighteous. Calvin said that this purpose is convenient "for those who do not appreciate at all what was right and fair, unless they are bound, are required at least for the accusations of the law and fear of penalties.
The law allows for some extent a degree of justice on this earth, until the final judgment is carried out.
The third purpose of the laws reveal what pleases God. As born - again children of God, the law enlightens our minds about what pleases our Father, whom we seek to serve.
The Christian delights in the law in the same way that God delights in it. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). This is the highest function of the law as an instrument to serve the people of God can honor and glorify.
By studying the law of God and meditate on it, we are attending school of justice. We learn what pleases God and what offends you. The moral law that God revealed in Scripture commits us. We have been redeemed from the curse of the law of God, but not our duty to obey it.
We have been justified, not because we have obeyed the law, but so that we can be obedient to God's law. To love Christ is to keep His commandments. To love God is to obey His law.
1. The church today has been invaded by antinomianism, which weakens, rejects and distorts the law of God.
2. The law of God is a mirror of God's holiness and our unrighteousness. It serves to reveal our need for a Savior.
3. The law of God is a deterrent against sin.
4. The law of God reveals what pleases God and what is offensive.
5. The Christian must love God's law and obey the moral law of God.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
Psalm 19: 7-11, Psalm 119: 9-16, Romans 7: 7-25, Romans 8: 3-4, 1 Corinthians 7:19, Galatians 3:24.
Legalism is the opposite heresy of antinomianism. While antinomianism denies the importance of the law, legalism exalts the law above grace. Legalists in Jesus' day were the Pharisees, and Jesus his most severe criticism was reserved for them. The fundamental distortion of legalism is the belief that a person can earn his place in the kingdom of heaven.
The Pharisees believed that because of his position as children of Abraham, and in strict compliance with the law, were children of God. In fact, this was a denial of the gospel.
A corollary article of legalism is adhering to the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. For the Pharisees could believe they could enforce the law, they had to first reduce it to its narrowest interpretation and rude. The story of the rich young man is an illustration of this point. The rich young man asked Jesus how he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to "keep the commandments". The rich young man believed that he had kept all. But then Jesus revealed what the "god" who had served before serving the true God their "god" were his riches. "Go, sell what you have, and dala poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Matthew 19:21). The rich young ruler was saddened.
The Pharisees were guilty of another form of legalism. He had added their own laws to God's law. Their "traditions" had been elevated to the same level as the law of God. They had robbed people of their freedom and had chained, where God had liberated. This type of legalism did not end with the Pharisees. It has also plagued the church throughout their generations.
Legalism often arises as antinomianism excessive reaction. To ensure we do not slip into the moral laxity of antinomianism, we tend to make more stringent than God himself has imposed rules. When this occurs, legalism introduces a tyranny over the people of God.
Similarly, various forms of antinomianism often arise as excessive reaction to legalism. Their battle cry is usually that of freedom from oppression. It is the moral quest for freedom has bolted. Christians, when they defend their freedom, be careful not to confuse liberty with license.
Another form of legalism is to focus on the least important. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for having neglected the weightier matters of the law while scrupulously obeyed the less important matters (Matthew 23: 23-24).
This trend continues to be a constant threat to the church. We tend to exalt a supreme level of piety have any virtue and downplaying any of our vices. For example, I can consider that it is of great spirituality the not dance, while I consider my lewdness a small matter.
The only antidote to legalism and antinomianism is the diligent study of the Word of God. Only then can we properly instruct us what pleases him and what displeases God.
1. Legalism distorts the law of God in the opposite direction antinomianism.
2. Legalism elevates human traditions at the same level as divine law.
3. Legalism commits the people of God where God - given freedom.
4. Legalism gives value to the least important, and detracts from what matters most.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
Matthew 15: 1-20, Matthew 23: 22-29, Acts 15: 1-29, Romans 3: 19-26, Galatians 3: 10-14.