Of the Law of God.
Chapter 19, Paragraph 7.
“Neither are the forementioned 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.”
…sin is lawlessness… (1 John 3:4)
When I think of the Law and the Gospel, I picture them on opposite sides of a spectrum. In one corner, we have Law, cold, harsh, and unyielding; in the other corner we have Gospel, warm, gracious, and forgiving. The two don’t meet without sparring. Justification does not happen by keeping the law; it is an act of grace alone by faith alone. In the initial boxing match, the Gospel always wins. Grace is greater than the sin pointed out by the Law. Yet the Law and the Grace of the Gospel, rather than mortal enemies, are great friends in the life of a believer.
God in the Grace of the Gospel, after regenerating the heart of the elect, brings the sinner back to the moral law. The Spirit, through His grace alone, enables her to freely will and do that which is good. These good works are the obedience to God’s commands. In other words, good works are obeying the law. Without obeying the law of God, the believer would still be constantly sinning, for to sin is to not obey the law. Holiness is not cancelled out by grace. It is enabled by it.
…the one who practices righteousness is righteous… (1 John 3:7)
Isn’t it interesting that we bristle when told we are to keep God’s revealed will, but we spend so much time wondering what God’s will is for our lives? It may be more fun to ponder whether I should be a doctor in a city or an artist in the country, but striving to keep those commands that God has plainly showed in His Word should be the first priority. Through the Spirit, we can obey those commands freely and cheerfully.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Questions to Consider
- Do you struggle with the idea of the Christian life as one that obeys God’s moral law? Why or why not?