devotional

23DEC
2019

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 169

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

 

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.

 

NEXT-

 

Chapter 19. “Of the Law of God.” Paragraph 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.”

 

We should in no way lessen the power of the Law of God in our lives as New Covenant believers. The Ten Commandments have a prominent place in every great Reformed confession for a reason. God’s law convicts the believer, guides the believer and reminds the believer of the Gospel in at least two ways by 1) forever clarifying what sin is, and 2) by showing us what it looks like to love God and our neighbors as ourselves.

The Moral Law (The Ten Commandments AKA The Decalogue) reflect God’s own eternal and pure character in a uniquely special way even in holy Scripture. The Ten Commandments were delivered at first not through an inspired messenger, but “…written by the finger of God” according to Exodus 31:18. This doesn’t make any other Bible passage less inspired, but aside from “MENĒ, MENĒ, TEKĒL, UPHARSIN” in Daniel 5, these are the only words seen as such, and they obviously have a larger impact and further intended scope than that message specific to Belshazzar and his folk. The commandments of God endure. Even today. We are not to be against the Law. In fact, if we’re preaching Christ, Paul said, “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” Romans 3:31. The Law establishes the Gospel and the Gospel the Law.

“…the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:24-25. True of Israel, true of me.

What is to be praised is that through the Cross we are no longer liable to the just punishment our sins deserved by the Law. Jesus became liable for the elect. By faith, we’ve been delivered from the jurisdiction of the Law that rightly called for our condemnation. The old man that it called for, however, was crucified. His sin debt legally written off by the baptism his faith later attested by water. The new man subsequently raised up is literally debtless at the judgement by the Cross. John 5:24. It’s in this way that we can begin to see how it is that the believer in Jesus is, “…not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14.

It’s in this balance that the Law finds its eternal place in the faith of those no longer subject to its condemnation. Jesus loved the Law. Jesus honored the Law. Jesus died for the honor of the Law. Jesus magnified the Law. Of all of the Tanakh, and the Moral Law itself as a foundational/constituent part of it, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17. No one ever held a higher view of it than Jesus.

Praise God that in Jesus, that which was once our condemnation is now the chorus to grace. The Law fixes itself on the bleachers behind the Cross of the redeemed and reminds the believer of the depth of his justification upon each consideration of it. See, it’s one thing to imagine oneself guilty according to family tradition, another according to neighborhood association, another according to school rules, another according to state law, another according to federal law, and another altogether highest according to God’s Moral Law. When I see the sentinel witness of the Law in my sin (1 John 3:4) I am humbled far beyond any small view of sin. Sin becomes emblazoned on stone there in my fleshly heart. It stands alone, but stands alone by its authority- almighty God. My own conscience bears witness. Jesus said of a forgiven woman to a not forgiven man: “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47. We preach the Law to help men love much! The Law shouts condemnation to those under it and sings the praises of unmerited grace to those no longer so. And how blessed are you who believe it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.