I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Friday, June 7, 2013

Enjoy Kevin DeYoung's "A Conversation About the Law," His Chat with the Westminster Confession and the Christian's Relation to the Law

There are few theological issues more important and more difficult than the relationship of the Christian to the law. In recent years in particular there have been a lot of conversations and controversies about the proper use of the law in the believer’s progressive sanctification. We all know we are justified by faith apart from works of the law, but what is the place for obedience to the law after we are justified?

One explanation—and the best succinct one I know of—comes from Chapter XIX of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF). For Reformed Christians in general, this ought to summarize what we believe. For Presbyterian office bearers in particular, this is what you swear to uphold. For Christians at large, there are plenty of Bible references in the WCF so you can see for yourself if these things are so.
I’ll ask the questions, and let Chapter XIX give the answers. Whenever the text is in italics that means I’m quoting directly from the Confession.
Me: Hey, thanks for being willing to meet with me WCF. I know you are busy and very old, so I’ll try not to take up too much of your time. I just have a few questions about the law. For starters, where did the law come from? Was it just added after the fall?

WCF: God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, 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.

Me: Kind of wordy, WCF, but I think I get it. God gave Adam the law from the very beginning, even before sin entered the world.

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