Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Second London Baptist Confession

Chapter 19 - The Law of God

19.1 GOD gave Adam a law, written in his heart, that required his full obedience; also one command in particular, namely, that he must not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thereby Adam and all his posterity were bound to personal, complete, exact and perpetual obedience. God promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of the law, and endued Adam with power and ability to keep His law. Gen. 2:16,17; Eccles. 7:29; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10,12.

19.2 The same law that was first written in man's heart continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after Adam fell into sin, and was given by God upon Mount Sinai in the form of ten commandments, written in two tables. The first four commandments constitute our duty towards God and the remaining six our duty to man. The ten are known as the moral law. Deut. 10:4; Rom. 2:14,15.

Pastor’s note: The 2LBC takes the common view that the law of Moses can be divided into moral, civil, and ceremonial components. While this view is commendable for its desire to maintain the usefulness of the law, it introduces a distinction which cannot be supported biblically. The law of Moses is viewed as an indivisible whole in Scripture. The Ten Commandments cannot be separated out as the only "moral" part. It is better to see the entire Mosaic law as a concrete application of the eternal moral law for that time and place in history. The law of Moses has now been set aside in its entirety (Rom 6:14, 15; 7:4, 6; 10:4; 1 Cor 9:20; Gal 2:16-20; 3:19, 24-25; 5:1, 15; Eph 2:15; Col 2:14). We live under a different covenant with a different legal code. Yet the entire law of Moses still functions for us a something of a precedent. It shows us how God's moral law was applied at that time and place, and thus it gives us perspective for how God's moral law can apply in our day and age, taking into account the relevant differences that obtain because of the coming of Christ. The law of Moses pointed to Christ, and Christ fulfilled the law (Matt 5:17). Therefore, whatever applications we may derive from the law of Moses must be seen from the perspective of Christ.

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