Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 2 - God the Redeemer
Chapter 8 - Explanation of the Moral Law - The 10 Commandments
Sections 1-2 - The written law a statement of the natural law
Section 1 - What are the 10 Commandments to us?
They are God's natural design/law for us written out.
We have to learn humility and abasement from the law,
being reproved for our unrighteous and our impotence to keep it.
We need the law, for our dullness and arrogance.
Section 2 - The inexorableness of the law
"God... has toward us by right the place of Father and Lord."
We only reverence Him when we prefer His will to our own.
He is always a "friend of righteousness, the foe of iniquity."
Sections 3-5 - We learn from the Law that God is our Father;
in mercy, holiness and kindness He requires obedience
Section 3 - The severity of the law has a positive goal
It shows us we don't and can't keep it; we must look elsewhere for help.
Section 4 - Promises and threats - Lev 26; Deut 28
God attaches these to the law to move us to love good and hate evil.
Our obedience is like the inadequate payment of a debt (for our sin),
and thus deserves no reward.
Section 5 - The sufficiency of the law
"Nothing is more acceptable to Him than obedience."
We always try to "acquire righteousness apart from God's Word."
Zeal for doing good outside God's law is an "intolerable profanation."