Monday, April 6, 2009

The Law, and certain ignorant persons...

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 2 - God the Redeemer

Chapter 7 - The law was given, not to restrain the folk of the old covenant under itself, but to foster hope of salvation in Christ until his coming

Sections 12-13 - [THIRD USE OF THE LAW]
Principally it admonishes believers and urges them on in well-doing

Section 12 - Even the believers have need of the law
This use "pertains more closely to the proper purpose of the law."
Even though the law is written on our hearts (Jer 31:33; Heb 10:16),
the written law still teaches and motivates us to obedience.
Ps 19:7ff; Ps 119:5, 105.
This doesn't contradict Paul on the law, "which show not what use the law serves for the regenerate, but what it can of itself confer upon man."
But with the Spirit giving promised grace, this third use applies.

Section 13 - Whoever wants to do away with the law entirely for the faithful, understands it falsely
"Certain ignoratnt persons... rashly cast out the whole of Moses."
Don't read 2 Cor 3:7 in a way that undoes Deut 32:46-47; Ps 1:2.

Sections 14-17 - The Law's so-called abrogation

Section 14 - To what extent has the law been abrogated for believers?
The law is abrogated in one sense (Rom 7:6): it doesn't bind our conscience or condemn believers.
The law continues, in another sense (Matthew 5:17-18; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

Section 15 - The law is abrogated to the extent that it no longer condemns us
The moral law itself is still required, but it no longer binds the conscience to fear death for breaking it.

Section 16 - The ceremonial law
The ritual law is abrogated differently:
not in what they were meant to do (atonement, accomplished in Christ),
but in the actual doing of the ritual sacrifices.
Col 2:17; Matt 27:51; Heb 10:1; Luke 16:16; John 1:17
Christ's death actually "sealed their force and effect."

Section 17 - "The written bond against us" is blotted out
Col 2:13-14 - this refers to the ceremonial law, attesting to our guilt.
It is removed, as our guilt is itself blotted out with Christ's atonement.

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