Friday, April 3, 2009

We can't fulfill the Law in this life

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 1-2 - The moral and ceremonial law significant as leading to Christ
Section 1 - The Mediator helps only fallen man
The sacrificial system pointed men to the Mediator, not itself.
Acts 7:44; Heb 8:5; 9:12ff; Ex 25:40.
The grace shown in the sacrificial system is fully revealed in Christ.
The nation of priests that was Israel at Sinai became the church, at the cross - 1 Peter 2:9.

Section 2 - The law contains a promise
... of Christ's fulfillment. Gla 3:24.
A single sacrifice described - Isa 53:5; Dan 9:26-27.
A different priesthood described - Psalm 110:4.
The law leads to Christ, generally.
Dan 9:24; Heb 4 & 11; Rom 10:4.
The law's righteousness is described to us in vain unless it is imputed to us freely in Christ by the Spirit of regeneration - 2 Cor 3:6, 17.

Sections 3-5 - we cannot fulfill the moral law
Section 3 - The law renders us inexcusable and drives us into despair
We would be righteousness before God if we kept the whole law - Deut 30:19
Since we don't, the law only brings curse - the promise is far off.

Section 4 - Nevertheless the promises in the law have meaning
... because their benefits can come to us by supplying a perfect obedience.

Section 5 - The fulfillment of the law is impossible for us
No one has ever done so. Concupiscence plagues us all.
Rom 7:24; Mark 12:30; Ecc 7:21; Ps 143:2.
God could give man power to be righteous, but has not.
Matt 19:25-26; 1 Cor 13:12; Rom 8:3.

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