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The Law-Gospel Contrast

February 24, 2014 3 comments

by Tom Hicks

I submit that we need a clear understanding of the law/gospel contrast, if we want to be healthy in our preaching, churches, families, and individual sanctification. The law/gospel distinction is often misunderstood or overlooked, but it is thoroughly biblical and vital. Consider three different places in Scripture that teach the law/gospel contrast:

Galatians 4:22-26 says, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.”

These verses contrast the two covenants of law and gospel, which are typologically revealed in Hagar and Sarah. The law covenant is a covenant of slavery to guilt and condemnation. The gospel covenant is a covenant of freedom to life and justification.

 

Read the entire article here.

We must obey scripture concerning salvation

September 2, 2013 Leave a comment

CharlesSpurgeonII. Now, in the second place, a little CONCERNING BAPTISM: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”

Please observe that I did not make the text. Perhaps, if I had made it, I should have left out that piece about baptism; but I have had no hand in making the Bible, I am obliged to take God’s Word as I find it, and here I read these words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” “Do not dwell on the baptism,” says one; “leave that out.” That is what you say, my dear Sir; I cannot see your face, but I do not believe that you are my master. My Master is the Lord who taught holy men to write this Book, and I can only go by the Book; the Book has the baptism in it, so I must stick to the truth as it is in the Book: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-Baptism Essential to Obedience-Metropolitan Tabernacle-Lord’s Evening-Oct. 13, 1889

 

Confession statement 4

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

IV IN the beginning God made all things very good; created man after His own Image, filled with all meet perfection of nature, and free from all sin; but long he abode not in this honor; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to seduce first Eve, then by her seducing Adam; who without any compulsion, in eating the forbidden fruit, transgressed the command of God, and fell, whereby death came upon all his posterity; who now are conceived in sin, and by nature the children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and other miseries in this world, and for ever, unless the Lord Jesus Christ set them free.

Gen.1:1; Col.1:16; lsa.45:12; 1 Cor.15:45,46; Eccles.7:29; Gen.3:1,4,5; 2 Cor.11:3; 1 Tim.2:14; Ga1.3:22; Rom.5:12,18,19,6:22; Eph.2:3.

The First London Baptist Confession of 1644/1646

Chapter XXII : Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

1. The light of Nature shews that there is a God, who hath Lordship, and Sovereignty over all; is just, good, and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the Heart, and all the Soul, (a) and with all the Might. But the acceptable way of Worshipping the true God, is (b) instituted by himself; and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be Worshipped according to the imaginations, and devices of Men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or (c) any other way, not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

a Jer. 10.7. Mar. 12.33.

b Deut. 12 32.

c Exo 20.4,5,6.

2. Religious Worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him (d) alone; not to Angels, Saints, or any other (e) Creatures; and since the fall, not without a (f) Mediator, nor in the Mediation of any other but (g) Christ alone.

d Mat. 4.9,10. Joh 6.23. Mat. 28.19.

e Rom. 1.25. Col. 2.18. Revel. 19.10.

f Joh. 14.6.

g 1 Tim. 2.5.

3. Prayer with thanksgiving, being one special part of natural worship, is by God required of (h) all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the (i) Name of the Son, by the help (k) of the Spirit, according to (l) his Will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a (m) known tongue.

h Psal. 95 1-7. Psal. 65.2.

i Joh. 14.13,14.

k Rom. 8.26.

l 1 Joh. 5.14.

m 1 Cor. 14.16,17.

4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, (n) or that shall live hereafter; but not (o) for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned (p) the sin unto death.

n 1 Tim. 2.1,2. 2 Sam. 7.29.

o 2 Sam. 12.21,22.23.

p 1 Joh. 5.16.

5. The (q) reading of the Scriptures, Preaching, and (r) hearing the word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs, singing with grace in our Hearts to (s) the Lord; as also the Administration (t) of Baptism, and (u) the Lords Supper are all parts of Religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover solemn humiliation (x) with fastings; and thanksgiving upon (y) special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.

q 1 Tim. 4.13.

r 2 Tim. 4.2. Luk. 8.18.

Col. 3.16. Eph. 5.19

t Mat. 28, 19,20.

u 1 Cor. 11 26.

x Esth. 4.16. Joel. 2.12

y Exo. 15.1. &c. Ps. 107.

6. Neither Prayer, nor any other part of Religious worship, is now under the Gospel tied unto, or made more acceptable by, any place in which it is (z) performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped every where in Spirit, and in truth; as in (a) private families (b) daily, and (c) in secret each one by himself, so more solemnly in the publick Assemblies, which are not carelessely, nor wilfuly, to be (d) neglected, or forsaken, when God by his word, or providence calleth thereunto.

z Joh. 4.21. Mal. 1.11. 1 Tim 2.8.

a Act. 10.2.

b Mat. 6.11. Ps. 55.17.

c Mat. 6.6

d Heb. 10.25. Act. 2.42.

7. As it is of the Law of nature, that in general a proportion of time by Gods appointment, be set a part for the Worship of God; so by his Word in a positive-moral, and perpetual Commandement, binding all men, in all Ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a (e) Sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the World to the Resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week (f) which is called the Lords day; and is to be continued to the end of the World, as the Christian Sabbath; the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

e Exo. 20.8.

f 1 Cor. 16.1,2. Act. 20.7. Rev. 1.10.

8. The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy (g) rest all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employment, and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the publick and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties (h) of necessity and mercy.

g Isa. 58.13. Neh 13.15-23.

h Mat. 12.1-13.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Chapter XIX : Of the Law of God

1. God gave to Adam a Law of universal obedience, (a) written in his Heart, and a particular precept of not eating the Fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; by which he bound him, and all his posterity to personal entire exact and perpetual (b) obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and (c) threatned death upon the breach of it; and indued him with power and ability to keep it.

a Gen. 1.27. Eccl. 7.29.

b Rom. 10 5.

c Gal. 3.10.12.

2. The same Law that was first written in the heart of man, (d) continued to be a perfect rule of Righteousness after the fall; & was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in (e) Ten Commandments and written in two Tables; the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man.

d Rom. 2.14,15.

e Deut. 10.4.

3. Besides this Law commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel Ceremonial Laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, (f) prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions (g) of moral duties, all which Ceremonial Laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only Law-giver who was furnished with power from the Father, for that end, (h) abrogated and taken away.

f Heb. 10.1. Col. 2.17.

g 1 Cor. 5 7.

h Col. 2.14,16,17 Eph. 2.14.16.

4. To them also he gave sundry judicial Laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by vertue of that institution; their general (i) equity onely, being of moral use.

i 1 Cor. 9.8,9,10.

5. The moral Law doth for ever bind all, (k) as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the (l) authority of God the Creator; who gave it: Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, (m) but much strengthen this obligation.

k Rom. 13 8,9,10. Jam. 2.8.10,11,12

l Jam. 2 10,11.

m Mat. 5.17,18,19. Rom. 3.31.

6. Although true Believers be not under the Law, as a Covenant of Works, (n) to be thereby Justified or condemned; yet it is of great use to them as well as to others: in that, as a Rule of Life, informing them of the Will of God, and their Duty, it directs and binds them, to walk accordingly; (o) discovering also the sinfull pollutions of their Natures, Hearts and Lives; so as Examining themselves thereby, they may come to further Conviction of, Humiliation for, and Hatred against Sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his Obedience: It is likewise of use to the Regenerate to restrain their Corruptions, in that it forbids Sin; and the Threatnings of it serve to shew what even their Sins deserve; and what afflictions in this Life they may expect for them, although free’d from the Curse and unallayed Rigor thereof. The Promises of it likewise shew them Gods approbation of Obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the Law as a Covenant of Works; so as mans doing Good and refraining from Evil, because the Law incourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no Evidence of his being (p) under the Law and not under Grace.

n Rom. 6.14. Gal. 2.16. Rom. 8.1. cha. 10.4.

o Rom. 3.20. chap. 7.7. & c.

p Rom. 6.12,13,14. 1 Pet. 3.8.-13.

7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the Law (q) contrary to the Grace of the Gospel; but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing (r) and inabling the Will of man, to do that freely and chearfully, which the will of God revealed in the Law, requireth to be done.

q Gal. 3.21.

r Eze. 36.27.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession