Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Moral Laws’

The Division of Old Testament Law

February 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Tom Hicks

Are believers in Christ required to obey any part of Old Testament law? Both Dispensationalists and proponents of New Covenant Theology, or Progressive Covenantalism, as one version of it has come to be called, simply say “no.” In their view, the laws of the Old Testament are fulfilled and abrogated in Christ. Believers are only required to obey the “law of Christ,” which is taught in the commands of the New Testament alone. That’s a simple hermeneutic that draws a sharp line between the testaments and tells believers they don’t have to obey any Old Testament law. One of the major problems with this perspective is that New Testament authors seem to assume the authority of the Old Testament in matters of certain kinds of law. Another problem is that in spite of objections to the contrary, the Old Testament doesn’t treat all of its laws the same way either. We often hear that “the Law” is a unit, that all of it is moral, and that if any of it is abrogated, then all of it must be. While the issues involved in this dispute among sincere brothers in Christ certainly require more than a simple blog post, I offer the following short critique of those views which teach that Old Testament law is monolithic and without any divisions.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Works of God- Providence: Moral Government- Book Third- Chapter 3- Section 4

Book Third

CHAPTER III.

SECTION IV.–MORAL GOVERNMENT.

A voluntary agent, with a sense of right and wrong, we call a moral agent. Such an agent is a proper subject of moral law. He may be commanded, and he can obey or disobey. He can feel the force of moral obligation, and be affected by self-approbation or remorse.

Moral law is not an established order of sequence, as the laws of nature are. Some have sought to find an agreement between them in this particular, by referring to the fact, that a moral action has consequences inseparably connected with it, which result from its moral quality. But the connection of these consequences with the moral action belongs rather to the class of natural sequences. Like other natural sequences, the order is inviolable. But moral law may be violated. The order of sequence which moral law aims to regulate, is that which subsists between the command and the action, not between the action and its consequences. In the first of these sequences, not in the last, the obedience or disobedience of moral law appears. If moral law were an established order of sequence, as natural law is, none but God could violate it, as none but he can work miracles. But, while God cannot commit sin, which is a transgression of moral law, it may be committed by angels and men, as sad experience has proved.

The distinction which has been drawn between natural and moral law must be kept in view, to understand the difference between natural and moral government. Moral government is a department of God’s universal administration, specially adapted to moral agents, furnishing scope for the exercise of their moral agency, as, also, on God’s part, for the exercise of his justice. It is not inconsistent with the rest of his administration, but is distinct from the rest, and is the holy of holies, in which the great Supreme manifests his highest glory. It is true, that in this the will of God is not invariably done; whereas, in his natural government, he worketh all things after the counsel of his will; but it must be remembered that the term will is used in different senses. This will which is violated in moral government is the will of precept; that which is invariably executed in natural government is the will of purpose. The whole of God’s moral government perfectly accords with his purpose. It was his purpose to institute it; to create moral agents, to give them a moral law, a will of precept, which they, as free agents, might violate or not; to permit the violation, and to hold them responsible for it. All this God purposed, and all this he has accomplished. Because the term will is used in two senses, manifestly distinct from each other, it becomes necessary, in our use of it, to keep the distinction in view, lest our reasonings be confused.

The general proposition, under the head of Government, page 117, was stated thus: “All god’s creatures are so under his control, that their changes take place according to his purpose.” The truth of this, with respect to his natural government, will be readily admitted. An important part of the changes which take place in the world, consists of the actions performed by moral agents. In applying the proposition to these, it becomes necessary to distinguish between the efficient and permissive purpose of God. Even the most sinful action cannot take place without his permission; and, in this view, the proposition extends to the moral, as well as to the natural government of God.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Doctrinal Assumptions and Technical Terms of the Confession on the Sabbath, 22.7

The Doctrinal Assumptions and Technical Terms of 2LCF 22.7

Copyright © 2016 Richard C. Barcellos. All rights reserved.

The Second London Confession of Faith 22.7 reads:

As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive-moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a 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, which is called the Lord’s 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. ( Exodus 20:8; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10 )

Entering chapter 22 of the Confession, we do not start over theologically. This chapter, as with others, assumes or utilizes many assertions made prior to it and cannot be understood properly without identifying and understanding those assumptions or assertions and the terms associated with them. Terms and phrases are used which embody concepts already utilized in the Confession. As will be noted, it assumes chapter 19, “Of the Law of God” and chapter 4, “Of Creation” especially. This ties the theology of the Christian Sabbath in the Confession to the law of God and creation. The Christian Sabbath is part and parcel with the system of doctrine contained in the Confession. To understand the confessional formulation properly at this point, we must understand….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Free Ebook- Why I Believe in the Sabbath

By Erroll Hulse

This 42-page study of what the early and later Reformers and the English Puritans believed is designed to show that the Sabbath is part of creation as well as a moral issue.

I believe the English Puritans were correct in their understanding of the Christian Sabbath. There are two commandments which do not begin with a negative such as, You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery. One begins with the word Remember and that other begins with the word Honour. The latter, the fifth, has a promise added to it…..

On biblical grounds I believe it is essential to hold the threefold division of the law. The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 chapter 19 states it all so well that it is hardly needful for me to repeat it here. However I will state that it is the moral law that we have transgressed. It is that same moral law that our Lord kept perfectly. It is the moral law which defines sin and which caused him to die on the Cross in our place (2 Cor 5:21). The ceremonial law was constructed exactly according to the specification given to Moses by our Lord. So we cannot miss its details and at the same time cannot miss the fact that it is a precise specific entity. Jesus has fulfilled all the typology of that ceremonial law and now we no longer have to observe it. No more sacrifices because he is our sacrifice (Heb 10:14). Civil law is specific too and will always be with us, which is why we have a police force and law courts, lawyers, barristers and magistrates….

 

 

 
Contents:

Sanctifying the Lord’s Day: Reformed and Puritan Attitudes …………… 5

The Reformers and the Sanctification of the Sabbath. …………………… 9

The Puritans and the Sanctification of the Sabbath …………………….. 15

Conclusions …………………………………………………………………………… 24

The moral nature of the fourth commandment ……………………………. 28

The Fourth Commandment in its application to believers and unbelievers …………………………………………………………………………….. 30

The Creation Sabbath recalled, restated and confirmed by the Fourth
Commandment ………………………………………………………………………. 32

The Sabbath as Covenant ……………………………………………………….. 33

The discontinuity of Jewish ceremonial Sabbaths ……………………….. 33

The change of the day from the seventh to the eighth, or first, day of the week ………………………………………………………………………………… 34

A humanized Sabbath …………………………………………………………….. 37

The Sabbath keeping which remains and the sabbaths of heaven … 38

The importance of actual Sabbath observance …………………………… 39

Biblical Theology — putting the progressive Sabbath revelations together …………………………………………………………………………………. 40

 

 
Download the ebook here.

 

 

Erroll Hulse
Erroll Hulse, a South African by birth, was born in 1931. He is of a Reformed Baptist persuasion, one of the co-founders of the Banner of Truth Trust and a fine author of many good articles.

The Wednesday Word: The Gospel and “The Holy Man of God.”

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment

I pity the poor spaceman coming to earth to try to discover the God of the Christians by examining the various standards that are presented as holiness. What a variety of views he’s got to choose from! For example, some groups of Christians drink wine while others think such practices to be accursed. Some watch TV; others make TV a taboo. A friend of mine once went to preach in Germany. He showed up on the first Sunday morning and was met by the elders who told him to remove his tie. Ties were worldly they said. That evening, he was to preach for another group just 50 miles away so he showed up without a tie. The elders met him and told him, in no uncertain terms, that he could not preach without a tie. The lack of a tie was a sure sign of laxity and carnality. Go figure!

Some groups eat everything while some refuse to eat meat. Some go as far as to stick strictly to the Old Testament food laws. One group I knew were so confident of their stand on the food laws they even crooned about it in their services. They sang;

 

“Keep the food laws, they are good laws

You know I’m feeling fine since I left off eating swine.

Keep the food laws they are good laws,

I aim to keep the food laws all the time”

 

What a jolly little chorus!

Some groups insist that their women wear hats or head coverings while the same denomination perhaps in a different location would not have the same emphasis. I’ve found that standards of piety can vary and change by geography. Unfortunately, we have become masters at teaching for doctrine the standards of man and our group piety is often subtly presented as the way of obtaining “Grade A” status before God.

But the gospel is not about our piety. It is about Christ’s piety. Jesus Christ completely pleased the Father in everything he did. He worshiped and glorified the Father with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. Everything Christ did not only pleased the Father but “well” pleased Him. His actions were, not only always right and correct, but were also always done from a pure heart and a right motive.

Psalm 24 gives us a wonderful picture of Jesus. It asks, “Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord or who shall dwell in His holy place.” It then gives the answer, “He that has clean hands and a pure heart who has not lifted up His soul unto vanity.” Jesus Christ is the only one who perfectly fits this picture. He is the only one whose hands are truly clean and whose motives are utterly pure. We would do well if we worried less about how to have clean hands and occupied ourselves with the one whose hands are already entirely clean. Our clean hands will follow along afterwards.

So be warned, preoccupation with ourselves and our standards removes us from the gospel because our condition and behaviour, once more, become the central focus of our Christian life.

Important to us as they may be, no church standards are able to grant us acceptance before the Father. Christ alone does that! Since standards cannot gain acceptance for us, then they certainly can not make us more accepted before God than the others who do not share them. The world is not in need of more Christians going out proclaiming their religion. The world does not need to hear about this or that group piety. It is not in need of a “don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t go with girls that do” message. The need of the hour is a return to gospel proclamation. We need once more to announce the Excellencies of the Person of Christ, His doing and dying and rising again!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles

 

www.milesmckee.com 

My new book, “And that’s the Gospel Truth!” is a must for those who love the gospel. It is now available on Amazon in both print and eBook format. Click here

Miles McKee

Minister of the Gospel

The Grace Centre,

6 Quay Street, New Ross,

County Wexford, Ireland.

Please feel free to forward the Wednesday Word to your friends and family. Also, feel free, without changing the content of the message, to post or blog (etc.) this material