Reformed Baptists And The Law

From the pen of John D. Reuther

Antinomianism in all its varied forms strikes at the heart and nerve center of Christian ethics when it downgrades the Decalogue, which is the clearest standard of ethical righteousness that we possess in the Scriptures. Minimize, marginalize, or remove the Decalogue, or any part of it, and you have destroyed the foundations (Psa. 11:3). Richard Barcellos points out:

“So even after the New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments are viewed as a unit outside the Old Covenant and in a prescriptively positive context…..This not only supports the unity of the Bible, but the basic unity of ethics, Old or New Covenant. The Ten Commandments are, therefore, transcovenantal.”

Antinomian beliefs also undercut the wisdom material of the Bible because wisdom in the OT is based on the commandments of the Law of Moses. Moses exhorted the people: “So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people'” (Deut. 4:6). Again Carl Henry is helpful:

“One need only read the rest of the Old Testament to note that the Decalogue is supplemented by comprehensive ethical principles that are worked into the warp and woof of a revelation at once progressive and propadeutic, that is, adopted o the moral growth of the redeemed people…. the commandments f the Law are fundamental to Old Testament ethics. Alongside them stand the moral principles set forth in the Psalms, Proverbs and prophets.”

….Although the Jews misused, abused, and misapplied the Law, Scripture still says that “the Law is good” (Rom. 7:12,16, 1 Tim. 1:8). The godly love God’s Law and it is their meditation all the day (Pss. 1,19, 119). The Torah Psalms stand as a monument in Scripture to the abiding love of God’s law that we are meant to live. These expressions of love for God’s Law are expressions of basic godliness. If we cannot confess a love for God’s law like the love we see expressed there, then the whole Bible is not ours to love.

The psalmist was not seeking justification through Law. Indeed, David had written of the blessedness of the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin covered (Psa. 32:1-2). He loved God’s law because it was good, pure, holy, righteous, godly, and essential for sorting out the complex situations of a life in which unrighteousness and injustice abound. The Law serves the same purpose for us today. The Law of God is a call to obedience binding us to a strict and unbending requirement of righteousness, which we must keep in its entirety or face judgment. Only in Christ and in His Spirit can we fulfill the whole Law (Rom. 8:4).*

*Vol. VI No. 2: The Reformed Baptist Theological Review Volume 6. 2009 (2) (22-24). Owensboro, KY: Reformed Baptist Theological Review.

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About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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One Response to Reformed Baptists And The Law

  1. Pingback: Reformed Baptists & The Law – John D. Reuther [Reformed Baptist Theological Review] | The Confessing Baptist

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