Greg Bowman Via John Fonville:
The Holy Spirit uses His law all throughout our lives for all three purposes. We are dead to the law as a covenant of works (i.e., a rule for life, condition for life, “Do this and live or else be condemned,” cf. Gal. 3:10/Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:12/Lev. 18:5; Luke 10:25-28; Rom. 8:1). But, we are not lawless. God’s moral law, which is eternal, still guides our gratitude/sanctification and functions as a rule of life/defines what a good work is, how to love God and our neighbor. Heidelberg Q. 114/115 deals with our responsibility of obeying God’s law: 114. Can those who are converted to God keep these commandments perfectly?
No, but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience;1 nevertheless, with earnest purpose they do begin to live, not only according to some, but according to all the commandments of God.2
1 Ecc 7:20; Rom 7:14-15; 1 Cor 13:9; 1 Jn 1:8; 2 Ps 1:1-2; Rom 7:22-25; Php 3:12-16
115. Why then does God have them preached so strictly if in this life no one can keep them perfectly?
First, that throughout our life we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature, and therefore seek more earnestly the forgiveness of sins and righteousness in Christ;1 second, that we may be zealous for good deeds and constantly pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that He may more and more renew us after God’s image, until after this life we reach the goal of perfection.2
1 Ps 32:5; Rom 3:19-26, 7:7, 24-25; 1 Jn 1:9; 2 1 Cor 9:24; Php 3:12-14; 1 Jn 3:1-3
Here is how a great 17th century Scottish preacher, Ralph Erskine put it, “gospel-obedience thereto is no part of his righteousness for justification before God, if he should endeavor to make his gospel-obedience to the law as a rule of life in the hand of a Mediator, any part of his righteousness for justification,
he so far turns the covenant of grace, and the duties required therein, into a covenant of works, and he seeks to live unto that to which he is, and should be dead.”
Erskine goes on to show how we establish the law as a rule of life: ““We conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law; and so he is dead to the law,” (Rom. 3:28,31). Now, does this doctrine destroy our living to God? Nay, “Do you make void the law, through faith? God forbid! Yes, we establish the law:” We establish it as a covenant of works, while we believe in Christ for righteousness, to be imputed for our justification; and we establish it a rule of life, and holiness, while we believe in Christ for strength, to be imparted for our sanctification; and so being dead to the law, in point of justification, we live unto God in sanctification.”
Greg Bowman I really wish…that Christians who suggest the idea of no Law for believers would consider the ramifications of that.
Just a few:
*Undermines the holiness of God, which the Law reflects.
*Undermines the holiness of His children, which is a gospel benefit
*Undermines the existence of sin, by leaving it undefined and spiritualized.
*Undermines the necessity of ongoing confession.
*Undermines the necessity of ongoing repentance.
*Leads to antinomianism.
*Leads to legalism.