Archive for the ‘The law is spiritual’ Category

very creature under heaven should be concerned about his or her duty to the almighty Creator and judge of all the earth. Therefore, the question What duty does the Creator require of creatures? is always relevant

January 12, 2010

Every creature under heaven should be concerned about his or her duty to the almighty Creator and judge of all the earth. Therefore, the question What duty does the Creator require of creatures? is always relevant. The biblical answer is that requires personal, perfect, perpetual obedience to His revealed will. The next logical question is Where do we find God’s revealed will regarding moral conduct? The biblical answer is that it is summarized in the Ten Commandments…

The commandments demand both external and internal obedience. Addressing the will and the heart, as well as actions, they require more than merely outward conformity. They also require inward affection. The commandments forbid not only evil acts but evil desires and inclinations. They go to the mind—including the will and the affections….thereby calling for obedience from the whole man…Not only murder, but hate. Not only adultery, but lusting. Not only stealing, but coveting.

Ernest C. Reisinger


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November 23, 2009

(Having come under conviction of sin, Bunyan ‘cleaned up’ his life and ‘got religion’. Realising he had broken it, he was now trying to keep God’s Law. His neighbours were impressed – but he was still a child of the devil; now whitewashed but yet a tomb)

…my neighbours were amazed at this my great conversion, from prodigious profaneness, to something like a moral life; and, truly, so they well might; for this my conversion was as great, as for Tom of Bedlam to become a sober man. Now, therefore, they began to praise, to commend, and to speak well of me, both to my face, and behind my back. Now, I was, as they said, become godly; now, I was become a right honest man. But, oh! When I understood that these were their words and opinions of men, it pleased me mighty well. For though, as yet, I was nothing but a poor painted hypocrite, yet I loved to be talked of as one that was truly godly. I was proud of my godliness, and, indeed, I did all I did, either to be seen of, or to be well spoken of, by man. And thus I continued for about a twelvemonth or more.’

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.75

By faith are we saved only, in believing the promises. And though faith be never without love and good works, yet is our saving imputed neither to love nor unto good works, but unto faith only

October 31, 2009

By faith are we saved only, in believing the promises. And though faith be never without love and good works, yet is our  saving imputed neither to love nor unto good works, but unto faith only. For love and works are under the law, which requireth perfection and the ground and fountain of the heart, and damneth all imperfectness. Now is faith under the promises, which damn not; but give pardon, grace, mercy, favor, and whatsoever is contained in the promises.

William Tyndale, A PATHWAY INTO THE HOLY SCRIPTURE,

People will never set their faces decidedly towards heaven and live like pilgrims until they really feel that they are in danger of hell

October 21, 2009

Now I believe the likeliest way to cure and mend…defective… religion is to bring forward more prominently the old scriptural truth about the sinfulness of sin. People will never set their faces decidedly towards heaven and live like pilgrims until they really feel that they are in danger of hell. Let us all try to revive the old teaching about sin in nurseries, in schools, in training colleges, in universities. Let us not forget that “the law is good if we use it lawfully” and that “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (1 Tim. 1:8; Rom. 3:20; 7:7). Let us bring the law to the front and press it on men’s attention. Let us expound and beat out the Ten Commandments and show the length and breadth and depth and height of their requirements. This is the way of our Lord in the sermon on the mount. We cannot do better than follow His plan. We may depend upon it, men will never come to Jesus and stay with Jesus and live for Jesus unless they really know why they are to come and what is their need. Those whom the Spirit draws to Jesus are those whom the Spirit has convinced of sin. Without thorough conviction of sin, men may seem to come to Jesus and follow Him for a season; but they will soon fall away and return to the world.

J.C.Ryle, Holiness, ch.1, ‘Sin’

There is a kind of seeing that does not see

September 6, 2009

There is a kind of seeing that does not see. We can gaze vacantly in the direction of an object but we do not really see it since our minds are otherwise occupied. Or consider how one person may walk through a wood and see nothing but trees, but the trained botanist sees here an alder, there an ash. So to in the spiritual realm. One person hears the gospel but his mind is not on it – he is preoccupied and it makes no impression. He is like a man who looks but only vacantly. To really see his mind must be made to focus on the Word of God. This is the work of the Spirit.

The law is spiritual

September 4, 2009

The little word “law” you must not take in human fashion, as a teaching about what works are to be done or not done. That is the way it is with human laws — human laws can be fulfilled by works, even though there is no heart in them.

But God JUDGES according to what is at the bottom of the heart, and cannot be satisfied with mere works. For even though you keep the law outwardly, with works, from fear of punishment of desire for reward, nevertheless, you do all this without willingness and pleasure, and without love for the law, but rather with unwillingness, under compulsion and if the law were not there you would gladly do otherwise. The conclusion is that you hate the law.

For this reason Paul says the law is spiritual. What is that? If the law were a human law, it could be satisfied with works; but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it, UNLESS all that you do is done from the bottom of the heart.

But nobody has a heart like that. Only the Holy Spirit can give a man such a heart. Thus it comes about that faith alone justifies a man and fulfils the law, for faith brings the Holy Spirit through the merits of Christ.

Martin  Luther, Preface to Romans