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Measuring up to God’s Law

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I read this post today by blogger Mike Adams over at Chief Sinner. It’s been said before and needs to be said a thousand times over. Those who preach that our efforts to keep the law actually merit anything have a very low view of the law.  That’s because, as Adams points out, the standard for law keeping “isn’t progress, but perfection”. That is exactly why we need the unmerited grace of God imputed to us.  It’s not that preaching the law is bad. It must be preached to expose our sin to us. But all to often the law is preached without the gospel. The result is an application to try harder rather than the gospel message of “It is Finished”. To put it simply, a high view of the law sees the Law for what it is- impossible to keep. It understands that the law is too lofty for anyone to meet its requirements. A low view of the law by contrast sees the law as achievable by changing (perverting) the requirement from perfection to progress, from perfection to “good enough”.

We must always remember our efforts cannot merit God’s favor. Yes, when God saves us he also changes our affections so that we start wanting to obey- but the results, the obedience, is a fruit of our salvation and contributes nothing to it. As the Westminster Confession of Faith tells us, even our best works are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment. As the WCF goes on to say, God looks upon our defiled obedience in Christ and is pleased to accept them even though they are accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. This is because God looks upon them in the finished law keeping of Christ and not through our imperfect law keeping.

Enough of my commentary however, mozy on over to Chief Sinner and read A High View of God’s Law

7 thoughts on “Measuring up to God’s Law

  1. Adam

    This is a very hard line for me to walk. I believe what you wrote actually I am one to usually argue a lot on blogs and it’s not that I disagree. I don’t. But it sounds so wrong to say not to try.

    • ajcerda

      I understand Adam. I have been there before. I heard all these people saying this and in my case I read into their statements that we don’t try. I think if you read the post again you will see that I never said not to try. But I totally get how it comes across that way. The important think is to understand the role of the law and what it is capable of. Is the law capable of producing obedience? No. Paul tells us that it is powerless to do so. If obedience is desired then the only thing that can produce it is the gospel.

      • Adam

        Ah you’re right. I assumed. Again it isn’t that I disagree it’s just not easy to let go!

  2. Amen and Amen!

  3. Oh so true and so good I actually think that I am giving god a gift by my being good when relly he already loves me as he will because Jesus did it and finished it and that is better than I can in my best effort.

  4. J. Andreason

    Oh wow. That was good. I like what you both said. I used to go to church all the time but I never heard it explained like this.

  5. Hey Aaron I’m back! Well not blogging. I’ve been in a bit of a crisis for the last so many years ya know. Sorry for just dropping off the face of the earth Hey how ya feeling bud? I didn’t know were still writing till I ran into some old friends from work from before I quit and Aric said you were writing still and gave me the site. Actually that was several weeks ago Ive just been catching up on all the posts. So it looks like you still believe. That’s okay. Im getting close actually. I went from Jehovah’s Witness to atheist to agnostic to just plain gnostic then to deist. So at least I believe in the guy now but not sure what to make if the idea of God actually taking the time t involve himself with us. I hope that’s okay. looks like most of your readers are Christian so I won’t fit in very much but promise not t raise a stink. One thing I noticed and from a pretty irreligious perspective and from the perspective of one who is coming to believe morality is pretty damn important and that is that I cant think of a better reason to actually stop sinning than the gospel. I have been reading a lot and I mean a lot of stuff on the law and gospel. Mostly from people who are critical of the idea that grace should be emphasized and to be honest I am finding that their thinking is all backward. I think of it like this. If my dad would have given everything up for me to I would have a relationship with him simply because I would love him. If he asked me to stop drinking beer I would have because I would love him. But instead he was just like stop drinking beer or god will be pissed at you. Him telling me that god is pissed off at my love of beer did nothing to convince me to stop. The only thing that would have made me listen to him is knowing he loved me and me loving him back. So with your law posts I’m like yeah. I get it. Obeying can only be fueled by love.Simply giving the rule doesn’t help me to do it. Anyway just a long winded hello from me and a sort of “amen” even though I’m not fully buying the personal god concept. Cheers.

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