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Re: law

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  • Jason Robert Schuiling
    ... Here, try someone who is: Though he had, in a brief manner, sufficiently explained the question respecting the abrogation of the law; yet as it was a
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2002
      > Perhaps I'm not a very good expositor.

      Here, try someone who is:

      " Though he had, in a brief manner, sufficiently explained the
      question respecting the abrogation of the law; yet as it was a
      difficult one, and might have given rise to many other questions, he
      now shows more at large how the law, with regard to us, is become
      abrogated; and then he sets forth what good is thereby done to us:
      for while it holds us separated from Christ and bound to itself, it
      can do nothing but condemn us. And lest any one should on this
      account blame the law itself, he takes up and confutes the
      objections of the flesh, and handles, in a striking manner, the great
      question respecting the use of the law.

      "1. Know ye not, etc.- Let the general proposition be that the law
      was given to men for no other end but to regulate the present life,
      and that it belongs not to those who are dead: to this he afterwards
      subjoins this truth — that we are dead to it through the body of
      Christ. Some understand, that the dominion of the law continues so
      long to bind us as it remains in force. But as this view is rather
      obscure, and does not harmonize so well with the proposition which
      immediately follows, I prefer to follow those who regard what is
      said as referring to the life of man, and not to the law. The
      question has indeed a peculiar force, as it affirms the certainty of
      what is spoken; for it shows that it was not a thing new or unknown
      to any of them, but acknowledged equally by them all.
      (For to those who know the law I speak.) This parenthesis is to be
      taken in the same sense with the question, as though he had said —
      that he knew that they were not so unskilful in the law as to
      entertain any doubt on the subject. And though both sentences might
      be understood of all laws, it is yet better to take them as
      referring to the law of God, which is the subject that is discussed.
      There are some who think that he ascribes knowledge of the law to
      the Romans, because the largest part of the world was under their
      power and government; but this is puerile: for he addressed in part
      the Jews or other strangers, and in part common and obscure
      individuals; nay, he mainly regarded the Jews, with whom he had to
      do respecting the abrogation of the law: and lest they should think
      that he was dealing captiously with them, he declares that he took
      up a common principle, known to them all, of which they could by no
      means be ignorant, who had from their childhood been brought up in
      the teaching of the law.

      "2. For a woman subject to a man, etc. He brings a similitude, by
      which he proves, that we are so loosed from the law, that it does
      not any longer, properly and by its own right, retain over us any
      authority: and though he could have proved this by other reasons,
      yet as the example of marriage was very suitable to illustrate the
      subject, he introduced this comparison instead of evidence to prove
      his point. But that no one may be puzzled, because the different
      parts of the comparison do not altogether correspond, we are to be
      reminded, that the Apostle designedly intended, by a little change,
      to avoid the invidiousness of a stronger expression. He might have
      said, in order to make the comparison complete, "A woman after the
      death of her husband is loosed from the bond of marriage: the law,
      which is in the place of a husband to us, is to us dead; then we are
      freed from its power." But that he might not offend the Jews by the
      asperity of his expressions, had he said that the law was dead, he
      adopted a digression, and said, that we are dead to the law. To some
      indeed he appears to reason from the less to the greater: however,
      as I fear that this is too strained, I approve more of the first
      meaning, which is simpler. The whole argument then is formed in this
      manner "The woman is bound to her living husband by the law, so that
      she cannot be the wife of another; but after the death of her
      husband she is loosed from the bond of his law so, that she is free
      to marry whom she pleases." Then follows the application, — The law
      was, as it were our husband, under whose yoke we were kept until it
      became dead to us: After the death of the law Christ received us,
      that is, he joined us, when loosed from the law, to himself:
      Then being united to Christ risen from the dead, we ought to cleave
      to him alone: And as the life of Christ after the resurrection is
      eternal, so hereafter there shall be no divorce. But further, the
      word law is not mentioned here in every part in the same sense: for
      in one place it means the bond of marriage; in another, the
      authority of a husband over his wife; and in another, the law of
      Moses: but we must remember, that Paul refers here only to that
      office of the law which was peculiar to the dispensation of Moses;
      for as far as God has in the ten commandments taught what is just
      and right, and given directions for guiding our life, no abrogation
      of the law is to be dreamt of; for the will of God must stand the
      same forever. We ought carefully to remember that this is not a
      release from the righteousness which is taught in the law, but
      from its rigid requirements, and from the curse which thence
      follows. The law, then, as a rule of life, is not abrogated; but
      what belongs to it as opposed to the liberty obtained through
      Christ, that is, as it requires absolute perfection: for as we
      render not this perfection, it binds to under the sentence of
      eternal death. But as it was not his purpose to decide here the
      character of the bond of marriage, he was not anxious to mention the
      causes which releases a woman from her husband. It is therefore
      unreasonable that anything decisive on this point should be sought
      here.

      "4. Through the body of Christ. Christ, by the glorious victory of
      the cross, first triumphed over sin; and that he might do this, it
      was necessary that the handwriting, by which we were held bound,
      should be cancelled. This handwriting was the law, which, while it
      continued in force, rendered us bound to serve sin; and hence it is
      called the power of sin. It was then by cancelling this handwriting
      that we were delivered through the body of Christ — through his body
      as fixed to the cross. But the Apostle goes farther, and says, that
      the bond of the law was destroyed; not that we may live according to
      our own will, like a widow, who lives as she pleases while single;
      but that we may be now bound to another husband; nay, that we may
      pass from hand to hand, as they say, that is, from the law to Christ.
      He at the same time softens the asperity of the expression, by
      saying that Christ, in order to join us to his own body, made us
      free from the yoke of the law. For though Christ subjected himself
      for a time of his own accord to the law, it is not yet right to say
      that the law ruled over him. Moreover, he conveys to his own members
      the liberty which he himself possesses. It is then no wonder that he
      exempts those from the yoke of the law, whom he unites by a sacred
      bond to himself, that they may be one body in him. Even his who has
      been raised, etc. We have already said, that Christ is substituted
      for the law, lest any freedom should be pretended without him, or
      lest any, being not yet dead to the law, should dare to divorce
      himself from it. But he adopts here a periphrastic sentence to
      denote the eternity of that life which Christ attained by his
      resurrection, that Christians might know that this connection is to
      be perpetual. But of the spiritual marriage between Christ and his
      Church he speaks more fully in Ephesians 6. That we may bring forth
      fruit to God. He ever annexes the final cause, lest any should
      indulge the liberty of their flesh and their own lusts, under the
      pretense that Christ has delivered them from the bondage of the law;
      for he has offered us, together with himself, as a sacrifice to the
      Father, and he regenerates us for this end — that by newness of life
      we may bring forth fruit unto God: and we know that the fruits which
      our heavenly Father requires from us are those of holiness and
      righteousness. It is indeed no abatement to our liberty that we
      serve God; nay, if we desire to enjoy so great a benefit as there is
      in Christ, it will not henceforth be right in us to entertain any
      other thought but that of promoting the glory of God; for which
      purpose Christ has connected us with himself. We shall otherwise
      remain tle bond-slaves, not only of the law, but also of sin and of
      death.
    • Bill Ross
      I went ahead and read the post. The style is more verbose than I am used to reading so I had a bit of difficulty following it. I *think* that he is
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 1, 2002
        <Bill>
        I went ahead and read the post. The style is more verbose than I am used
        to reading so I had a bit of difficulty following it. I *think* that he
        is saying that the Christian is brought to liberty from the "marriage"
        to the torah, but passes "hand to hand" into obedience to Christ. If I
        understand him correctly, then I whole heartedly agree.

        Sorry for any confusion I caused by stretching the term "antinomian" in
        unfamiliar ways.

        One part I do take exception to is his understanding of why Paul said
        that the believer died, rather than the torah. He wrote:

        " But that he might not offend the Jews by the asperity of his
        expressions, had he said that the law was dead, he adopted a digression,
        and said, that we are dead to the law."

        There is a deeper significance in the figure that he seems to miss. That
        is, the torah has *not* been destroyed. It will never be rescinded.
        Rather, the believer is dead to it. The believer is no longer bound to
        it.

        That is, unless they re-accept the covenant by circumcision. That is why
        Paul said:

        Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised,
        that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

        He sternly warns against this:

        Gal 5:
        1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us
        free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
        2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall
        profit you nothing.

        So the torah did not die, while the believer did. That is the only way
        to get out of such a covenant.

        Many thanks to those who have helped me be understood, not as against
        obligation to God, only as identifying the hard won liberty to which the
        believer is called.

        Bill Ross
        No Risk Software Inc
      • Crown Rights Book Company
        ... Jason, Who wrote these words and what is the source? Thanks! Libertas inestimabilis res est, Greg Loren Durand Crown Rights Book Company
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 1, 2002
          At 09:52 PM 12/1/02 +0000, you wrote:

          > > Perhaps I'm not a very good expositor.
          >
          >Here, try someone who is:
          >
          >" Though he had, in a brief manner, sufficiently explained the
          >question respecting the abrogation of the law; yet as it was a
          >difficult one, and might have given rise to many other questions, he
          >now shows more at large how the law, with regard to us, is become
          >abrogated; and then he sets forth what good is thereby done to us:
          >for while it holds us separated from Christ and bound to itself, it
          >can do nothing but condemn us. And lest any one should on this
          >account blame the law itself, he takes up and confutes the
          >objections of the flesh, and handles, in a striking manner, the great
          >question respecting the use of the law.

          Jason,

          Who wrote these words and what is the source? Thanks!

          Libertas inestimabilis res est,
          Greg Loren Durand

          Crown Rights Book Company
          http://www.crownrights.com

          ------

          Husband of:
          Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

          Father of:
          Brianna Marie (8)
          Virginia Ruth (6)
          Georgia Esther (5)
          Robert Lee (3)
          Carolina Rachel (1)

          http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
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