Olevianus On Moses As A Legal Covenant

For the [Mosiac] covenant was a legal covenant solemnly agreed, by which the people were obligated to present, by their own strength, perfect obedience to the Law (Matthew 22). Since the Law is the eternal rule of righteousness in the divine mind to which he wills all rational creatures to be conformed, and eternal life was promised by God to the servants who perfectly obeyed, truly the curse is pronounced upon transgressors.

…For this reason also the Apostle says in Romans 10 that the goal of this legal covenant was Christ. And he withdrew nothing from the divine justice expressed in the sanction of the law, already before the same through the Prophet he promised a Mediator, God and Man, who by the his merit the memory of sin will be destroyed and by his efficacy the laws will be inscribed on our hearts. Because the knowledge of him will have been given to us by means of Christ.

Caspar Olevianus | De substantia foederis gratuiti inter deum et electos, 1.1.9 and 11. | Translation by R. Scott Clark.


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  1. Dr Clark

    I’m interested in getting your thoughts on the 2 most recent posts at Matt Tuininga’s blog regarding the believer’s relationship to the Decalogue.


  2. I made a few comments at his blog to better understand his position.

    I would answer in a similar manner as the WCF ch 19- the moral law (including the Decalogue) is God’s eternal and abiding will for all mankind as rule of righteousness. With the advent of Christ, the believer’s relationship to the Decalogue has changed- it no longer has a condemning power over the conscience, however it remains an objective rule of righteousness that we progressively conform by the power of the indwelling Spirit- all of this from a heart of gratitude as we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.

    To paraphrase the Confession – this normative use of the decalogue is not contrary to the Gospel but sweetly complies with it.

    Pointing folks to the Decalogue as a norm for the Christian life is not returning to a Covenant of Works or legal righteousness or putting the car in reverse of redemptive history.

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