Last time we considered what some folk mean by the expression “the law of Christ” and, in contrast, what the Bible means by it. It’s neither a new covenant of works, as if we could obey our way into acceptance with God nor is it some Gnostic secret. No, it’s what we call the third use of God’s moral law. Christians obey God’s law out of gratitude, in union with Christ, because they’ve been justified, because we’ve been saved, and because we’re being saved, and because we shall be saved.
In this section of The Marrow of Modern Divinity our pastor talks with the neonomian (the legalist) and the antinomian (denies the 3rd use of the law) about the nature of true faith as distinct from hypocrisy or the mere profession of faith. In the Reformed understanding of covenant theology (there are others) there are two ways of participating in the administration of the covenant of grace: outwardly and inwardly. Everyone who is initiated into the administration of the covenant of grace in the church in baptism participates outwardly. Only those who believe, however, also participate inwardly, spiritually, by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), in Christ alone. It’s vital that we distinguish between mere profession and true faith without downplaying the importance of participating in the visible administration of the covenant of grace in the church. As we’ll see, true faith produces the fruit of obedience but not all obedience is fruit of faith.
Here’s the episode:
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