Obj. 7. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14.) Therefore, the law does not bind us. Ans. This, however, is to misunderstand the words of the Apostle; for the expression, Not to be under the law, does not mean, that we are not to yield obedience to the law, but that we are freed from the curse and constraint of the law; just as, To be under grace, is to be justified and regenerated by the grace of Christ. But say our opponents: Those who are bound to obey the law, and yet do not comply with its demands, are subject to condemnation. But we are not exposed to condemnation; for “there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1.) Therefore, we are not bound to obey the law. We reply that the major of this syllogism is true, 1. In case he who is bound to yield obedience to the law, be bound to yield it in his own person; but we are bound to yield obedience and do yield it, not in ourselves, but in Christ. 2. In case he be bound to obey the law in himself always, or at all times perfectly; but we are not bound in ourselves to yield perfect obedience to the law in this life, but only to begin this obedience according to all the commandments of God. In eternal life we shall be bound to a perfect conformity to the law.
Zacharias Ursinus | Commentary of Dr Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism, trans. George W. Williard (Cincinnati: Elm Street Printing Company, 1888), 616–18.
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