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THE ROYAL MORAL LAW

                            WHAT title of distinction is given the law of God?

                            "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well." James 2:8.

By what law is the knowledge of sin?

"I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust. except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Romans 7:7.

    NOTE.—The law which says this is the Ten Commandments. By what are all men to be finally judged? "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." James 2:12. NoTE.—"The law of liberty," which says, "Do not commit adultery" and "Do not kill" (verse 11), and is styled "the royal law" (verse 8), that is, the kingly law, is the law by which men are to be judged

THE CEREMONIAL LAW AND SYSTEM

What system was necessitated by man's transgression?

The sacrificial system, with its rites pointing to Christ.

How early was this sacrificial system known?

"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." Hebrews 11:4. (See Genesis 4:3-5; 8:20.) Nora.—The patriarch Job offered sacrifices. (See Job 1:4, 5.)

MORAL AND CEREMONIAL COMPARED

By whom was the ten-commandment law proclaimed?

"And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone." Deuteronomy 4:12, 13.

How was the ceremonial law made known to Israel?

"And the Lord called unto Moses, . . . saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering," etc. Leviticus 1:1, 2. "This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offering; which the Lord commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that He commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the Lord." Leviticus 7:37, 38.

    NOTE.-"III. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament. "IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other, now, further than the general equity thereof may require."—Westminster Confes- sion of Faith, chap. 19, in PHILIP SCHAFF, The Creeds of Christendom (Scribners), vol. 3, p. 641.

Were the Ten Commandments alone a complete law?

"These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and He added no more. And He wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me." Deuter- onomy 5:22. (See also Exodus 24:12.)

Was the ceremonial law a complete law in itself?

"The law of commandments contained in ordinances." Ephesians 2:15.

On what did God write the Ten Commandments?

"And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone." Deuteronomy 4:13.

In what were the laws of sacrifices written?

"And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might . . . offer unto the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses." 2 Chron- icles 35:12.

Where were the Ten Commandments placed?

"He . . . put the testimony into the ark." Exodus 40:20. Where did Moses direct his law book to be placed? "Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 31:25, 26.

What is the nature of the moral law?

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalms 19:7. "We know that the law is spiritual." Romans 7:14.

NoTE.—"The law of God is a divine law, holy, heavenly, perfect. Those who find fault with the law, or in the least degree depreciate it, do not under- stand its design, and have no right idea of the law itself. Paul says, The law is holy, but I am carnal; sold under sin.' In all we ever say concerning justifica- tion by faith, we never intend to lower the opinion which our hearers have of the law, for the law is one of the most sublime of God's works. There is not a commandment too many; there is not one too few; but it is so incompa- rable, that its perfection is a proof of its divinity."—C. H. SPURGEON, Sermons, 2d series (1857), p. 280.

Could offerings make perfect the believer's conscience?

"Gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience." Hebrews 9:9.

Until what time was the ceremonial law imposed?

"Meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation." Verse 10. When was this time of reformation? "But Christ being come an high priest, . . . having obtained eternal redemption for us." Verses 11, 12.

How did Christ's death affect the ceremonial law?

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross." Colossians 2:14. "Having abolished in His flesh the en- mity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances." Ephesians 2:15.

What signified that the sacrificial system was ended?

"Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." Matthew 27:50, 51.

In what words had the prophet Daniel foretold this?

"And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one weand in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Daniel 9:27.

Why was the ceremonial law taken away?

"There is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness (for the law made nothing per- fect), and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw nigh unto God." Hebrews 7:18, 19, R.V.

How enduring is the moral law?

"His commandments . . . stand fast for ever and ever." Psalms 111:7, 8.

THE Two LAWS CONTRASTED

 

THE MORAL LAW

Is called the "royal law." James 2:8.

Was spoken by God. Deut. 4:12, 13.

Was written by God on tables of stone. Ex. 24:12.

Was written "with the finger of God" on stone. Ex. 31:18.

Was placed in the ark. Ex. 40:20; 1 Kings 8:9; Heb. 9:4.

Is "perfect." Ps. 19:7.

Is to "stand fast for ever and ever." Ps. 111:7, 8.

Was not destroyed by Christ. Matt. 5:17.

Was to be magnified by Christ. Isa. 42:21.

Gives knowledge of sin. Rom. 3:20; 7:7.

THE CERMONIAL LAW

Is called "the law . . . contained in ordinances." Eph. 2:15.

Was spoken by Moses. Lev. 1:1-3.

Was "the handwriting of ordinances." Col. 2:14.

Was written by Moses in a book. 2 Chron. 35:12.

Was placed in the side of the ark. Deut. 31:24-26.

"Made nothing perfect." Heb. 7:19.

Was nailed to the cross. Col. 2:14.

Was abolished by Christ. Eph. 2:15.

Was taken out of the way by Christ. Col. 2:14.

Was instituted in consequence of sin. Leviticus 3-7.

PROTESTANT CREEDS ON THE LAW

(Page numbers refer to Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom [Scribners], vol. 3.)

LUTHERAN—Formula of Concord, article 6: "Although they who truly believe in Christ, and are sincerely converted to God, are through Christ set free from the curse and constraint of the law, they are not, nevertheless, on that account without law, inasmuch as the Son of God redeemed them for the very reason that they might meditate on the law of God day and night, and continually exercise themselves in the keeping thereof."—Page 131.

REFORMED—Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 12: "We teach that the will of God is set down unto us in the law of God; to wit, what He would have us to do, or not to do, what is good and just, or what is evil and unjust. We therefore confess that The law is good and holy' (Rom. vii.12); and thatthis law is, by the finger of God, either 'written in the hearts of men' (Rom. 2:15), and so is called the law of nature, or engraven in the two tables of stone, and more largely expounded in the books of Moses (Exod. xx.1-17; Deut. v.22). . . . "We teach that this law was not given to men, that we should be justified by keeping it; but that, by the knowledge thereof, we might rather acknowl- edge our infirmity, sin, and condemnation; and so, despairing of our strength, might turn unto Christ by faith."—Page 855.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND—Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, article 7: "The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transi- tory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwith- standing, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called Moral."—Pages 491, 492. PROTESTANT EPIscoPAL—Thirty-nine Articles, revised, article 6. Same as article 7 of the Church of England Articles of Religion. Page 816.

METHODIST—Articles of Religion, article 6. Same as article 7 of the Church of England Articles of Religion. Page 808.

 

 

PRESBYTERIAN—Westminster Confession of Faith. Chapter XIX: "V. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obliga- tion. .  

"VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it: the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done."—Page 643. Chapter XX: "I. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the con- demning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law. . . . All which were common also to believers under the law; but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected."—Pages 643, 644.

CONGREGATIONAL—Savoy Declaration. Same as the above quotations from the Westminster Confession. Page 718.

BAPTIST—Philadelphia Confession. Same as the above. Page 738. BAPTIST—New Hampshire Confession, article 12: "We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to un- feigned obedience to the holy law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church."— Page 476.

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