I will interact with it, if u don’t mind:
I found this paper to be edifying and accurate in most cases; the only thing I see as a problem has it’s direct roots in dispensationalism. Otherwise, the paper is true.
Quotes from Parker:
“The law of God which is the believer’s rule of conduct now in the Gospel Economy. In the New Covenant or Gospel Economy God has clearly established the believer’s rule of conduct in the precepts of the Gospel as declared by Christ and His apostles. There is not a single part of the believer’s walk and conduct before God or man which is not clearly revealed in the New Testament.”
*Abraham had the gospel; so did, all the great saints of old. The Mosaic is an administration of the Covenant of grace. Hence, since Gen 3:15, the first call of the gospel to Adam and Eve, there has been a ‘gospel economy!
“The believer’s obedience, guided by these Gospel precepts, is neither the cause nor the ground of salvation. The only cause of salvation is God’s love, and the only ground of salvation is Christ’s righteousness imputed. The believer’s obedience to God’s law only evidences salvation.”
“All of these are direct commands from God to His people. How are we to view these things? Are we to conclude that the Old Testament laws were binding upon those people while the New Testament precepts are mere suggestions and good advice? We know better than this. Does this mean then that believers in the New Testament are under the rule of the Ten Commandments? No. Believers in the New Covenant are not under the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are not our rule of conduct.”
*The 10 commandments are eternal and are called the moral law.
The larger catechism helps here:
“Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
- Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.
- 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
- The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone; and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus; the four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.
99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the Ten Commandments?
- For the right understanding of the Ten Commandments, these rules are to be observed:
- That the law is perfect, and bindeth every one to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.
- That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures.
- That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.
- That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden; and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded: so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included; and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.
- That what God forbids, is at no time to be done; what he commands, is always our duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.
- That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto.
- That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places, to endeavor that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places.
- That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them; and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them.”
“believers under the New Covenant have specific rules binding upon them whereby they are to express their love, gratitude, and reverence to God. All that is binding upon believers in the New Covenant is revealed in the New Testament just as all that was binding upon God’s people in the Old Covenant was revealed. ”
*The above is pure dispensationalism. The writer has created a large gulf between both covenants.
“Before we label anyone a legalist or in bondage we must understand what legalism is and what spiritual bondage is. Many claim that anyone who says the law of God, in whatever capacity or however defined, is his rule of life is a legalist or under bondage.”
“”flee to Mount Sinai” for life and assurance.
“A legalist is a person who vainly imagines that righteousness and holiness is obtained, improved, or conditioned upon personal obedience to the law of God.”
” A legalist is not one who simply seeks to live by the rule of the Ten Commandments but one who makes his obedience to the law of God the basis of justification, sanctification, and reward in Heaven. ”
*The last 4 statements, Agreed.
“What is God’s law? In Matthew 4:4 Christ said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Keeping in mind that believers in the New Testament are guided by God’s law as defined in the precepts of the Gospel Economy as declared by Christ and His apostles, we need to say a word concerning the law of God in general.”
*The gospel economy started in Gen 3:15. Christ Himslef said, ‘if you love me, you will keep my commandments’. He clarifies what He means here when he itemizes those commandments: “Matt 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
“Does the fact that God’s revealed will by way of commandment, God’s law, mean that believers in the New Testament are under the Ten Commandments? NO. The Ten Commandments as they were given at Mount Sinai to Israel is not the New Testament believer’s rule of conduct and obedience. The Ten Commandments was part of the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Economy.”
*The above goes directly against Christ’s own words………The law of God was given to Adam in the garden-they are a direct reflection on God’s character and are eternal.
“The Old Covenant (Mosaic Economy) and the New Covenant (Gospel Economy) are two separate and distinct covenants.”
*Preposterous. Dispensationalism. There are two covenants in time, the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace. The C of G started in Gen 3:15. The Mosaic covenant is a gracious covenant because all men at this time are saved only by Christ through faith by grace of God.
“The Ten Commandments, which included strict sabbath keeping, was a vital part of the Old Covenant as was the ceremonial law. The whole economy was instituted by God to regulate the worship and obedience of the nation Israel in the land of promise.”
*The law has three distinctions-which you fail to make: ceremonial, moral and civil. God’s moral law is eternal-the ceremonial aspects have passed. The civil, if you are a theonomist, you believe the civil law remains. I won’t argue that point here.
“We conclude then that man’s works and efforts must be excluded from the ground of salvation.”
“All whom Christ represented will be able to say, “I have kept God’s law perfectly, not in my own person, but in the Person of Christ my Substitute.” They will be able to say, “I have suffered the penalty due to all my sins, not in my own person, but in the Person of Christ my Substitute.”
“God’s law is “holy and just and good” (Rom. 7:12). The goal of the law is justification and life. This goal can be attained only by righteousness. This is what God requires. God’s law is the enemy of every sinner who seeks this goal of righteousness by his works and efforts at obedience. God’s law is not the enemy of any sinner who seeks this goal of righteousness by faith in Christ.”
“Any attempts at obedience aimed at saving ourselves, keeping ourselves saved, making ourselves holy, or securing our final glory, are forbidden because this is legalism and bondage.”
“When God gives us specific rules by which to guide our conduct and worship, we can rest assured that none of these rules are given to promote legalism and bondage. The Old Covenant was not given to Israel to promote legalism and bondage. It was given to be their schoolmaster to lead them unto Christ. It was given to guide their whole economy according to God’s providential goodness and mercy upon them. They had rules and regulations under the Old Covenant. We have rules and regulations under the New Covenant.”
Dispensationalizing. Just because both epochs are different, this does not mean that all of the things from the previous timeframe are tossed aside-to say so is segregating God’s word and going against scripture; God’s word is one book and should be seen as such. The cross of Christ was a consummation of an event that started in Genesis ch 3. The same gospel that was preached to Abraham is preached in our age. There is only one gospel! Since all the great men of faith are saved in the same fashion, we need to consider this when we exegete God’s word in the New Testament.
“We should endeavor to tell the truth because we are God’s people, redeemed by Christ, and made righteous by His grace. To say that this specific command, or any command of the New Testament, is our rule of conduct and obedience is not fleeing to Mount Sinai for sanctification. The problem is not with God’s law nor with a person trying to obey God’s law. The problem lies in the motive.”