The law of God

The Law of God


Rom 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.[1]

The distinction between law and grace:

What is law?

Belgic Confession:

Article 25: The Fulfillment of the Law
We believe that the ceremonies and symbols of the law have ended with the coming of Christ, and that all foreshadows have come to an end, so that the use of them ought to be abolished among Christians. Yet the truth and substance of these things remain for us in Jesus Christ, in whom they have been fulfilled. Nevertheless, we continue to use the witnesses drawn from the law and prophets to confirm us in the gospel and to regulate our lives with full integrity for the glory of God, according to his will.


Q24. What is sin? A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.


  1. 93. What is the moral law? A. The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul, and body, and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man: promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it.


  1. 94. Is there any use of the moral law since the fall? A. Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law; yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate.


  1. 95. Of what use is the moral law to all men? A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and will of God, and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly; to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives: to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery, and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and of the perfection of his obedience.


  1. 96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men? A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from the wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, upon the continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, and under the curse thereof.


  1. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate? A. 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.


  1. 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended? A. 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.


I note the above to establish that even in the covenant of grace, mankind remains bound to the law of God.

Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Notice that right after the apostle tells us that we are no longer under the law he goes on to exhort believers to obey….

What are we to obey? Surely it is the law of God. Obeying shows our sonship; it shows allegiance to one’s master. It validates our kinship. To be without the law of God is to be without God.

Consider the terms ‘sons of God’ vs ‘sons of disobedience’.

Who are the sons of disobedience? Who are the sons of obedience?

Was there ever a time when creation was without law?

God cannot go against His nature. In this, God is responsible to uphold His law.

2 Tim 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Matthew Henry writes:

“He is faithful to his threatenings, faithful to his promises; neither one nor the other shall fall to the ground, no, not the least, jot nor tittle of them. If we be faithful to Christ, he will certainly be faithful to us. If we be false to him, he will be faithful to his threatenings: he cannot deny himself, cannot recede from any word that he hath spoken, for he is yea, and amen, the faithful witness.”

What God commands, He remains bound to the same commands. Since the law is a reflection of God’s nature, to deny any portion of the law is to deny Himself. This He cannot do as if He did, He would cease being God.

The Gospel is not at odds with the law of God.

The law of God is not done away with in the age of grace. Consider the saints of the old.

Make the proper distinction in relationship to ceremony vs moral portion of God’s law.

Dispensational error.

Bad exegesis.

Covenant of Works vs Covenant of Grace. Covenant of death vs Covenant of life.

Andrew Murray writes:

“These events have an infinite significance, as revealing the character of the Covenants they are related to. The death of Christ shows the true nature of the Old Covenant. It is elsewhere called “a ministration of death” (2 Cor. iii.7). It brought forth nothing but death. It ended in death; only by death could the life that had been lived under it be brought to an end. The New was to be a Covenant of Life; it had its birth in the omnipotent resurrection power that brought Christ from the dead; its one mark and blessing is, that all it gives comes, not only as a promise, but as an experience, in the power of an endless life. “

Justified by faith or justified by works.

The gospel that was preached to Abraham….


Was Christ an antinomian?

Matt 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

What does the above passage mean in light of law vs grace?

What about the Apostle Paul?

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Rom 4 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

The above passage clearly makes the needed distinction between law and grace. Grace does not destroy the believers’ responsibility to the law of God. It defines it. It delineates it.

The law of God is written on the hearts of all men.


  • Jeremiah 31:31-33 (ESV) – “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
  • Ezekiel 36:26-27 (ESV) – “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
  • Hebrews 8:10 (ESV) – “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”


Calvin writes:

““[H]e confirms…that the newness…was not…the substance, but…the form only: for God does not say here, ‘I will give you another Law,’; but I will write my Law, that is, the same Law, which had formerly been delivered…[He doesn’t] promise anything different as to the essence…he makes the difference to be in the form only…he states the same thing in two ways…that he would put his law in their inward parts, and…write it in their hearts. We…know how difficult it is that man should be so formed to obedience that his whole life may be in unison with the Law of God, for all the lusts of the flesh are…enemies…it is in a manner a renovation of the world when men suffer themselves to be ruled by God…This is the reason why the Prophet was not satisfied with one statement, but said, I will put my Law in their inward parts, I will write it in their hearts…To write the Law in the heart imports nothing less than…that the Law should rule there, and that there should be no feeling of the heart, not conformable and not consenting to its doctrine.” – John Calvin’s commentary on Jeremiah 31:3

God’s law is at the heart of all believers.

Will there ever be a time when God’s law will be done a way with?

What did Jesus say?

Will believers have the law in glory?

[1] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ro 6:13–14.