Dear brothers and sisters,
This Sunday we will return to our series on the Ten Commandments as we look together at some common objections people raise regarding the relevance of the law in the life of the New Testament believer. We will seek to go to the verses that are used as proof-texts and study the context of those verses. If you want to read some larger sections of Scripture having to do with the matter, I would suggest Romans 6:1 – 8:11 and Galatians 2:11 – 5:15.
(1) The principle that moves the one spirit to duty is slavish, the other childlike. In one case the man does things in a legal spirit, either hoping to get rewards by it, or fearing punishments if he omits the duty. The godly man, on the other hand, goes about duty for the sake of obtaining communion with God, and knows it to be his reward and happiness to have that communion, while the lack of it is the greatest punishment he can endure.(2) The one man does these things as his delight, and the other as his burden.(3) The one type of man performs duty from the convictions of conscience, the other from the necessity of his nature. With many, obedience is their precept, not their principle; holiness their law, not their nature.(4) The one kind of man looks for his satisfaction in the duty by the performance of the duty, the other looks for satisfaction in the duty as he finds Christ thereby; it is not in the duty, but above the duty, that he finds his satisfaction.(5) The one kind of man contents himself with the shell, the other is not content without the substance. The godly man goes to duty as the means of communion with God, to see God, to enjoy God, and to talk with God; the other goes to duty merely to satisfy the grumblings and quarrels of his conscience.(6) The one type of man performs duty in order to live by it… But the believer prays and performs duty, yet he looks beyond them, and looks to live by Christ alone. He lives in the duty, but not by the duty; he lives in obedience, but yet looks higher than the obedience: ‘I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.’(7) The one type of man does things coldly and formally, the other fervently. Yet I do not question but that at times there may be coldness in a godly man and earnestness in the other… Affections based on true faith are not loud, yet they are strong; they may be still, yet they are deep; though they are not so violent, yet they are more sweet, more lasting.(8) The formal man does duty with a view to it serving other ends, and especially when he finds himself in extreme difficulties… Some men desire holiness but only under great external pressure. They look upon prayer, upon obedience, upon the mortification of their lusts, and such like, as so many hard tasks and impositions which they must submit to if they would come to glory. But it is not so with the godly man. He closes with these duties as his heaven, as a part of his happiness, a piece of his glory. He does not close with them from a necessity of submission, but out of delight; these things are not his penance, but his glory and his desire. The other man parts with sin, not because sin is not desirable (for he weeps after it) but because ￼it is damning… And so he closes with holiness, not out of love and desire for it, but because he must endure it if he would come to heaven at last. But the godly man, on the other hand, parts with sin as poison, as an accursed thing which he desires to be rid of, and embraces holiness as his happiness. He thirsts to enjoy it and to be swallowed up by it.(9) The one kind of man does duty as a sick man eats his food – not out of desire for it and delight in it, but because he knows that he will die if he does not eat; yet he has no desire or stomach for it. But the godly man does duty after the manner in which a healthy man feeds – not merely because he needs food, but because he desires it and delights in it. The one man engages in duty as if it were medicine, not food. He is reluctant to perform it; he has no pleasure in it; he is driven to it only because he conceives that his soul’s health demands it. But the godly man engages in duty as a healthful man sits down to meat; there is delight, desire, and pleasure in the exercise.
Prayer on Wednesday night will be at the Burkes’ home.
- Joy to the World
- The Gospel Doxology
- Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
- There Is a Fountain
- Here Is Love