Trust and Duty–the written commands of Christ our Creator, Lawgiver and Lord Husband

Those who are not yet justified in Christ CANNOT obey God or offer God any acceptable sacrifices. Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD”

Romans 6:20 ”For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those thing is death”

Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we now bear FRUIT FOR GOD. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear FRUIT FOR DEATH.”

Luke 16:15 That which is highly esteemed among humans is abomination in the sight of God.

Those now outside of Christ cannot do any good works. But those who believe the gospel are obligated to obey the written commands of Christ our Creator, Lord and Lawgiver.

Hebrews 13: 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

I Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”

Romans 12 I appeal to you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

II Timothy 3– But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud … ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,… reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people..All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching.. for correcting, for training in righteousness

Matthew 11:29 Take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I john 5 2 This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. 3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, 4 because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.

I Corinthians 7: 22 For as many as who are called by the Lord as a slave are the Lord’s free person Likewise as many as who are called as a free person are Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price. Do not become slaves of others

I Corinthians 9: 19 Although I am a free person and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the Mosaic law, like one under the Mosaic law—though I myself am not under the Mosaic law —to win those under the Mosaic law. 21 To those who are without the Mosaic law, like one without the Mosaic law—NOT BEING WITHOUT GOD’S LAW BUT BEING IN CHRIST’S LAW….

Galatians 6: 2 Carry one another’s burdens. In this way you will fulfill THE LAW OF CHRIST…each person should examine their OWN WORK, and then they will have a reason for boasting in themselves alone, and not in respect to someone else

Romans 6: 18 Having been justified from sin, you became ENSLAVED TO righteousness… just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity… now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification….22 since you have been liberated from sin and have BECOME ENSLAVED TO God, you have YOUR fruit, which results in sanctification[—and the end is the life of the age to come

Romans 7: 4 You were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, in order to BELONG TO ANOTHER—to Him who was raised from the dead—in order to BEAR FRUIT FOR God… 6 we have died to what held us, in order to SERVE….

Romans 8: 9 if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not BELONG TO CHRIST…

8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, and by the Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father!”

8:21 the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children

Galatians 6: 13 You were called to be free… don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but SERVE one another through love.

David Bishop—“If grace makes me angry, if the law of Christ makes me angry, then I have not been converted. I don’t get upset at Christ’s commandments. I get upset with the sinner-exalting attempt to use Christ’s commands as a means to establish self righteousness. I get upset at the lie that people who attempt such wickedness are Christians. I don’t get angry at our Creator and Redeemer’s law. I delight in Christ’s word revealed, I see Christ’s holiness in His commands, and my sins against Christ’s law drive me again and again to Christ to thank Him for grace and to confess His glory in my salvation.”

David Bishop—-“Another form of Antinomianism is found in the teaching of those who say we are justified by the absence of any law altogether. They tell us that because there is no more law to condemn us, therefore we are righteous. Notice, it’s not that because Christ died for us as the reason why we are righteous. These antinomians say it’s because there is no more law to condemn us which is why we are righteous. They tell us it is impossible for Christians to sin; because, after all, there is no more law to sin against. Some of them even interpret the words “not under law but under grace” to mean that no law was ever satisfied by Christ’s death

David Bishop–Antinomianism undermines the true grace of God by eliminating justice from the gospel. It does this is by placing the blame with God’s law rather than with the sinner. It is true, as revealed to us in Romans 5, we would have not known what coveting was had the law not said do not covet. But this does not mean the law was wrong to say do not covet. No, the law was good and holy and just to say this. The problem was not with the law. Rather, the problem was and always is with us. We are sinners. Not only do we attempt to say—I have done enough of the law to make the difference. But we also on top of that sin against the law—we do what the law says not We don’t do what the law says to do.

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15 Comments on “Trust and Duty–the written commands of Christ our Creator, Lawgiver and Lord Husband”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Separation from sin does not mean to leave the kingdom of creation, And it also does not mean to leave the best visible church available , because a visible church is always a mixed bag, and only people who are too certain of themselves would ever judge other people. Otherwise you would have to leave the world. So of course you must eat with such persons, not only when you are receiving the means of grace from ordained clergy, but also when they are working with you in the secular kingdom for the extermination of Muslims. Earth is not heaven and will never be, and one day there we be no more earth, so now on earth you are not eating as a Christian but as a secular American. Even though it’s not our business to judge outsiders, we must judge those who were born in the visible church, and keep them from coming to the table too soon, in our opinion. As long as we make a distinction church and world, we can kill for the world. As long as we make a distinction between creation and redemption, we can kill other creatures as long as we do not do so in the name of redemption. God was morally required to put Cain to death, or have an agent put Cain to death. It would have been sheer immorality for God to have put a mark on Cain preventing justice being done to Cain. Abel’s blood cried out for justice, and anybody with a sword would have done a public good by killing Cain

    1 Peter 2: 21 For you were called to this,
    because Christ also suffered for you,
    leaving you an example,
    so that you should follow in His steps.
    22 He did not commit sin,
    and no deceit was found in His mouth;
    23 when He was reviled,
    He did not revile in return;
    when He was suffering,
    He did not threaten
    but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Hebrews 10:24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works

    1 Peter 2:12 Conduct yourselves honorably …so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they seeing your good works will glorify God on the day

    Ephesians 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

    Titus 2:14 Christ gave Himself FOR US to REDEEM US from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

    Matthew 5: 14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket] but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, in order that they see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

  3. alexd281 Says:

    Reblogged this on ReformedTheologian and commented:
    “Antinomianism undermines the true grace of God by eliminating justice from the gospel. It does this is by placing the blame with God’s law rather than with the sinner. It is true, as revealed to us in Romans 5, we would have not known what coveting was had the law not said do not covet. But this does not mean the law was wrong to say do not covet. No, the law was good and holy and just to say this. The problem was not with the law. Rather, the problem was and always is with us. We are sinners. Not only do we attempt to say—I have done enough of the law to make the difference. But we also on top of that sin against the law—we do what the law says not We don’t do what the law says to do.”

  4. markmcculley Says:

    When we say that the gospel is about Christ, does that mean that God’s law is not about Christ?

    When we say that Christ received the wrath of God;s law against the sins of elect sinners, does that mean that Christ did not give God’s law against sin and that God has no wrath or judgment?

    Are you teaching that God’s law now has nothing to say to the nation-state, or are you teaching that the church has no right to tell the nation-state what God’s law says to the nation-state? Or neither?

    Hopman, p 209, The Necessary Distinction”—“There is a history of speaking of union with Christ and of Christ as the actual subject who does the good works of the justified in such a way as to call into question whether the justified should be regarded as an ethical subject at all.”

    J I Packer warns us : “There have been mystical antinomians who have affirmed that the indwelling Christ is the personal subject who obeys the law in our identity once we invoke his help in obedience situations, and there have been other antinomians who have affirmed that the Holy Spirit within us directly prompts us to know and do the will of God, without our needing to look to the law for information about right and wrong. …The idea they say, is that what Christ enables us to do Christ ACTUALLY DOES IN US for himself. So now we live, not by being forgiven our constant shortcomings AND not by imitating Christ, the example practitioner of holy obedience to God’s law, but by Christ himself doing in us all that our Father wants us to do.”

    Tullian–Jesus Plus Nothing, p 95 —– We’ve got work to do—but what exactly is it? Get better? Try harder? Pray more? Get more involved at church? Read the Bible longer? No. God works his work in you, which is the work already accomplished by Christ.

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Paul did not refer to the Israelites as having a “covenant,” but “covenants” (“to them ….. covenant of works and covenant of grace are theological constructs, our way of making theological sense of the Bible.)

    Many of those who contrast “Christ’s faith” with our faith in Christ’s death say that there is no difference between law and gospel, but only a right way and a wrong way of pursuing the law, and that Christ’s faith was the right way of pursuing the law.But see the essay by David Gordon in WTJ (Spring 1992): “Why Israel did not obtain Torah Righteousness; A note on Romans 9:32.”

    Gordon writes that the verse should be translated “because the law is not of faith” in line with Gal 3:12. “The qualification works-and-not faith in Gal 3:10-13 is parallel to the qualification works and not faith in Romans 9:32.”

    • markmcculley Says:

      (Promise, Law, Faith ,Hendrickson, 2019)
      T David Gordon–p 27. The Sinai covenant excludes Gentiles. Paul’s question was, “Why have that DIFFERENT covenant that SEGREGATED the descendents of Abraham from the nations ….Paul asked precisely the opposite question that Luther and Calvin asked when they formulated three uses of the law. They asked–“what are the uses of the Sinai law
      that it STILL HAS?” Paul asked, “What was the purpose of the Sinai law that IT NO LONGER HAS? Galatians 3: 23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The Sinai law, then, was our guardian until Christ.

      T David Gordon–p 42. “Because the doctrine of justification by faith alone was unsettled in Luther’s and Calvin’s day, much Protestant interpretation of Galatians has (in error) assumed that Paul’s issue was the same as Luther’s and Calvin’s. But it was not. Paul’s issue was virtually identical to the issue addressed at the Jerusalem Council–which if any of the ceremonies of the Mosaic law are Gentiles required to observe in the new covenant? (42)

      (Promise, Law, Faith ,Hendrickson, 2019)

  6. markmcculley Says:

    John Calvin—However eagerly the saints may in accordance with the Spirit strive toward God’s righteousness, the listless flesh always so burdens them that they do not proceed with due readiness. The law is to the flesh like a whip to an idle and balky ass, to arouse it to work. Even for a spiritual man not yet free of the weight of the flesh the law remains a constant sting that will not let him stand still. . . . But the accompanying promise of grace. . .sweetens what is bitter .Institutes, 2/7/12

    wcf 19:6 yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin and the THREATENINGS OF IT (the law) serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience,and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof…. a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law: and not under grace.

  7. markmcculley Says:

    “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.

    Matthew 23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses… don’t do what they do,[b]because they don’t practice what they teach.

    4 They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do everything to be observed by others. They love the place of honor, the front seats

    Matthew 23: 8 “But as for you, do not be called teacher, because you have one Teacher 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven.

  8. markmcculley Says:

    see this writer who gets assurance of faith from works (but whose faith is in a different Christ and a different gospel) — our faith in Christ cannot but produce works, or to put it another way, what we believe inevitably affects how we behave. I don’t think anyone will disagree with that. If you claim to believe something but your alleged faith does not produce the necessary and inevitable actions that corresponds to such a faith, then you really don’t have faith…. the works that are produced do not demonstrate that the person is good and moral, but that the person believes

    But of course there are many preachers who teach that Christ’s death satisfies the law, but who then deny that it’s our duty to obey the law of Christ or even to obey the gospel

    some preachers say that asking about our own salvation
    distracts our attention from Christ
    they instruct us, don’t even ask yourself if you believe the gospel
    think instead about the faith of Christ and not about if you have faith in Christ

    there’s no justification already for those without faith in the gospel
    preachers say, look to Christ alone, but don’t look at your looking to see if you are looking

    I think i Know what it means to kiss your own ass

    but i don’t know exactly what it means to look to Christ
    while trying hard not to look at yourself looking to Christ

    you were already born saved, they say, before you look, without looking

    a sinner (elect or non-elect) not agreeing with God about what the gospel teaches? The difference between “moral” and “other stuff which is not moral” depends on antinomians putting the pair together and assuming that they have defined “moral”

    Isaiah 8: Do not call everything an alliance
    these people say is an alliance.
    Do not fear what they fear.
    Do not be terrified.
    13 You are to regard only the Lord of Hosts as holy.
    Only the Lord should be feared;
    only the Lord should be held in awe.

  9. markmcculley Says:

    The old strict baptist guys (Gadsby, Popham) deny that sinners are commanded to believe the gospel. It’s correct to say that the gospel is not the law, but it’s incorrect to say that therefore there is no command or duty to obey the gospel. 2. But these guys preached that a sinner needed to feel broken and feel their sin to get a hint that they might be “regenerate” (completely without any power of the gospel) and that only then could sinners so “prepared” could be told the gospel. 3. It makes a difference because the preachers not only deny that Moses is a rule of law but are not taught of God that they should not kill or that they need the follow the example of Jesus Christ Himself—-they feel things, but they don’t like commands even when they are written down in the New Testament. You cannot love your enemy while killing your enemy for your country or family.

    Should we admit that an unconverted person is not a proper subject of ministerial exhortation, because he has no power in himself to comply, the just consequence of this position would, perhaps, extend too far, even to prove the impropriety of all exhortation universally—for when we invite the weary and heavy laden to come to Christ, that they may find rest; when we call upon backsliders to remember from whence they are fallen, “to repent and do their first works”; yes, when we exhort believers “to walk worthy of God, who has called them to His kingdom and glory”—in each of these cases we press them to acts for which they have no inherent power of their own; and unless the Lord the Spirit is pleased to apply the Word to their hearts, we do but speak to the air; and our endeavors can have no more effect in these instances than if we were to say to a dead body “arise, and walk.”

    That great champion of free grace, John Owen, has a very solemn address to sinners, the running title to which is, “Exhortations unto believing.” It is in his Exposition of the 130th Psalm, which I recommend to your attentive consideration.Personally, we have often lamented the fact that Mr. Gadsby, and later, Mr. Philpot, followed what we believe was the error of William Huntington

  10. markmcculley Says:

    If the gospel the only rule of life, is there another rule of life for people who don’t believe the gospel?

    or is there another gospel for the people who don’t believe the gospel, since they also a need a rule of life, and since the gospel is the rule of life?

    or is there a rule of life without any gospel for those who don’t believe the gospel?

    Do we need the Supreme Court to outlaw all Arminian churches?
    or only the Muslims?

    if the gospel is our only rule of life, then being Arminian is against the law
    because being Arminian is against the gospel

    if stealing is against God’s rule of life, but God’s rule of life is the gospel, then stealing is not obeying the gospel

    Romans 10:16 But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?

  11. markmcculley Says:

    Romans 10: 16 But ALL DID NOT OBEY the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

    II Thessalonians 1:, 8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of permanent destruction from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength

    Romans 6: 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to

  12. markmcculley Says:

    Gadsby Question LXXVI. What is meant by the gospel in a more extensive sense? Answer. The above things,TOGETHER WITH together with the precepts and ordinances enjoined on the church by Christ and His apostles, and the things connected therewith. Question LXXVII. Is the gospel, in all its branches, a sufficient rule of life to a believer in Christ? Answer. Yes; for through the life-giving power of the Spirit, faith lives upon Christ, the Living Head, and gospel precepts are the believer’s rule in the world, in the family, in the church, and in case of personal offences.

    begs the question, Gadsby takes some of the commands of the NT, gospel and epistles, says they are all included in gospel, and that there is n l w for Christians

    so for Gadsby, the gospel is only for Christians, not to be addressed
    to non-Christians

    for Gadsby, the commands of Christ are to be included in the gospel,
    because “law” is only for non-Christians

    Gadsby–they end the sheep to the law of works, and tell them that
    their comfort depends upon their walking according thereunto.

    mark–nope, but I do say law is not in the gospel, and gospel is not
    the justified sinner’s rule of life.

    Gadsby–THEY address the unconverted, they tell them that it is their
    duty to look to Christ, and believe in him.

    mark mcculley–i sure do

  13. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Tianqi Wu–In regard to justification by faith, the knowledge of law is the background for the gospel of grace, and the sinner can do nothing with regard to this revelation except believe it (or not). This is Paul, Romans 1-4.

    In regard to living the Christian life, the gospel is the background for the Law of Christ, and Christians are called to be not only hearers but doers. This is James 1-2.

    the royal Law, the Law of freedom, the word of truth–. I don’t think these refer only to the gospel.

    James says is simply that it is not enough to hear the Law, but also do it, in order for you to reap benefits from it.

    Wait – reap benefits from doing Law? The benefits are not getting justified (vs being being condemned), but “training in godliness” in this age and the anticipation of praise/vindication in the next age. These works will have God’s praise (“justification”) – not as extra levels of righteousness or glory for individuals, but as a public revelation and an official stamp of approval of the Spirit’s work

    Christians alone are in a position to do acceptable work and work because they have died in Christ to the condemnation of God’s Law, and raised in Christ as a part of the new order. How much they will do depends on the Spirit’s work in them.

    Both law and gospel reveal and are revealed by the same God/Christ

    Believing the gospel is the only way to be in position or good works, but it is the Law that explicitly calls for works and teaches what these works are. Therefore it’s useful to listen to/teach the commandments of God, given by Christ and the apostles, not only to see our sin, but also to see our aim.

    James chastises those who listen to these good injunctions but then do not put them into practice. He is not saying their faith in the gospel is insincere or worthless, but that their knowledge of Christian duties is useless without works.

    James does connects back to the gospel of unconditional election as a reason not to discriminate against the poor.

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