Even if you do what you believe (because you believe), and “choose life”, there is no life in the law

There is no life in the law of Moses. There is no life in the law of Christ.
There is only life in the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Many who preach sermons in churches could preach the very same sermon in synagogues, because they preach the law and not the gospel. They confuse the law with the gospel, because they think that doing the law brings life. Make your choice, these preachers tell us. Believe the law and then do the law, and if you don’t do the law that means you don’t believe the law.

Deuteronomy 30:11 Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is NOT TOO HARD FOR YOU, nor is it too far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and DO IT ?” 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and DO IT” 14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to DO 15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 IF YOU OBEY the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and DOING his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live…. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.

But this choice is not as simple as it sounds, which is why legal preachers also cut themselves (and those who listen to them) some slack. They assure us that we need not live by the letter of the law. They say we can choose life and gain life by doing what the law says but at the same without our relying on our believing and on our doing what the law says. We should remain humble and thank God for helping us do the law. We should not sit in judgment those who don’t do the law well, so that others will not judge us when we don’t do the law better.

These preachers have no good news for sinners like me. These preachers have no good news for people like me who are still very unbelieving.

When Jesus preached in a synagogue, Jesus preached about Himself, not about our doing the law. Of those who are guilty before the law , all those for whom Jesus died (the elect) will be freed from that guilt and given life.

Matthew 11: 8 those who wear soft clothes are in kings’ palaces.

Luke 4: 16 Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:
18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives

Luke 4: 25 But I say to you, there were certainly many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months while a great famine came over all the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them—but to one widow outside of Israel. 27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time, there were many in Israel who had serious skin diseases, yet not one of them was healed —only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged.29 They got up, drove Jesus out of town, and brought Him to the edge of the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl Jesus over the cliff.

These who come in soft clothes to the synagogues are not offended at the idea of a new perspective in which they become more inclusive and welcome others to do the law with them. But those in soft clothes in the synagogues get angry when anybody “narrows the covenant” to only those sinners whose hope is not in doing the law but in election by grace. Those in soft clothes in synagogues reject any notion that their own children and other family members will not be given enough grace to do enough of the law to receive life.

Deuteronomy 27: 26 Cursed is everyone who does not DO ALL the things written in the book of the law'”

John 3:19– “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their DOING was evil. 20 They do not come to the light, lest their DOING be exposed.

“All who depend on DOING the law are under a curse” (Galatians 3:10).

Those who pursue life by doing and obeying the law also accept the consequences of disobeying law. We are all born condemned, even before we do anything good or bad.
Whether we think we are pursuing life by doing or not, we are all born condemned, with no hope except in the gospel.

Hebrews 6:1– “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God”

Hebrews 9:14–”How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Faith in the doctrine of Christ’s death and resurrection can be referred to as obedience in the sense that when we believe in Christ we are doing what God command everybody to do. Thus is why the Scriptures sometimes speak of “obeying the gospel.” But doing the law is not faith in the gospel (Romans 3:28). Since whatever is not faith is sin (Romans 14:23 ) , some have concluded that “works of the law” does not refer to failure before the law in general, but rather to a specific kind of sin–the sin of trying to earn life from God by doing the law. But we are all born condemned because of Adam’s sin and also because of all our sins, not only because of the sin of trying to gain life by law. Even though there was never grace for the non-elect, the non-elect also are born condemned before they did anything good or bad, and before they ever attempted to gain life by doing the law. Romans 9:11 For though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything GOOD OR BAD, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works. Law doing is not simply acts one does without faith. “Works” are “anything we do, whether good or bad.”

Romans 3:19 “The law speaks to those who are under the law, in order that every mouth be silenced, and in order that the whole world be held accountable to God. 20 For ‘no human being will be justified in his sight’ by doing commanded by the law. Through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Jesus has redeemed His elect people from the curse of the law “by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13)

Galatians 3: 12 The law is NOT of faith, rather “The one who DOES them shall LIVE by them.” (Leviticus 18:5)

The logic of “if” is the logic of “or”.

Galatians 2:21 if righteousness and life came through doing the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Christ died for a purpose (all for whom Christ died will be saved) OR righteousness is through our doing the law. No synthesis possible. Christ did not come to help us to get around that antithesis

Galatians 3:18 For IF the inheritance comes by DOING the law, the inheritance does NOT come by promise

Galatians 3:21 For IF a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by doing the law.

Romans 3: 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded.

If our doing the law brings life, then trusting only in Christ’s death is excluded. Faith in Christ’s death and resurrection means “not doing the law”

This is why we cannot say that doing the law because we believe gives us life. We do not receive or keep life by doing the law.

John 7:19 “Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law.”

Acts 13: 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption 37 but Jesus who God raised up experienced no corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man Jesus forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; 39 by this Jesus each and every person who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

II Corinthians 3: 7 Now if the ministry of death, in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at the face of Moses because of the glory, a glory now set aside, 8 how much more will the ministry of the Holy Spirit come in glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! 10 Indeed, what ONCE HAD glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory. 11 if what was SET ASIDE came through glory, much more has the PERMANENT come in glory!

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18 Comments on “Even if you do what you believe (because you believe), and “choose life”, there is no life in the law”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    John Murray ( Appendix B “Leviticus 18:5” from his Romans commentary)–The problem that arises from this use of Leviticus 18:5 is that the text does not appear in a context that deals with legal righteousness as opposed to that of faith. The text is in a context in which the claims of God upon his redeemed and covenant people are being asserted and urged upon Israel… It refers NOT to the life accruing from doing in a legalistic framework but to the blessing attendant upon obedience in a redemptive covenant relationship to God.” How could the apostle have taken a text which, in context, appears to refer to sanctification works of a redeemed person within the covenant community, and apply that text to individuals seeking the righteousness of justification on the basis of their doing the law?

    Daniel Fuller, Gospel and Law— To maintain an adversative relationship between Romans 10:5 and 10″6-8 necessitates either conceding that the Pentateuch can state such opposites or that Paul, while holding to the intended meaning of Leviticus 18:5 in Romans 10:5, nevertheless ignored the intended meaning of Deuteronomy 30:11-14


    In Gal 3:10 Paul says that those who are of the “works of the law”32 are under a curse, and proves it by quoting Deuteronont 27:26: “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Paul follows the LXX in adding the word “all” to the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy, hence emphasizing the entirety of the obedience that the Mosaic law demands. For this verse to prove his point (that all people who are under the law are also under a curse), Paul must be working with an implied premise: no one actually keeps the law perfectly.

    DVD–“The apostle expands his point in the following verses. In 3:11 the apostle quotes Habbakuk 2:4 (“the righteous shall live by faith”) to show that no one can be justified by the law. The law, he adds in 3:12, “is not of faith.” He proves this claim by quoting again from the law, this time Leviticus 18:5: “The one who does them shall live by them.” Paul’s larger point in Gal 3:10-12, therefore, is that the Mosaic law demands perfect obedience, promising life, but that it inevitably brings a curse because sinful human beings disobey it. Paul echoes these sentiments in Gal 5:2-4, where he says that those seeking to be justified by the law are “obligated to keep the whole law”—a strong demand for perfect obedience—and find no benefit from Christ. Paul does not consider this a viable option, but one that ends inevitably in failure.”

    DVD–“A number of recent Reformed commentators acknowledge that Paul is sharply contrasting faith and works of the law in these and parallel passages, yet deny that the Mosaic law itself can be contrasted with faith (in this sense adopting a similar conclusion to many New Perspective advocates). Instead, these Reformed commentators believe that when Paul quotes or refers to the law so as to contrast it with faith he thinks not of the Mosaic law itself but of the law as misinterpreted in a legalistic way ”

    DVD–“That Paul dealt with people whom he judged to have misinterpreted the purposes of the Mosaic law is unquestionable, but that the law itself stood in contrast to faith, at least in certain respects, was Paul’s own view.”

    Romans 9:32–”They did not seek if by faith, as if it were by works of law.”

    Some who focus only on redemptive history 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 the gospel is the right way of pursuing the law. David Gordon in WTJ (Spring 1992): “Why Israel did not obtain Torah Righteousness; A note on Romans 9:32.” writes that the verse should be translated not “as if it were”, but “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.”

    “If one group attained what the other did not, the difference between them might lie in the manner in which they pursued it. This is NOT what Paul says however. The two groups did not pursue the same thing (the gentiles pursued nothing). Paul’s point therefore is NOT that the Gentiles pursued righteousness in a better manner (by faith) than the Jews. Rather, God’s mercy gives what is not even pursued. When Paul asks why the Jews did not attain unto the Torah, his answer addressed the NATURE of the law- covenant (Torah demands perfect obedience), not the nature of the PURSUIT of the law-covenant.”

    • 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)

  2. tuckerup187 Says:

    Excellent, as always, Mark. THANK YOU!

  3. markmcculley Says:


    Luke 3: 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should WE DO?”

    God chooses His children,

    Luke 3: 8 Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Luke 3: 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should WE DO?”

    we can do that

    Luke 3: 11 He replied to them, “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He told them, “Don’t collect any more than what you have been authorized.” 14 Some soldiers also questioned him: “What should we do?” He said to them, “Don’t take money from anyone by force or false accusation; be satisfied with your wages.”

  5. markmcculley Says:


    Hank Hanegraaff – “The requirements for life are not based on what you do. Jesus is ready and waiting to exchange His perfection for your imperfection “Some churches teach that “God wants us to exchange our self-righteousness for Christ’s righteousness.” One old slogan says–all you contribute is your sins. But it is not so. God has ALREADY (or NOT) made the exchange. For some sinners, that is for all elect sinners, God has already imputed their sins to Christ. In time, it will be God (not these sinners) who will impute Christ’s death (His righteousness) to the sinners.

    By “double imputation” I do not mean that Christ’s death is not enough and that added to the death,, we need to be imputed with his “vicarious law-keeping” .

    Sproul—Because now Jesus is not acting in His baptism for Himself, but for His people.

    mark—Sproul is assuming the water of John the Baptist. Sproul is not thinking about Christ’s death itself being called a “baptism”.

    Sproul—If His people are now required to submit to this baptismal ritual, He submits to it in their behalf.

    mark: The Mosaic law did not command the water baptism done by John the Baptist, and not all of the elect were ever required to be water baptized by John the Baptist. There is a difference between commanding somebody to baptize with water, and commanding people to be water baptized. It’s important that Jesus became incarnate, that he was physically circumcised, that He had faith, and that He rose again. But that does not mean that all these acts that Jesus did vicariously are imputed to the elect.

    Sproul–Because the redemption that is brought by Christ is not restricted to His death on the cross. We’ve seen that in the work of redemption God didn’t send Jesus to earth on Good Friday and say, “Die for the sins of your people and that will take care of it.”

    mark: Sproul can’t be bothered to think that the gospel is about Jesus dying only for the sins of the elect imputed to Jesus. Because, whatever the people who buy his books and pay to attend his conferences think about election, Sproul does not think that the death of Jesus will take care of saving them. Sproul does not think the cross is enough without other things added to that.

    Sproul No. Jesus not only had to die for our sins, but He had to live for our righteousness. If all Jesus did was die for your sins, that would remove all of your guilt, and that would leave you sinless in the sight of God, but not righteous.

    mark–Sproul is not dealing with Romans 6 or any other text which teaches about being placed into Christ’s death and and thus no longer being under the law. Sproul is saying instead that Christ’s death is not Christ’s righteousness. When Sproul teaches that Christ’s death is not what God uses to declare the elect righteous, then Sproul is also teaching that legal identification with Christ’s death and resurrection would still leave us “under the law”. Since the law identifies acts of omission as also sin, Sproul is teaching that Christ’s death is not even enough to leave anybody sinless.

    Sproul—You would be innocent but not righteous because you haven’t done anything to obey the Law of God which is what righteousness requires.

    Mark– The Mosaic law did not require the water baptism of John the Baptist. But Sproul counts the water baptism of John as one among many thing Christ did which will count as our righteousness. And Sproul does NOT count Christ’s death as our righteousness.

  6. markmcculley Says:

    “enhance what we give and do”, god, because of course we need you to add some grace into the mix a bit, and not be strict but be like a daddy to us, but all works are for you, even if you did not command them, even if you commanded us not to do what we did we know it’s for you and you will accept it, like this two week mission trip to Africa other people will pay for

    Deuteronomy 30: 13 And it is not across the sea so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ 14 But the message is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may FOLLOW IT.

    15 See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, in order that you WILL LIVE and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

    17 But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are led astray to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I tell you today that you will certainly PERISH and WILL NOT LIVE long in the land you are entering to possess across the Jordan. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you LIFE and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful to Him. For He is your life, and He will prolong your life in the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

    Tianqi Wu I do not think Adam had the promise of eternal life for “lifelong” obedience. So this might sound strange: I think this promise of eternal life only came after Adam fell. My explanation: prior to the Fall, Christ is not promised, Adam is the ruler, Adam will not get anything better than that, but can only fall from that position. After the Fall, Christ is promised


    We should note in fairness that many of those who teach vicarious law-keeping as part of the righteousness do NOT teach a “covenant of works that promised life” with Adam. Even if they would say “covenant of works”, they mean “law for Adam which is going to condemn Adam.”
    Romans 7: 9 Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life 10 and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me.

    Romans 2: 6 He will repay each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth but are obeying unrighteousness; 9 affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 There is no favoritism with God.

  7. markmcculley Says:

    Romans 8: 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

    who subjected it?

    not creation’s fault

    Adam’s fault?

    Adam is creation

    how hope a “subjection”?

    this text does not explain the reason that God subjected the creation

    was it the sins of the human creature?

    this text does not explain why God predestined the bondage and the groaning

    if we bless the earth, the earth will bless us?

    the earth will be here after we are gone?

    the earth tends to bend in the direction of justice?

    will justice destroy the earth?

    will justice save the earth?

    let’s begin by excluding those individuals who are concerned about being right before God
    and let’s us focus on being right with the earth and each other

    sectarian “universalism” (get the fundies out and this church will grow)

    triumphalism based on communal corporate ethical motives and doing….thank you God I have no time to think about my personal salvation
    thank you God for blessing me for being meek

    think you God for making me meek

    because we are meek together, we will prevail and have life

    don’t be your self alone, get on the bandwagon

    • markmcculley Says:

      Does God’s “infinite wrath” mean that finite sinners will need to go on sinning forever?
      Must Satan keep sinning forever in order for God to display all of God’s “infinite” glory?
      when God said in Romans 12, I will repay, does that mean that God will never be done displaying God’s wrath?
      will there be no “closure”?
      will justice against the non-elect ever be obtained?
      or will sin always keep up with God?
      more sin, more wrath, more sin, and sword brings sword, is this what God planned?
      Why didn’t God display His wrath before God created the world?
      Is the creation a display of God’s wrath?
      Was the creation a means for displaying God’s wrath?

  8. S Says:

    Luke 5: 6 When they did this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets began to tear. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!

    To talk about our SIN after we are Christians would be lack of self esteem, so instead we should speak of our inadequacy needing God’s help. Sarcasm alert. But I have got more to be humble about than you do, since God was trying to communicate with all of us, but my hearing made God’s call work in my situation. God’s calling does not make some hear and others not hear.

    Isaiah 6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another:
    Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
    His glory fills the whole earth.
    4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
    5 Then I said:
    Woe is me for I am ruined
    because I am a man of unclean lips
    and live among a people of unclean lips,
    and because my eyes have seen the King,
    the Lord of Hosts.
    6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said:

    Now that this has touched your lips,
    your wickedness is removed
    and your sin is atoned for.
    8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
    Who should I send?
    Who will go for Us?
    I said:
    Here I am. Send me.
    9 And He replied:
    Go! Say to these people:
    Keep listening, but do not understand;
    keep looking, but do not perceive.
    10 Dull the minds of these people;
    deafen their ears and blind their eyes;
    otherwise they would see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears,
    understand with their minds,
    turn back, and be healed.

    God is not “trying to communicate”. God is successfully communicating without communicating…

  9. markmcculley Says:

    Jonah to God–it would be a waste of my time to go. Because you probably won’t keep your threats, but instead might be gracious to them others. But I am important and they are not elect.

    God to Jonah–your time is not all that important

    Isaiah to God—here am I, send me

    God to isaiah–I will send you, but they won’t hear you, because it’s not their hearing which causes the calling to work, but the calling which causes the hearing.

    Isaiah 6: 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
    Who should I send?
    Who will go for Us?
    I said:
    Here I am. Send me.
    9 And He replied:
    Go! Say to these people:
    Keep listening, but do not understand;
    keep looking, but do not perceive.
    10 Dull the minds of these people;
    deafen their ears and blind their eyes;
    otherwise they would see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears,
    understand with their minds,
    turn back, and be healed.

  10. markmcculley Says:

    Jesus was not “trying to communicate” so that only some used this “grace” to hear. God was successfully communicating without communicating.

    Matthew 13: 14 Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
    You will listen and listen,
    yet never understand;
    and you will look and look,
    yet never perceive.
    15 For this people’s heart has grown callous;
    their ears are hard of hearing,
    and they have shut their eyes;
    otherwise they might see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
    and turn back—
    and I would cure them.
    16 “But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear! 17 For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.

    John 12: 37 Even though He had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him. 38 But this was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said:
    Lord, who has believed our message?
    And who has the arm of the Lord
    been revealed to?
    39 This is why they were unable to believe, because Isaiah also said:
    40 He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
    so that they would not see with their eyes
    or understand with their hearts,
    and be converted,
    and I would heal them.

    Acts 28: He tried to persuade them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets. 24 Some were persuaded by what he said, but others did not believe.: 25 Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: “The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your ancestors 26 when He said,

    Go to these people and say:
    You will listen and listen,
    yet never understand;
    and you will look and look,
    yet never perceive.
    27 For the hearts of these people
    have grown callous,
    their ears are hard of hearing,
    and they have shut their eyes;
    otherwise they might see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears,
    understand with their heart,
    and be converted,
    and I would heal them

  11. markmcculley Says:

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

    I John 3:23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.



    Philpot: As for that religion which tells us we must rejoice, because believers are told in the Bible to rejoice always, it savors to me too much of man’s power and free will to be of God. The religion i want is of the Holy Ghost. I know nothing but what the Holy Ghost teaches me. I feel nothing but what the Holy Ghost works in me. . I believe nothing but what the Holy Ghost shows me. I only mourn when the Holy Ghost smites me. I only rejoice when the Holy Ghost reveals the Savior

    Philpot—But it may be asked–Do you then set aside the two great commandments of the law–“You shall love the Lord your God” etc.. and “your neighbor as yourself?” No, on the contrary, the gospel as an external and internal rule fulfills commands.

    So does this mean that there are no more commands?

  12. markmcculley Says:

    if we want God to do unto you as you have done to others, we don’t want the grace revealed in the gospel of Christ’s death


    I Corinthians 15: 56 Now the sting of death is sin,
    and the power of sin is the law.

    In his attempt to avoid what he accuses of being “hyper-Calvinism”, Mark Jones avoids the scandal of the gospel. Done before Do. To correlate the increase of our obedience with the decrease of sin is to decrease faith in the Accomplished Death of Christ.

    Martin Luther–“Imagine that by the merit of congruity you have made so much progress that the Spirit has been granted to you and that you have love. Of course, all this would be a monstrosity and cannot be found anywhere in the nature of things. But imagine, I say, that, by doing what lies within you, you acquire grace, are righteous, and have the Spirit. On what basis? On the basis of the merit of congruity? Then you do not need Christ, but He has become useless to you and died to no purpose.” https://heidelblog.net/2017/05/if-god-helps-those-who-help-themselves-christ-died-for-nothing/

    Mark Jones–There are both unconditional and conditional promises offered to us in the Scripture. Conditional promises depend on human action, which means they are sometimes unfulfilled. Even within the Christian life there are certain conditional promises made to us that remain unfulfilled because we do not help ourselves (i.e., we do not ask). In the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q. 91) the divines ask, “How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?” The answer involves human response: by the blessing of Christ and the power of the Spirit, those who by faith receive the Lord’s Supper will be helped by God. God does not eat and drink for us; we must apply ourselves to the sacraments and receive from God all that we can lawfully receive. To deny the value of the concept that God helps Christians who help themselves is actually to fall into a type of “Hyper-Calvinism” whereby human responsibility is jettisoned for a type of Islamic fatalism. As with most theological slogans, the problem is not in the slogan itself, but in how we understand the slogan.

    Matthew Henry.–“God will help those that help themselves.The law succours those who watch, not those who sleep.”

    Thomas Watson–“Sinners can go to hell for not forgiving as much as for not believing.”

    J C Ryle–Neglect of the duty of forgiving shuts a sinner out of the kingdom of Christ.

    John Piper–“You can believe the promises and be lost”




  13. […] Even if you do what you believe (because you believe), and “choose life”, there is no life in th… […]

  14. markmcculley Says:

    Those who teach Christ’s law-keeping as the righteousness revealed in the gospel remind us that the Bible does not say “die to live” . Even when Jesus says lose your life in order to save your life, they
    explain, Jesus is not saying die to live. Rather, it’s do and live.
    And the death of Jesus is not his doing, they claim.

    Galatians 3:10 it is s clear that no one is justified before God by
    the law, because the righteous will live by faith. 12 But the law is
    not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live
    by them. 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by
    becoming a curse for us

    Thus we understand that it is clear that no one is justified by
    becoming cursed or by having a Surety cursed. The righteous live by
    faith in Christ’s doing the law. Christ did not only have faith for
    us. Faith does not satisfy the covenant of works. Christ did not
    only repent for us. Repentance does not satisfy the law for us.
    Christ did not only die for us. Death does not satisfy the covenant of
    works. The ones who do these things will live. Therefore, Christ did
    these things so that we could have faith not in our doing the things
    but in Christ doing the things.

    Or so we are told.
    Galatians 3:21: For if a law had been given that was able to give
    life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law

    Thus we understand that a law has been given, which if obeyed by
    Christ, gives life to Christ’s elect. The righteous have no hope for
    life in Christ’s death (but only the remission of sins) . The righteous have hope for life in Christ obeying the law, and that law gives life.

    Or so we are told
    Romans 7: 10 The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me.

    Thus we understand that the commandment was not meant to point to or to demand Christ’s death, because life is not a result of death
    because.law is meant to by obeyed and life is meant to be given
    because law is obeyed. Which is why we have no hope for life except Christ’s keeping law be imputed to us.

    Or so we are told
    Romans 3:27 Boasting is not excluded by a law of works but only by a law of faith.

    Thus we understand that the law of faith is faith boasting in Christ’s
    keeping the law of works, because boasting in Christ’s death as curse would not honor the life we obtain by Christ keeping the law.

    Or so we are told
    Romans 3: 28 For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart
    from the works of the law.

    Thus we understand that a man is only justified by faith in Christ
    doing the works of the l;aw.

    Or so we are told
    Romans 3: 31 Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely
    not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

    Thus we understand that the law can never be upheld only by demanding death or by not giving life. Rather, we understand that the law can only be upheld if our faith is not in our faith or doing but also only if our faith is in Christ’s doing the law and not in Christ’s death. (alert)

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