This is how the law is established.  I do not see how those who say that the Gospel casts the whole law out of court and gives it no more place in the life of the believer can say that the law is established.  It is true that the curse of the law has been removed because Christ has borne the curse in our stead, and it is equally true that the ceremonies and rituals of the law have been abrogated because they are fulfilled in the saving work of Christ.  But as far as the moral requirements of the law, these can never be fulfilled in such a sense as that they are no longer obligatory upon men.  Christ did fulfill them in the sense that He lived a life of such perfect obedience to the law that He wrought a perfect righteousness which is imputed to those who believe in Him.  But He did not honor and obey the law so that we might now flaunt it and live as we please.  Instead, He purchased for us by His obedience and death the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who writes the law of God upon our minds and hearts, so that we walk in obedience to the commandments of God.  It is evident that the apostles saw it this way, for while they never urged men to keep the law in order to be saved, they very frequently quoted God’s law as the moral authority for the people of God.  I stand at an utter loss as to how our “New Covenant” brethren and others who say the law no longer has any authority to command the believer can make such claims in light of the fact that the New Testament often quotes God’s law as our moral authority.  But I leave that matter between them and their Lord.

I conclude with the observation of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who made much the same argument on this verse as he did on verse 27.  There, I noted that the good doctor taught that any doctrine which leaves any room for human boasting cannot be the same doctrine which Paul preached.  Here, he made the similar argument, that any doctrine purporting to be the Gospel, which tears down the law and removes its use and necessity, cannot be the same doctrine which Paul preached.  Paul’s doctrine establishes the law; that teaching which makes the law of no use in the life of the believer disestablishes it, and therefore cannot be the apostolic truth.  May we be careful that we preach the Gospel in such a fashion that it glorifies the free grace of God, but also honors the law of God, and establishes it in its proper place and position.

 

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