The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards

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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary

...e Jews from the Gentiles were laws given specifically to separate them like circumcision (Gen. 17:14) or food laws (Lev. 20:24-26) which we know from the rest of the NT (e.g. Acts 10) were problematic for the infant church. Therefore, we see in this passage that the Apostle declares the abolishing and destruction of such ceremonial laws while not speaking a word about the abolishing of the moral law, but rather, elsewhere arguing that it is common for all men (Rom. 1:18-32; 2:12-15). This he could not have done if he had not seen a certain division within the law.

See also 1Cor 7:19 below.

The Commandments Summed up

In Romans 13:8-10 the Apostle cites 4 laws from the second table of the Decalogue and then adds “any other commandment” and finally concludes that this is fulfilled in loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. What other commandment could the Apostle have in mind other than moral commands like the fifth commandment about honoring our parents, or the ninth commandment not to lie or bear false witness. It is the commandments of the Decalogue and those derived from them that fulfill the “law”. How is love shown to neighbor by being circumcised, not eating certain foods or offering sacrifices? Rather, if we love our neighbor we will not do anything morally wrong to them, but rather will love them and thereby fulfill the moral law.

Conclusion

Putting all the biblical evidence together, especially from the Old Testament itself, we see a certain and in some cases a threefold division arise in Mosaic Law. The law is divided between the moral law which is unchanging and always binding; the ceremonial law which was typical, shadowy and temporary; and the civil law which was the constitution of Israel and also had a temporary character. But these things will be discussed later in the appropriate paragraphs.


§2 The Same Law...Delivered by God...in Ten Commandments

  1. The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the Fall, 1 and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man. 3
      • 1st Commandment: Gen. 35:1-4; Exod. 18:11; Job 31:28; 42:1-2; Josh. 24:2
      • 2nd Commandment: Gen. 35:1-4; Lev. 18:21, 27
      • 3rd Commandment: Exod. 5:2; Lev. 18:21, 27; Job 2:9
      • 4th Commandment: Gen. 2:2-3; Exod. 16; Gen. 7:4; 8:10, 12; Mark 2:27
      • 5th Commandment, Gen. 3:17; 9:20-27; 37:10
      • 6th Commandment: Gen. 4:3-15; John 8:44; Exod. 1:15-17; Job 24:14
      • 7th Commandment: Gen. 12:17; 39:7-9; Lev. 18:20, 27; Job 24:15; 31:1
      • 8th Commandment: Gen. 3:11; 30:33; 31:30-32; 40:15; 44:8-9; Job 24:14
      • 9th Commandment: Gen. 3:4, 13-14; 12:11-13; 27:12; 29:25; Job 24:25; 27:4; 36:4; John 8:44
      • 10th Commandment: Gen. 3:6; 6:2, 5; 13:10-11; Exod. 15:9-10; Job 31:1, 9-11
    1. Rom. 2:12a, 14-15
    2. Exod. 32:15-16; 34:4, 28; Deut. 10:4

The same law, which God gave Adam in his heart (without the “particular precept”) was likewise first written in the heart of man (Rom. 2:14-15). This is spoken of man generally and not Adam particularly, although he is the covenantal head of humanity. This same law remained and continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness, meaning it was the measure of what is good and what God required of us. Notice that the law is the same in substance before and after the fall. God did not ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate - Commentary

..., but I do not doubt that is an important aspect of our lives on earth. I'm not versed in political theories and things. I usually keep a distance, But I agree with Dr. Samuel Waldron concerning the fact that the sovereignty of God extends itself over all things, including politics and His people should influence those in high positions. Also, “To restrict Christianity to the ‘spiritual’ realm is, ultimately, to destroy it.”[1]

In this chapter, we will concern ourselves with the civil government as ordained by God, its purpose, and power. What does Romans 13 teach? Must we obey the government in all things? May Christians work in the government?


§1 God Hath Ordained Civil Magistrates To Be Under Him, Over The People

  1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, 1 for his own glory and the public good; 2 and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers. 3
    1. Ps. 82:1; Luke 12:48; Rom. 13:1-6; 1 Peter 2:13-14[2]
    2. Gen. 6:11-13 with 9:5-6; Ps. 58:1-2; 72:14; 82:1-4; Prov. 21:15; 24:11-12; 29:14,26; 31:5; Ezek. 7:23; 45:9; Dan. 4:27; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 2:14
    3. Gen. 9:6; Prov. 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; 21:15; 28:17; Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14

God as the supreme Lord and King of all the world has ordained civil magistrates or the government to be under Him (Rom. 13:1-6). The government is subject to God and derives its authority to control from God. The civil magistrates are over the people. They have authority over the people because they receive that from God. This way of governing, God has chosen for his own glory and the public good. God’s glory is the proper end of everything that He does so likewise in ordaining civil magistrates. What is the purpose of the civil magistrates? ... for defence and encouragement of them that do good (1 Peter 2:14). A good government should defend those who are doing good and protect them. Furthermore, a good government should encourage the doing of good for the betterment of society and the glory of God. But civil magistrates is also armed...with the power of the sword...for the punishment of evil doers (Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14). A good government should defend itself and defend those who do good, in necessary by using the God-given power of the sword. Likewise, in punishing the evil doers, the power of the sword may be used when it is necessary. God has given it to the government to be used justly.


Subject To God

There are two things which are first of all asserted: 1) God is the supreme Lord, and 2) civil governments are to be subject to Him. That God is the supreme over all we need not need to mention here. But we may say a few things about the civil government being under the authority and headship of God. The civil government should subject itself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Any government which does not acknowledge Jesus Christ is in rebellion against God. This is the description of all, if not most of, governments in our world. The civil government should acknowledge that they're a tool in the hand of God for the good of its citizens. God has put them in the positions that they are in. It is God who ordained them according to their roles as a president, governor and so on.

The government should rule under the authority of God over the people. The gove...