“To suppose that we are delivered from the law in the sense of such obligation would bring contradiction into the design of Christ’s work. It would contradict the very nature of God to think that any person can ever be relieved of the necessity to love God with the whole heart and to obey his commandments.” – John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, pg.44
Many would seem to suppose we are freed from the obligation of the law of God as a result of the reconciliation provided through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. However, as Paul points out in Romans 3:31, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” Not on the basis of yourself, but on the basis of the reconciliation you’ve experienced in Christ, and His fulfillment of the law, by his power, now obey it. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1) As John Owen says, “To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.” We are reconciled to God in order that we may now freely obey Him from the heart, in order that we may glorify Him with our lives. We have been enabled, by His power to now gladly submit to His law. So indeed, the law absolutely has a place in the life of the believer. Tim Keller puts this very succinctly, “The gospel is ‘I am accepted through Christ, therefore I obey’ while every other religion operates on the principle of ‘I obey, therefore I am accepted.'” The difference is vital to see.
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