20 November 2009

God's Perfect Law

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "The Law's Failure and Fulfillment," a sermon originally preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on Sunday evening, 1 March 1891.

HE law of God is perfect. You cannot add anything to it, nor take anything from it, without spoiling it. If you will read the Ten Commands and understand them in their spiritual meaning, you will find that they are far-reaching, and that they deal with every sin.

I noticed, some time ago, that a learned prelate said that he could not find any commandment against gambling. Where were his eyes? Is it not plainly written, "Thou shalt not covet"? What is gambling but covetousness in action? Most manifestly, the gambler desires his neighbour's goods, and this desire gives zest to the vice, which the law of God quite plainly condemns.

Depend upon it, there is nothing wrong but the law condemns it, and there is nothing right but the law approves it. The Decalogue is an absolutely perfect law.

C. H. Spurgeon


grinder said...

I see what you did there :)

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Spurgeon: "THE law of God is perfect. You cannot add anything to it, nor take anything from it, without spoiling it."

Adding to the Law is the mistake the prideful and judgmental Pharisees made.

Brad Williams said...

Mean old Pharisees. Good thing Spurgeon wasn't one of those!

Brad Williams said...

And, for the record, adding to the law was not the worst mistake the Pharisees made. Their mistake was believing that they could keep the law unto salvation. Setting up precautions and disciplining oneself for the sake of godliness is not a bad thing at all. It certainly does not contradict sola fide.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Truly said. One should not add to the Law by saying that gambling is A-OK.

John said...

"It is a wise rule in the examination of any teaching to proceed from the general to the particular," Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

Pierre Saikaley said...

So much wiser are the elders of old time than many of us today that seek to justify ourselves. Well said, Mr. Spurgeon.

ezekiel said...

Rom 7:4 Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.

(Rom 10:5) For Moses writes that the man who [can] practice the righteousness (perfect conformity to God's will) which is based on the Law [with all its intricate demands] shall live by it. [Lev. 18:5.]

(Gal 2:19) For I through the Law [under the operation of the curse of the Law] have [in Christ's death for me] myself died to the Law and all the Law's demands upon me, so that I may [henceforth] live to and for God.

(Gal 3:5) Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?

(Eph 2:9) Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law's demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

(Php 3:9) And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

1 Cor 6:11-12 anyone?

Boerseuntjie said...

Romans 7:12
"Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just AND GOOD."

Romans 7:16
"If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that IT IS GOOD."

1 Timothy 1:8
"But we know that the law IS GOOD IF one uses it lawfully..."

(Please do forgive my bold writing - I am not at all able to use HTML)

~Mark said...

Interesting that coveting runs through so much of the commandments.

Craig and Heather said...

Interesting that coveting runs through so much of the commandments.

Because, knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21)

I recently was contemplating how Christ fulfills the law and noticed that each of the 10 commandments can be paralleled with what happened when man "fell".

Commandments 1-4: were broken when humanity (which was created in God's image) desired to try to "be god".

Commandment 5: Sabbath rest of the 7th day was disrupted by the fall. Adam cursed with a life of hard labor.

Commandment 6: Humanity became guilty of murder as Christ's death is the only satisfactory payment for our crimes.

Commandment 7: Spiritual adultery was committed when humans decided to consort with the serpent.

Commandment 8: Man attempted to take that which was not rightfully his (knowledge of good and evil)

Commandment 9: "False witness" was added to the list when man first tried to "cover" the misdeed and then did a little blame shifting tapdance rather than accept personal responsibility for having disobeyed God's instruction to "not eat".

Commandment 10: A covetous heart prompted man to reach out and take for himself the one thing God had said he could not have.

And, we've been breaking those rules ever since. I believe the underlying covetous heart that says "I WILL BE god" is a huge motivator. Sadly, I've noticed that I spend far more time evaluating my actions rather than the heart attitude that causes me to do the things I do :o(

The 10 Commandments is a "formalized" statement of our death sentence which Jesus took on Himself in order to be able to free us from having to pay the wages of sin ourselves.


ezekiel said...

Gal 4:21 Tell me, you who are bent on being under the Law, will you listen to what the Law [really] says?

Craig and Heather said...

I'm confused as to why Law-related verses are being exchanged. But I'll join in anyway :o)

Jesus Himself said: For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18)

Yet we are also told: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)

Both are true. The Law is beautiful because it gives us a picture of God's perfectly holy and righteous nature. But it is also terrible because none of us will EVER measure up.

Until we know what we are looking at in the Law (God's perfection and man's pathetic imperfection in comparison) --and are able to see how Christ perfectly fullfills the Law (as both man and God, perfectly united), it doesn't make much sense. At least, it didn't to me until the Lord started opening my eyes.

While I don't claim to have it all figured out, I did recently post on my blog about some of the things God has shown me.

If anyone is interested...