Monday, July 17, 2006

A Good Quote on the Law

I'm currently reading The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, by Walter Marshall, and this particular quote jumped out at me in my reading the other day. I thought it was relevant, given my comment in the last post, concerning the Pharisees' use of the law, (taken from Direction XIII):

You must endeavour to know the commands of the law; not that you may be enabled, by that knowledge, to practise them immediately, and so to procure salvation by your works; but rather, by your knowledge of them, you may be made sensible of your inability to perform them, and the wrath that you are under for breaking them, and the impossibility of being saved by your own works; that so you may fly to Christ for refuge, and trust only to the free grace of God for justification, and strength to fulfil the law acceptably, through Christ.

While I'm on the subject of Walter Marshall's book, I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in justification or sanctification (and that should describe every Christian. . . ). It is the best book, bar none, I have read on the subject. In fact, it is quite possibly the best work of non-fiction I have read to date, excepting the Bible. The Puritans were master students of scripture, and Walter Marshall is no exception.

5 comments:

Jessica said...

Yes, that is a VERY good quote...and I just added that book to my list, it sounds wonderful! *smiles*

Mrs Blythe said...

It is just beautiful that with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit the law is written on our hearts (we just have to listen to Him). If we had no access to the written law, we know that the Holy Spirit would lead us.

I also love that the whole of the law can be summed up in one word 'love' - love God and love your neighbour. Blessings.

Susan said...

Jessica,

Oh, it is very good! I do warn you that it is not a light read, but well-worth it!

Mrs. Blythe,

I love your summary of the law - "love." When Jesus summed up the law as loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself He sure perplexed the Pharisess, who had relegated the law to thousands of man-made rules. It is wonderful that the Christian life is much more than just following the Pharaseeical traditions!

I don't entirely see the law as you do, though. I think the written law still has much application for us, or else it would be impossible to confront our brothers in Christ about sin (which is a Biblical command). If they said the Holy Spirit was leading them to do XYZ, and we had no standard to compare their actions to, then we would have no basis for our confrontation. Any leading by the Holy Spirit must be compared to the written Word, and if the leading is truly of the Spirit, then it will never contradict God's revealed, written Word. That is sort of a short summary of how I see the law and the Holy Spirit :).

Sherrin said...

I have a great attraction to Puritan writings. I buy them, put them on my shelf, feel sophisticated, and don't seem to ever read them :). I have only done this a few times, until I realised that I'd better read the ones I already have and not just develop a spiritual-looking collection of books with great titles. Perhaps I'll have to chase up the title you have quoted from and actually read it :). I have really enjoyed and benefited from what J.C. Ryle said about justification and sanctification in "Holiness", and so has my Mum. I haven't finished the book, because Mum has been devouring it!

I'm glad your Puritan collection is doing more than look spiritual :).

Susan said...

The Trophy Bookshelf

I think we're all susceptible to that ;). I have many books that I haven't yet tackled, but wow do I feel "spiritual" or "smart" for having them! I do have good intentions to someday read them, but I know that I may be chasing around great-grandchildren while reading the last book in my collection. *sigh* I haven't read a great deal of Puritan writing, but I've greatly appreciated what I have read. Grace Online Libarary has a host of articles of various sizes.

I've heard so many good reports about J.C. Ryle's book. I really want to read it sometime!