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A. The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body, (1) and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man: (2) promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it. (3)
Q. 94. Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
A. Although no man since the fall can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law, (4) yet there is great use thereof, as well
(1) Deut. v. 1, 31, 33.-Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.-I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you. Luke x. 26, 27.-- What is written in the law ? how readest thou ? And he answering, said, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour 'as thyself. 1 Thess. v. 23.-I pray God, your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2) Luke i. 75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Acts xxiv. 16. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
(3) Rom. x. 5.—The man which doeth those things shall live by them. Gal. iii. 1, 12. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
(4) Rom. viii. 3. For what the law could not do, in
copimon to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate. (1)
Q. 95. Of what use is the moral law to all men?
A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and will of God, (2) and of their duty binding them to walk accordingly; (3) to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives, (4) to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery, (5)
that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. Gal. ii. 16.-For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
(1) 1 Tim. i. 8. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully. (2) Lev. xi. 44, 45. For I am the Lord your
God : ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy: for I am holy. Lev. xx. 7,8. Rom. vii. 12. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
(3) James ii. 10, 11.. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Mich. vi. 8. What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
(4) Ps. xix. 11, 12. Moreover by them is thy servant warned :—who can understand his errors ? Rom. iii. 20. -For by the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom. vii. 7. - I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
(5) Rom. iii. 9; 23. What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise : for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin ;-for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom. vii. 9, 13.-When the commandment came, sin revived,
and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, (1) and of the perfection of his obedience. (2)
Q. 96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate. men, to awaken their consciences to flee from the wrath to come, (3) and to drive them to Christ; (4) or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, (5) and under the curse thereof. (6)
Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
A. Although they that are regenerate and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral
and I died. That sin by the commandment might become ex.ceeding sinful.
(1) Gal. iii. 21, 22. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid : for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
(2) Rom. x. 4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(3) 1 Tim. i. 9, 10. Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, &c. Rom. vii. 9.
(4) Gal. iii. 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
(5) Rom. i. 20.-So that they are without excuse. Compare with Rom. ii. 15.
(6) Gal. iii. 10. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse.
law as a covenant of works, (1) so as thereby' they are neither justified (2) nor condemned :(3) yet, beside the general uses thereof common to them with all men, is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof, in their stead and for their good; (4) and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, (5) and to express the same in their greater care
(1) Rom. vii. 4, 6. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held ; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. And vi. 14.-For ye are not under the law, but under grace.
(2) Rom. iii. 20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.
(3) Rom. viii. 1, 34. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.--Who is he that condemneth ?
(4) Gal. iii. 13, 14. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.—That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Rom. viii. 3, 4. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. 2 Cor. v. 21.
(5) Col. i. 12, 13, 14. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Luke 1. 68, 69, 74, 75.
to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience. (1)
Q. 98. Wherein is the moral law summarily comprehended ?
A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him on two tables of stone;(2) and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man. (3)
Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the ten commandments?
A. For the right understanding of the ten
(1) Rom. vii. 22. For I delight in the law of God, after the inward man. Tit. ii. 11, 12, 13, 14. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Rom. xii. 2.
(2) Deut. x. 4. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments. Ex. xxxiv. 1, 2, 3, 4.
(3) Matt. xxii. 37, 38, 39, 40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.