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Bavinck: The Law-Gospel Distinction and Preaching April 3, 2009

Posted by heldveld in Herman Bavinck, Law/Gospel, Theology.
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I been thinking about the law and how it relates to both the believer and the unbeliever following the last few episodes of the Narrow Mind podcast (#953/#954). In attempting to educate myself a bit more on the subject I found some thoughts from Herman Bavinck available online.

Click here to find Paragraphs 520-521 of Herman Bavinck’s Gereformeerde Dogmatiek which are available on Auxesis.net

The full article is very helpful but here are some quotes that I found insightful:

This freedom of faith, however, does not invalidate the law, but establishes it (Rom.3:31), since its legal requirement is fulfilled precisely in those who walk according to the Spirit (Rom.8:4). After all, that Spirit renews believers so that they delight in God’s law according to the inner man and inquire as to what God’s holy will is (Rom.7:22; 12:2; Eph.5:10; Phil.1:10), while they are spurred on through various impulses — the great mercy of God, the example of Christ, the costly price with which they have been purchased, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, etc. — to the doing of God’s will.

Although they overlap to the extent that they both have God as author, both speak of one and the same perfect righteousness, both are directed to man, to bring him to eternal life, yet they differ in that the law proceeds from God’s holiness, the Gospel from His grace; the [works of the] law [are] known from nature, the Gospel only by special revelation; the law demands perfect righteousness, the Gospel bestows it; the law leads to eternal life through works, the Gospel makes works proceed from eternal life bestowed through faith; the law currently condemns man, the Gospel acquits him; the law is directed to all men, the Gospel only to those who live under it; etc.

The Gospel is temporary, but the law is eternal and is restored precisely through the Gospel. Freedom from the law consists, then, not in the fact that the Christian has nothing more to do with the law, but lies in the fact that the law demands nothing more from the Christian as a condition of salvation. The law can no longer judge and condemn him. Instead he delights in the law of God according to the inner man and yearns for it day and night.

Pink: The Enormity of Our Depravity January 26, 2009

Posted by heldveld in A.W. Pink, Antithesis, Law/Gospel.
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There is a far greater malignity in sin than is commonly supposed even by the majority of church members. Men regard it as an infirmity, and term it a human frailty or hereditary weakness. But Scripture calls it “an evil thing and bitter” (Jer. 2:19), an abominable thing which God hates (Jer. 44:4). Few people think of it thus; rather the majority regard it as a mere trifle, a matter of so little moment that all they have to do is cry in the hour of death, “Lord, pardon me; Lord, bless me,” and all will be eternally well with them. They judge sin by the opinion of the world. But what can a world which “lieth in wickedness” (I John 5:19) know about God’s hatred of sin? It does not matter what the world thinks, but it matters a great deal what God says about it. Others measure the guilt of sin by what conscience tells them—or fails to! But conscience needs informing by the Bible. Many uncivilized tribes have put their girl babies and old people to death, and conscience did not chide them. A deadened conscience has accompanied multitudes to hell without any voice of warning. Tens of thousands of religionists see so little filth in sin that they imagine a few tears will wash away its stain. They perceive so little criminality in it that they persuade themselves that a few good works will make full reparation for it.

A.W. Pink
The Doctrine of Human Depravity
Complete Book Available Online

If we don’t understand the enormity of our depravity, how will we be drawn to Jesus as our saviour?

Psalm 19 September 29, 2008

Posted by heldveld in Law/Gospel, Psalms, Scripture.
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Psalm 19 (English Standard Version)

The Law of the LORD Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

This Psalm shows us how God’s creation displays his glory. Next we are shown God’s wisdom in his law. Yet we know that we cannot keep the law. The Psalm closes with a reminder that we need to call on God to keep us from sins. Only than can we be considered blameless. The Lord is truly our rock and redeemer.

Psalm 119:1-8 August 8, 2008

Posted by heldveld in Law/Gospel, Psalms, Scripture.

David playing the harp

Psalm 119 (English Standard Version)

Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet


1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!

What a great comfort to know that we are counted blameless through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. How thankful we should also be that we can learn God’s righteous rules as he has given them to us in his word.

Our blessing is through Christ and part of our praise to him is through our attempted keeping of his statutes.

Obedience is its Own Reward August 7, 2008

Posted by heldveld in Blog Spotting, Christian Parenting, Law/Gospel, Sermons.
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Tony Reinke at Miscellanies (formerly known as The Shepherd’s Scrapbook) points readers to a sermon by Greg Harris.

Here’s a portion of a quote from the sermon pulled by Tony:

Wisdom itself is that ability to see how one thing relates to another in God’s purposes. That this relates to that because of who He is (and He is good and wise). And when we understand this the commandments of the Lord and the wisdom literature of the Bible become a delight to us, not a burden.

The actual title of the sermon is ‘Don’t Waste Your Kids’ so it has biblical insight into parenting as well as how we relate to God’s commandments. I had not heard of Gregg Harris before listening to this, but was definitely edified. You can download the sermon through a link on the Miscellanies site.

Theonomy and Regeneration August 1, 2008

Posted by heldveld in Blog Spotting, Law/Gospel, Theonomy.

An informative post by Daniel Ritchie on the role of regeneration in theonomy.


While I do believe that all governments (and all humans for that matter) are obligated to obey God’s laws, we cannot really expect that to happen in a fallen world. However, with the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit we expect people to fall under the Lordship of Christ. After all what is the point of obeying God’s law in letter if the heart is not right?

“And without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6a ESV)

On the flip side, what kind of faith is it that believes in Christ’s sacrifice and God’s loving grace but does not accept his Lordship?

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14 ESV)