Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Second Use of the Law

I just finished reading Ray Comfort's book The Way of the Master. I recommend this particular book of Comfort! See also:

Ray Comfort, with helpful comments by Kirk Cameron, takes head on the "Easy Believism" movement that has been distorting the Gospel. (See my own book review of John Bevere's Driven By Eternity for related subject matter):

Comfort and Cameron want Christians to use God's Law - properly. No more of the "Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life..." stuff. No! Though they don't state it as such, it's back to the Biblically Reformed "use of the Ten Commandments to convict the sinner of his sins before you show him the grace of God!"
The Way of the Master is very helpful in showing the reader how easy it is to use the Law in this convicting endeavour. "Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever looked lustfully at a woman? Have you ever stole?" etc. etc. The person you are talking to will inevitably admit to these sins. Then comes the mention of Hell as God's just punishment. Only after this comes Substitutionary Atonement whereby Christ pays what you owe God.

Of course if you read the book you'll see that Comfort and Cameron do a far better job than I'm doing here to help get the Church back on track with the Gospel.

Indirectly, one is reminded of Reformed Christianity's threefold use of the Law as stated by Louis Berkhof 1873-1957. (In their book Comfort and Cameron are concerned only with the 2nd use of Law stated in the following):

"1. A usus politicus or civilus. The Law serves the purpose of restraining sin and promoting righteousness. Considered from this point of view, the Law presupposes sin and is necessary on account of sin. It serves the purpose of God's common grace in the world at large. This means that from this point of view it cannot be regarded as a means of grace in the techinical sense of the word.

2. A usus elenchticus or pedagogicus. In this capacity the Law serves the purpose of bringing the man under conviction of sin, and of making him conscious of his inability to met the demands of the Law. In that way the Law becomes his tutor to lead him unto Christ, and thus becomes subservient to God's gracious purpose of redemption.

3. A usus didacticus or normativus. This is the so-called tertius usus legis, the third use of the law. The Law is a rule of life for believers, reminding them of their duties and leading them in the way of life and salvation. This third use of the Law is denied by Antinomians."

It's my prayer that in all the good work that Comfort and Cameron are doing they won't forget to also tell people the 1st and 3rd uses of God's Law! Well done guys!

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