Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Pauline View of the Law: Part 3 Is the Law Good, Evil, or Indifferent?

            Martin Luther saw the law as something terrifying and humbling as it revealed sin and the wrath of God and prepares man for justification and points to Christ.[1]  For John Calvin, the law also reveals sin but he also believed that the law serves as the believer’s guide to God’s will.[2]  Both Luther and Calvin believed that passages such as Romans 3:20, 4:15, 5:20 and 2 Corinthians 3:7 do not detract from the excellence of the law.[3]  If something is given from God, it certainly should not be construed as evil if it is a tool used to bring man into a right relationship with God.  In bringing man into a right relationship with God, one could hardly say that the law is indifferent.  Rather, the appropriate view of the law is that it is good, even though it is not the law that saves men from God’s wrath.

                [1] Thielman, Frank. Paul and the Law: A Contextual Approach. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 18-20.
                [2] Ibid, 21.
                [3] Ibid.

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