Having lived for a time at Waterbeach (Cattels Lane) I must include something from Charles Spurgeon who began his ministry in Waterbeach. I may have downsized my library in my retirement but I find myself resisting giving away my several volumes of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit,
I know Spurgeon was a Calvinist but his appeal in the last paragraph of this online sermon – surely includes a free-will response?
But just to add one more support to Bill Meuhlenberg’s defence for the ‘Commandments of God’ being relevant today I must add some quotes from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. As Meuhlenberg has protested, there are fellow Christians who dismiss the Law of God and the Old Testament as no longer relevant. So here are some quotes from Spurgeon to add to the previous posts on Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
Charles H. Spurgeon on, “The Law of God.” Extracts from, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol.28/1882, (Banner of Truth Trust, 1971,pp.277-288 on Matthew 5:18.
“For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
p.277. “We are not under the law as a method of salvation, but we delight to see the law in the hand of Christ, and desire to obey the Lord in all things.”
p.278. “The Law of God must be perpetual. There is no abrogation of it, nor amendment of it.” “Jesus did not come to change the law, but He came to explain it, and that very fact shows that it remains, for there is no need to explain that which is abrogated.”
“To meet the popular error He (Jesus) took care to do some of His grandest miracles on the Sabbath day; and though this excited great wrath against Him, as though He were a law-breaker, yet He did it on purpose so that they might see that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath . . . and that it is meant to be a day for doing that which honours God and blesses men . . . By thus explaining the law He confirmed it or He would not have needed to expound it.”
p.280. Commenting on Mark 12:30,31, “Those two precepts comprehend the ten at their fullest extent, and cannot be regarded as an erasure of a jot or tittle of them . . .The Ten Commands means all that the two express . . .”
p. 281. The Master did not come to alter the law is clear, because after embodying it in His life He willingly gave Himself up to bear its penalty, though He had never broken it, bearing the penalty for us . . .”
p.282. If He did not remove it, who can do so? If He declares He came to establish it, who can overthrow it?
“The very idea of right and wrong seems to me necessarily permanent, and cannot possibly be shifted . . . not the smallest letter or accent of the moral law can possibly change.”
pp.282-3. “Can it be true that God, by way of forgiving us, has put us under an imperfect law? Would that be a blessing or a curse? It is said by some that man cannot keep a perfect law, and God does not demand that he should. Certain modern theologians have taught this . . . Has God issued an imperfect law? It is the first imperfect thing I have ever heard of His making . . . the law of the Lord must stand, for it is perfect, and therefore has in it no element of decay or change.”
p.283. “The wisest directions for spiritual health, and for the avoidance of evil, are those directions given us concerning right and wrong in the law of God. Therefore it is not possible that there be any alteration thereof, for it would not be for our good.”
p.284. “The law is absolutely complete, and you can neither add to it or take away from it. `For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all . . .'”
“By removing the law you have done away with sin, for sin is the transgression. When you have done away with sin, you may as well as have done away with the Saviour and salvation, for they are by no means needful . . .”
By lowering the law you weaken its power in the hands of God as a convincer of sin. `By the law is the knowledge of sin.'”
p.285. “What is the law of God for? For us to keep in order for us to be saved by it? Not at all. It is sent in order to show us we cannot be saved by works, and to shut us up to be saved by grace; but if you make it out that a man can keep it, you have left him his old legal hope, and he is sure to cling to it.”
“A sliding scale of duty is an immoral invention, fatal to the principles of law. If each man is accepted for doing his best, we are all doing our best . . . have you never heard of the bandit who committed many murders, but who felt he had being doing his best because he never killed anybody on Friday? Self-righteousness builds itself a nest even in the worst character.”
P.286. To tamper with the law is to trifle with the gospel.”
“The law has to be fulfilled in us personally in a spiritual and gospel sense . . . Regeneration is a work by which the law is fulfilled; for when a man is born again there is placed in him a new nature, which loves the law of God and is perfectly conformed thereto.”
Meuhlenberg, Lloyd-Jones, Stott and Spurgeon have presented what is biblical teaching on the function of the Law of God.