Lawful and Unlawful Use of the Law (Newton)

John Newton (d. 1807) wrote a helpful letter which is now called “On the Right Use of the Law.”  It is basically Newton’s theological commentary on 1 Timothy 1:8.  After discussing the law/gospel distinction, natural laws, and moral laws, he gives some ways the law is used lawfully and some ways in which it is… Continue reading Lawful and Unlawful Use of the Law (Newton)

Good Works in the Christian Life

Since I’ve been studying and writing on the law, justification, and sanctification, I wanted to use Zacharius Ursinus’ Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism to explain how Reformed theology talks about good works in the Christian life.  On this topic, Ursinus has a helpful exposition of Q/A 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  The question is this:… Continue reading Good Works in the Christian Life

The Christian and God’s Law

I appreciate Thomas Watson’s explanation of the relationship between the Christian and God’s moral law.  This might be considered a commentary on the Westminster Larger Catechism Q/A 97 (“What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?”).  Note: I’ve slightly edited the following quote for length. “In some sense [the moral law]… Continue reading The Christian and God’s Law

Guilt, Grace, Gratitude

As many of our readers already probably know, the Heidelberg Catechism has three sections: 1) Guilt, 2) Grace, and 3) Gratitude (structured after Paul’s epistle to the Romans).  Here’s how one of the authors of the Catechism, Zacharias Ursinus, talks about the third section – Christian gratitude or thanksgiving. “The order and connection of these… Continue reading Guilt, Grace, Gratitude

Sola Fide: The Only Source of God-Pleasing Obedience

Here are some great and comforting words by Cornelis Venema on faith alone (sola fide) and Christian obedience. “For the Reformers, ‘faith alone,’ far from being detrimental to the Christian life of good works, is the only basis and source of Christian obedience.  To place works before justification, as though they played a role in… Continue reading Sola Fide: The Only Source of God-Pleasing Obedience