The Moral Law of God 2

These are the notes on the podcast on the Moral Law of God by Brother Ezekiel Asis.

Two Classifications of the LAW


Natural – Laws that are absolute, inherently moral, and unchanging inasmuch as they are directly grounded upon the holy nature and character of God or of his original creational design. (For example, Ten Commandments)

Francis Turretin – “Natural law is best understood in two categories, 1) The reflection of God’s moral character, which cannot be otherwise, and 2) The moral order of creation as designed by God, which could have been otherwise.”

Ernest F. Kevan – “A man may break the Prince’s Law, and not violate his Person, but not Gods; for God and his image in the Law, are so straitly united, as one cannot wrong the one and not the other.”


Positive –laws that are not absolute and do not have inherent moral value. These laws may be changeable depending on which covenant they are administered to. Moreover, these are dependent upon the sovereign will of God. (For example, Ceremonial Laws, Judicial Laws of Israel, Tree of Life, Sacrament, etc)

“God’s positive law exemplifies the divine freedom inasmuch as it belongs entirely to the free will of God to command, suspend, or not command. . . The precepts of positive law are good simply because they are commanded.” – Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms


Note: Some argue that the Moral Law is abrogated when the Mosaic Covenant becomes obsolete . . . NCT; Dispensationalism


First, God is the very Author of the Moral Law

  • This Law is summarized by God in the Ten Commandments (Exo. 24:12; 31:18; 32:16, Deut. 10:1,2; Deut. 10:4)
  • In some aspects of the Law (Judicial and Ceremonial Laws), God did not write it but Moses did (Exo. 24:4; 34:10-27)
  • The Law that is written by the very hand of God in the two tablets of stone is the same law that was written in the hearts of the elect
  • This principle is very clear in 2 Cor. 3:1-8, when the Apostle Paul used the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures), citing Exo. 31:18 and 34:4

Second, the same Law with distinct administration

The Law in the First Creation (General) [Owen] – “The law [Decalogue in context], as unto the substance of it, was the only law of creation, the rule of the first covenant of works.”

It is very clear in Romans 2:14 that even the Gentiles have the law in their hearts though they are not part of the Mosaic covenant

(1689 LCF and WCF 19.1) – “God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it. ( Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10, 12 )”

Application: In our preaching of the Gospel, let us use the Moral law of God to convict our hearers

The Law in the Old Covenant (For the Nation of Israel) [Owen] – “was in the tables of stone,”

(1689 LCF and WCF 19.2) – “The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man. ( Romans 2:14, 15; Deuteronomy 10:4 )”

The tripartite division of the law

  • Moral Law
  • Judicial Law
  • Ceremonial Law (Col. 2:16-17; Heb. 10:1)

NCT: “The Tripartite division of the Law is not mentioned in the Bible.”

[Wells and Zaspel, Priority of Jesus Christ, p. 61. ] – “The understanding of Moses as fulfilled in Christ as offered here has the distinct advantage of showing that all of the law is fulfilled in exactly the same way. Moral, civil, ceremonial—all the law has the same prophetic function, looking forward to Christ; in his person, work, and teaching he “fulfills” it all as its eschatological realization.”

Answer: 1 Samuel 15:22 recognize the distinction between moral and ceremonial laws, “And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey (Moral Law) is better than sacrifice (Ceremonial Law), and to listen than the fat of rams.”

Even Jesus recognizes this division of the Law (Heb. 10:8-10) Note: In this evidence, we could see that the ceremonial law is subservient to the Moral law of God

Though the judicial and ceremonial laws were abrogated, that doesn´t mean that the Moral law is abrogated as well Point: These laws (judicial and ceremonial) were used by God to preserve the lineage of the coming Messiah and for the establishment of the New Covenant

Application: Let us see these laws (judicial and ceremonial) in the Old Covenant as pointers to the finished work of Christ

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Ephesians 2:14-16

So what is it within ordinances that made a distinction between Jews and Gentiles? How were Jews and Greeks different?

Was it that Jews were not to murder, but then Greeks had the option to? We all know that as absurd.

It is within the ceremonial law that is no longer applicable.

The Law in the New Covenant [Owen] – ““what was in the tables of stone [and written on the heart of man at creation]” is that “which is returned thither again by the grace of the new covenant.”

In the New Covenant, the Laws that are written upon tablets of stones are written in the believers’ hearts. (Jeremiah 31:33- 34; Romans 3:31; Ezekiel 36:27)

[Stephen Charnock, Selectins 119-20] – “The heat to scorch us is allayed, but the light to direct us is not extinguished. Not the least allowance to any sin is granted; not the least affection to any sin is indulged. The law is tempered by the Gospel but not nulled and cast out of doors by it.”

To God be the glory!

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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