Out of a Child-Like Love

on believers’ motivation in keeping the moral law:

The final layer of the Divine’s answer concerning the third use of the Law (WLC Q. 97) is what moves us on from our need for Christ to the necessary response to the grace of Christ in our lives. The Divines explain that the moral law is useful to believers in that it “provoke[s] them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.” Here an exceedingly important nuance must be observed. The first thing introduced in the moral obligations of the Law in the life of the believer is not the sheer obligatory character, rather it is the heart motivation for obedience. The language of “thankfulness” is employed. It is not out of “servile fear” that the believer presses on in obedience. Elsewhere in the Confession, the Divines make it clear that “The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation;as also, in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind (WCF 20.1).” It is the “thankfulness,” and “child-like love” that are the proper motivations for the believer to obey God.

Read more: http://feedingonchrist.com/the-third-use-of-the-law-and-finished-work-of-christ/

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