Theonomy in the Westminster Confession of Faith

Westminster Confession of Faith 

Chapter XIX

Of the Law of God

VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience.

It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin: and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience,and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof: although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law: and not under grace.

VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requires to be done.


The Westminster Confession of Faith, for better or worse: is the foremost doctrinal creed in use by the Presbyterian world today; this too includes the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

Sections I-V establish in fierce terms that the “covenant of works” has been abolished and that the works of the law of God are not sufficient to fulfill the penal demands of salvation.

Section VI is a firm statement regarding the usefulness of the law of God for Christian life and practice. It reads “It is of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts and lives.”

Summarily it makes the argument that the law of God is the foremost reflection of God’s character and desire for the lives of men. Paul writes of this heavily in Romans chapter 7.

Verse 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Verse 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.
Verse 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

The WCF continues to argue that God is pleased ( approbated )  with the obedience of men to his law, it too concludes that the law prescribes the blessing we may expect upon our obedience to the law.

Section VII being the final section of the articles of the Law of God, reads that the use of the law is not contrary to the grace of the Gospel. Obedience to God’s law in-fact, complies directly with the gospel in subduing the sinfulness of man and enabling him to do that with cheer and determination, as God requires.


Antinomiansm therefore is unacceptable inside of the Church which professes the Westminster Confession of Faith. We Presbyterians must be uncompromising in our resolve and always remember that the eternal law of God is the ultimate reflection of God’s character – and we have been blessed by God to be granted the ability of will to fight against sinfulness and immoral desire.

“There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4

 

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