Peter Barnes | John 14:15
LOVE AND LAW
(Psalm 119:97-112; John 14:15 – see 1 John 2:3-11)
Love and law are often seen as opposites today, but Jesus joins them (e.g. John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10, 14).
1. Love needs law.
– John Robinson: ‘the only intrinsic evil is lack of love’; this is dangerous and unbiblical.
– 1 Cor.7:19; Rom.3:31; J. Gresham Machen: ‘The gospel does not abrogate God’s Law but it makes men love it with all their hearts.’
2. Law needs love.
– e.g. in marriage there is law and love; see Eph.5:25-7; love is not syrup and law is not legalism
3. Christ’s commandments are the law of Moses fulfilled in the cross.
– Jesus echoes what God says in Ex.20:6; Deut.7:9; 11:1
– the ceremonial law is fulfilled (e.g. sacrifices, priesthood, temple, circumcision, Passover, food laws); the moral law remains (e.g. no idolatry, murder, adultery, stealing)
– O may Thy Spirit seal our souls/ And mould them to Thy will,/ That our weak hearts no more may stray,/ But keep Thy precepts still (Philip Doddridge).