PMW 2017-087 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the final installment of a four-part series in outline form on this important moral and cultural question. For the full presentation, begin with PMW 2017-084.

F. The question of ceremonial Law

1. God’s Law is two-fold: moral and restorative.

Ceremonial law was never an end in itself: always typified salvation in Christ.

“Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law” (Heb. 7:11, 12).

2. Christ’s coming confirmed the essential meaning of the ceremonies.

Christ did not destroy their meaning, He made their way of being kept irrelevant. He is our sacrifice (1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:19; John 1:29).

Standard Bearer: Festschrift for Greg Bahnsen (ed. by Steve Schlissel)

Includes two chapters by Gentry on Revelation and theonomy.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

G. The World-scope of God’s Law

1. Moral commandments and covenantal form.

Moral commands are distinguishable from the covenantal system in which they are found.

“For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hos. 6:6).

“Then Samuel said: Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22).

“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise” (Psa. 51:14-17).

2. God’s law is a model for the nations.

Deut. 4:6-8: “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?” (Dt 4:6-8).

Isa. 51:4: “Pay attention to Me, O My people, And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.

This is indicated elsewhere: 1 Kings 10:1, 8-9; Isaiah 24:5; 51:4; Psalm 2:9ff; 47:1-2; 94:10-12; 97:1-2; 119:46, 118-119; Proverbs 16:12; Ecclesiastes 12:13. God does not have a double standard of justice (cf. Dt 25:13-16; Lev. 19:35-37).

4. The nations around Israel were judged by God’s law.

They were judged for for breaching moral standards, though never its typological elements.

Isa 24:5: “The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant.”

See also: Lev. 18:24-27; Dt 7:5-6, 16, 25; 12:1-4; 19:29-32; Amos 1:6 (Exo. 21:16; Dt 24:7); Nah. 3:4 (Exo. 22:18; Lev. 19:21); Hab. 2:6 (Exo. 22:25-27; Dt 24:6, 10-13); Hab. 2:12 (cp. Mic. 3:10)).

The same truth may be seen earlier in Abraham’s day in the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:15; cp. 2 Pet. 2:9).

Covenantal Theonomy
(by Ken Gentry)
A defense of theonomic ethics against a leading Reformed critic. Engages many of the leading objections to theonomy.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

5. Church and State were separate in OT.

There was a distinction between the civil ruler, Moses, and the priestly head, Aaron; between the offices of priest and king; between the temple and palace (1 Sam. 13:11; 2 Chr. 19:5-11; 26:16-21).

6. All people subject today.

“Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Rom 1:32).

Rom. 3:19: “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (cf. 12:19-13:10; 1 Tim. 1:8).

“For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)” (Rom. 2:12-15).


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