The Pugilist: The Law Presupposes Grace

The piety of the Old Testament thus began with faith. And though, when the stage of the law was reached, the emphasis might seem to be thrown rather on the obedience of faith, what has been called ‘faith in action,’ yet the giving of the law does not mark a fundamental change in the religion of Israel, but only a new stage in its orderly development. The law-giving was not a setting aside of the religion of promise, but an incident in its history; and the law given was not a code of jurisprudence for the world’s government, but a body of household ordinances for the regulation of God’s family. It is therefore itself grounded upon the promise, and it grounds the whole religious life of Israel and the grace of the covenant God (Ex. xx. 2). It is only because Israel are the children of God, and God has sanctified them unto Himself and chosen them to be a peculiar people into Him (Deut. xiv. 1), that He proceeds to frame them by His law for His especial treasure (Ex. xix. 5, cf. Tit. ii. 14). Faith, therefore, does not appear as one of the precepts of law, nor as a virtue superior to its precepts, nor yet as a substitute for keeping them; it rather lies behind the law as its presupposition. – B.B. Warfield, The Biblical Doctrine of Faith

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