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November 2006

from Ebenezer Erskine

The believer under the strongest bonds to obey the law as a rule of life

First, he is still under the bond of the royal authority of the great God, both as Creator and Redeemer. The authority and obligation of the divine law can never be dissolved, while God is God, and the creature a creature.

Secondly, he is under the bond of interest, to obey the divine law. It is true, his obedience does not give him the title to the reward of glory; it is only his union with Christ, the heir of all things, that gives him this; but yet his own personal obedience is evidential and declarative of his title through Christ. Revelation 22:14.

Thirdly, he is still under the bond of fear. Jeremiah 32:40. This is not a slavish fear of hell and vindictive wrath, for that is inconsistent with his freedom from condemnation; but it is a filial fear of God as a Father, flowing from an affectionate regard unto his authority, interposed in the commands of the law.

Fourthly, he is under the bond of love. He studies to love the Lord his God with all his heart, soul, strength, and mind; and this love of God in Christ, like a strong cord, draws him on in the way of obedience.

Fifthly, he is under the bond of gratitude; being bought with a price, he studies to glorify God in soul and body, which are his. Christ having delivered him from the hand of his enemies, he serves the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of his life.

Sixthly, he is under the bond of a renewed nature. The man is made a partaker of the divine nature, whereby the life of God, the love of God, and the law of God, is laid in his very heart; and this is a mighty bond to obedience: Hebrews 8:10.

Lastly, the inhabitation of the Holy Ghost is another efficacious bond to obedience. Ezekiel 36:27. To conclude, that very grace of God which frees them from the law as a covenant, binds them to it as a rule, Titus 2:11-12