The believer's rule of life
(J. C. Philpot, "The Precepts of the Word of God")
Were there no precepts in the New Testament, we
would be without an inspired rule of life, without an
authoritative guide for our walk and conduct before the
Church and the world. We rightly discard and reject
the 'law of Moses' as the believer's rule of life.
What, then, is our rule? Are we a set of lawless wretches
who may live as we desire, according to the libelous charge
of the enemies of truth? God forbid! We have a divine,
authoritative rule of life, a code of directions of the amplest,
fullest, minutest character, intended and sufficient to regulate
and control every thought, word, and action of our lives; and
all flowing from the eternal wisdom and will of the Father,
sealed and ratified by the blood of the Son, and inspired
and revealed by the Holy Spirit.
When, then, it is thrown in our teeth that, by discarding the
'law of Moses' as our rule of life, we prove ourselves licentious,
lawless Antinomians; this is our answer, and let God and His
word decide whether it be not a sufficient one. We have a rule
of life as far exceeding the 'law of Moses' as the new covenant
of grace and truth--exceeds and outshines the old covenant of
works; and as much as the ministration of the Spirit, of life,
and of righteousness--excels in glory the ministration of the
letter, of death, and of condemnation. (2 Corinthians 3:6-11)
The gospel, not the Mosaic law, is the believer's rule of life.
In a word, the precepts of the New Testament, in all their
fullness, minuteness, and comprehensiveness, are the
believer's rule of life.
Most of the old Puritan and Reformed writers have entered
largely and fully into the preceptive parts of the word of God.
But as they hold the Mosaic law as the believer's rule of life,
their views were necessarily legal, confused and imperfect.
Philpot's "The Precepts of the Word of God" is the most balanced
and Biblical treatment on the believer's rule of life that we have
ever read. Many 'Reformed' people tend to hold legalistic views.
Many 'Sovereign Grace' people tend to hold antinomian views.
"The Precepts of the Word of God" is must reading for all pastors.