Ephesians 5:1–14 — The Why and Way of Obedience

Here are some clear cut commands—not therapeutic suggestions. Paul is not only explicit about the standard to which Christians are called, he is also explicit about why we are to obey that standard.

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Camden Bucey

1 week ago

Like Jim, I prefer the language of indicative and imperative to that of law and gospel. Law/gospel is confusing, because it’s used in several different ways. Sometimes theologians use it in a way similar to that of the indicative and imperative, but it is also employed to speak of the Mosaic economy and Old Covenant in relation to the New Covenant. That’s where some of the Reformed and Lutheran differences are in greater relief.

The Westminster Standards, for example, make quite clear that the Old Covenant is an administration of the Covenant of Grace. It is of the same substance. So in that sense, the Westminster tradition rejects a sharp distinction between law and gospel. The law is a redemptive-historical era that serves to guide the covenantal people to maturity in Christ. There is a difference between covenantal administrations, to be sure, but it is administrative and typological, and neither substantial nor antithetical.

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