Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In The Person And Work Of Jesus Christ

Apparently the enemies of Daniel had at least one informer in his household to enable them to secure his arrest and conviction, because this private practice was conclusively proven in a public hearing before Darius, to the consternation of that monarch. Darius was now bound by his own law to sentence to death his most trusted associate and chief president. His grief and agony are unmistakable, and his position a tragic one. As the voice of law, he could not deny himself without ceasing to be that bond between heaven and earth. His office and power required, whatever vice he might indulge in, this one unswerving allegiance to law. Thus, Darius' law said death to Daniel, while his love said life, and the two could not be united. In every non-biblical system of thought, this conflict appears in some form, the irreconcilable and unbridgeable conflict and gulf between law and love. Let law triumph, and its harshness turns it ultimately into a cold scheme of organized injustice. Let love triumph over law, and again injustice holds sway as antinomianism infects every bulwark of order. The tension between law and love is thus a continuing tension that works to the dissolution of one civilization after another and is today basic to much contemporary tension, as humanitarian impulses seek to over-ride the requirements of strict justice and the dictates of its law. The tension is by no means limited to the political order but is endemic to the family, society, school, and every other order.

Only in the biblical revelation is the tension between law and love resolved, with vast social and historical implications, in the person and work of Jesus Christ. By His perfect righteousness and His vicarious atonement, the strictest requirements of law and justice were fully met and fulfilled, and the statutes of God observed to every jot and tittle, and yet, at one and the same time, the love of God unto salvation manifested in and through Him. The cross thus is the symbol of the unity of law and love in Jesus Christ and of the full requirements and mutual integrity of both. The radical injustice of every order apart from Christ is overcome by this synthesis, and the historical realization of an order founded on this unity, as yet unrealized, is opened up. The attempts of men to create an equitable and livable order apart from the atonement have been doomed to radical collapse, as witness Julius Caesar's attempt to supplant the failing law with his graceless clementia. Love or forgiveness which is unable to regenerate man becomes only a license to and subsidy of evil, and law itself is equally incapable of any creative role or regenerating function.

Excerpted from Thy Kingdom Come Rousas John Rushdoony pages 43-44

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