What Is the Law of God?

Without a proper definition of terms, talking is useless, if not worse. If we or our hearers do not know what we are saying, then we are not saying it.

Philip Melanchthon seems to have recognized this. Thus in the third stage of the Loci communes/Loci theologici, Melanchthon appended a list of definitions of important terms used in the church. For this week’s “Melanchthon Monday,” I’ve chose one to translate.

The Law of God

The law of God, which is called the moral law, is the eternal and immovable wisdom in God, and the norm of righteousness in the will of God that distinguishes between good and evil. It was revealed to rational creatures in creation, and afterwards was often repeated and ratified by God’s voice in the church. It shows what God is, and of what sort, and that he is judge. It binds all rational creatures to be conformed to the norm of God, and condemns all and declares horrible destruction on all who do not adhere to the norm of God, unless reconciliation should be made on account of a mediator, according to what Moses has said [Deut. 27:26]: “Cursed is he who does not abide by all that has been written in the Law.” Likewise, in the Psalm [Ps. 5:4, 6]: “You are not a God who wills sin. You all all those who work iniquity,” etc.


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