Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Ally in the Heart

"You have an ally in the heart of every unregenerate human being and that it is the law of God written in the heart and a conscience that is activated to accuse or excuse them."
-John MacArthur


Eddie Eddings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thelightheartedcalvinist said...

Am I picking a Biblical nit here?

Dr. MacArthur says that unbelievers have "the law of God written in the heart." Jeremiah 31 (ESV) says concerning participants in the New Covenant:

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Romans 2:12-16 says:

12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Romans says the natural man has "the work of the law" written on his heart - not the law itself. Only those who are members of the New Covenant family given the gift of faith have "the law" written on their hearts per Jeremiah.

Am I reading too much into the New Covenant vs. Romans 2?

Morris Brooks said...

Light Hearted,

I think you missed the point of what John was saying. Through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. The natural man/unregenerate man has an innate knowledge of right and wrong because he has the work of the Law written in his heart; and what is the work of the bring the knowledge of sin to the mind of man to show him he is a sinner. As such, the Law is then the tutor to lead him to Christ, who alone is the remedy for his sin. The Law is our ally in evangelism.

So to answer you question, yes you are picking a Biblical nit.