In The Rule of Love, J.V. Fesko gives an introductory exposition of the Ten Commandments. Beginning with the importance of the prologue, and then addressing each Commandment in turn, he sets forth a balanced and biblical approach that places the law in proper perspective. Throughout the book, Fesko analyzes the historical context of God’s giving the law in order to help us accurately understand the moral demands God places upon humanity.
Yet, Fesko does not stop there; he also discusses the covenantal and redemptive context in which the law was given. Thus, he shows that the law is not presented to us in order for us to present ourselves right before God. Rather, it demonstrates our failure to love God as we should and points us to Christ and his perfect obedience. Fesko also shows how Christ applies the commandments to his people by the indwelling power and presence of the Holy Spirit. This survey of the Ten Commandments promises to bring about a more accurate understanding of the proper uses of the law, as well as profound gratitude for all that God has for us in Christ.
“The Law is not merely a legal bond; it is also the rule of love between God and His people.” (Page 5)
“Based upon such passages of Scripture, the Reformed church teaches there are three functions of the Law: (1) political—to restrain evil in the public realm; (2) pedagogical—the guardian aspect of which Paul speaks, which drives us to Christ; and (3) normative—the Law no longer condemns the believer because of the work of Christ but is now a guide for Christian behavior (cf. WCF 19.6).” (Page 16)
“Rather, cursing violates the commandment because the person who misuses the name of God reveals with his mouth the low esteem he has for God’s name and everything for which it stands.” (Page 49)
“For example, turning the waters of the Nile into blood plunged a dagger into the heart of the god of the Nile (Ex. 7:14–25). The plague of frogs declared that Yhwh was sovereign, not Heket, the frog goddess of childbirth (Ex. 8:1–15). God struck down the livestock of Egypt to show that Hathor, the sky goddess depicted as a cow, had no power over God (Ex. 9:1–7). And when God sent darkness upon the land, it taunted Pharaoh, who was supposed to be the incarnation of the sun god, Re (Ex. 10:21–29).” (Page 21)
“In this light, we might state the prologue for today as: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of slavery to Satan, sin, and death, by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.’” (Page 12)
The Rule of Love refreshingly sets each of the Ten Commandments in its historical, covenantal, and redemptive context, then proceeds to show that each commandment covers a broad range of issues that convict us as believers of sin and encourage us to flee to Christ who is the great Law-fulfiller and our complete remedy for all our Law-breaking.
—Joel R. Beeke, professor of systematic theology and homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI
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