Now, Solomon, “the Preacher,” taught what we experience and what we know to be undeniably true: The universal laws of God (so-called “natural law”), with their respective consequences, however murky we sense the threat, are placed within the heart of Everyman and constitute the Rule of Life. So, we read about that inner witness, which the great Reformer, John Calvin, called the sensus divinitatis, the inner domain of life and likeness to God, in Solomon’s inspired reflections:
“Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV).
To investigate this “eternity” in our spirit and discover (and admit) these laws is a divinely-guided natural revelation. To adopt these laws as your own “rule of life” is a nobility that transcends that of the greatest king. To recognize and abhor the reality of your innate inability to keep the Law, perfectly, and without Machiavellian self-interest, is not merely “to know thyself,” but is a providential grace of repentance that leads to a heaven-sent faith and a new way of living. To know and receive the gift of forgiveness for the violation of God’s laws, and to be granted the woolen-white righteousness of Another, through the Word-become-Flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, fully God and fully Man, is a complete, unearned, and undeserved gift. Then, pardoned by the Father through the life, substitutionary death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Son, and empowered by the Spirit to follow the law “written on our hearts” is an act of love and gratitude. In this rule of life the Law that would condemn becomes the Law that leads to living, now and forevermore.
And when law and love kiss there is peace in the most troubled soul.
““Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy'” (Leviticus 19:2 ESV).
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18).
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).
Let us pray.
Our Father in heaven, whose Triune love gave the Law that we might live, and who bore the penalty of our guilt in Thyself for Man’s breaking of Thy most perfect will, grant that we who are forgiven and adopted as Sons and Daughters of Almighty God may not only walk in the Spirit, embracing Thy Word and Thy ways, but also invite others, like ourselves, to receive the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord in whose blessed name we pray. Amen.