As I have explained, the law, say Reformed teachers, is binding on all men, and has been so since God gave it to Adam.1 In particular, it is binding on believers now; not for justification, of course, but as the perfect rule of their sanctification. The Reformed go further. It is the motive, the spur, the force, the driving power behind that sanctification. That is the Reformed claim. What is the buttress for it? What underpins their position on the law? It is something they call covenant theology. What is this? And what underpins covenant theology?
As I set out to answer these questions, reader, let me offer both an explanation and an apology. You will find what follows complicated, muddled, confused, even contradictory â€“ even more so than Calvinâ€™s threefold use of the law. I apologise for this, but there is little I can do about it. No matter how hard I try to make the Reformed theology for their claims on the law easy to follow, I am faced with an impossible task, and this because of the very nature of the arguments which they use. The confusion and contradiction is not of my making; it is theirs. And this will be even more apparent if you read their original works. See, for instance, the quote from Boston in the previous chapter. In light of this complicated Reformed logic, may I remind you of something I said at the start? Without in any way intending to patronise, if you find this chapter too much, on a first reading you will sustain little loss by skipping to the next.