The law serves numerous and important purposes, both to the unregenerate and to the regenerate. Some of these uses may be briefly stated: -
First. To the unregenerate the moral law is of use in the following respects:—
1. To restrain them from much sin.—1 Tim. i. 9.
2. To convince them of their sinfulness and misery.— Rom. iii. 20, vii. 9.
3. To discover to them their absolute need of Christ, and drive them to him as their all-sufficient Saviour.—Gal. iii. 24.
4. To render them inexcusable, if they continue in their sins, and finally reject the only Saviour of lost sinners.— Rom. i. 20, ii. 15; John iii. 18, 36.
Second. The moral law is of use to the regenerate in the following respects: -
1. To render Christ more precious to them, and excite their gratitude to him who so loved them as to obey its precepts and suffer its penalty, that he might deliver them from it as a covenant.—Gal. iii. 13, iv. 4, 5.
2. To show them the will of God, and regulate their conduct.—Mic. vi. 8.
3. To serve as a standard of self-examination, in order to discover the pollutions of their hearts and lives—to keep them self-abased—to lead them to a constant dependence upon Christ, and to excite them to a progressive advancement in holiness.—Phil. iii. 10-14.
4. To serve as a test of their sincerity, that they may assure their hearts that they are of the truth, and that they delight in the law of God after the inward man, notwithstanding their manifold defects in duty.—1 John iii. 19; Rom. vii. 22, 25; 2 Cor. i. 12.