The Law and the Saint by A. W. Pink

One of the most important differences separating the dispensational and Reformed approach to Scripture concerns the Old Testament Law. Neither school of thought teaches that the Law must be kept in order for a person to be saved, but once saved things change. The dispensationalist believes that the Christian is dead to the Law and released from the Law. But the Reformed understanding is that the church age believer is sanctified as he keeps the Law, just as the Old Testament believer. That is, the Law is the Christian’s rule of life. Pink’s little booklet represents clearly and succinctly the Reformed position.

Pink labels those who believe the Law must be kept, as legalistic (he is correct). He labels those who believe that the Law has nothing whatever to do with believers – the dispensational position — as Antinomians (against law) (with this label we disagree). Those, of course, who follow the Reformed position are biblical in the author’s mind. In Pink’s attempt to prove his case he separates the Law of God (the Ten Commandments) from the Law of Moses (all other Old Testament commandments); he deals individually with the passages of Scripture used by the “Antinominalist” — rather poorly I might add, claiming that Christians have not been released from the Law, but only from the curse of the Law; he then reviews the passages that he believes support his position. As a result, he takes the standard Reformed position that the miserable, defeated believer of Romans 7 describes the normal Christian experience.

I believe that Pink occasionally misrepresents the dispensational position (i.e. dispensationalists do not teach that the Law is dead but that the believer is dead to the Law). I also believe that most of Pink’s arguments are rather easily refuted. In other words, Pink fails to prove his case. Nevertheless, this booklet is a good overview of the Reformed understanding of the Law and the Christian, and would be well worth reading for any who desire either a refresher or a summary of this position.

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