Foundations of Law I

Laws of Nature and Nature's God

God is sovereign over all and is the ultimate lawgiver

James 4:12
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

LONANGLaws of nature and nature's God

  • From Jefferson in Declaration of Independence and before from Blackstone
  1. Laws of Nature

    Law of nature is the will of the maker revealed in nature.

    • Innate knowledge of right and wrong
    • Applies to everyone
      • Romans 1:18–20
        For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
        19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
        20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
      • Romans 2:14–15
        For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
        15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
    • Also can mean stuff like gravity and instinct
  2. Laws of Nature's God
    • Law of Nature's God is the will of the maker revealed in the Scriptures.
    • Part of the law of nature
    • Written because of man's fall
    • Example of the ten commandments


  • Immutable law of good and evil
  • Superior to all other law
  • Binding on all people all over the globe at all times
  • Applies forever
    • Psalm 119
      Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
  • No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this
  • All valid human laws derive all their force from this original
Created Order

Basics of created order (from Genesis 9?):

  1. Life
  2. Family
  3. Property
  4. Relationship with God
Mosaic Law


  1. Model Civil Nation
  2. Redemptive Nation

Basic Framework for Determining if Mosaic Law is Binding:

  1. Assume it is.
  2. What is the purpose of the law?

    • General Law?

      • Devotion to God
      • Protection of Life
      • Protection of Family
      • Protection of Property
    • Israel's Law?

      • Part of Israel's Redemptive Purpose
  3. Consider culture.
  4. Look for New Testament references.

    • 1 point for gist
    • 1 point for book & chapter
    • Extra point for first 5 verses not from class

How to analyze whether Mosaic Law applies (from Midterm Review):

  • Assume it is binding
  • Created Order
    • Worshipping of God as Creator
    • Protection of Life
    • Protection of Family
    • Protection of Property
    • Contextual Hints:
      • Unlawful before Israel existed
      • Applied to other nations
      • Applied to foreigners or strangers
      • Often repeated in the New Testament
  • Redemptive Order
    • Contextual Hints:
      • Holiness/set apart language
      • Not repeated in the NT or are expressly fulfilled in the NT
      • Example. E.g., sacrificial laws or food laws.
  • Other discontinuities between Mosaic Law and Today
    • The cross removes our need for sin sacrifices after Christ.
    • Culture: Battlement for roof not required today because guests are not entertained on roofs today.

Applying LONANG (from Midterm review):

  • Law is LON
    • Our hearts tell us
    • We usually try to hide it
  • Law is LONG
    • Prohibited in OT
    • Prohibition is part of the Mosaic Covenant
    • Created to protect created order
    • NT condemns
    • Jesus does not condone
    • Law is binding on all people
    • Their agreement is invalid
  • Conclusion