Five Solas


Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p.673

Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p.673

XII. The Law in the Old Testament

Rousas John Rushdoony

The Institutes of Biblical Law: A Chalcedon Study, Nutley, N.J.: Craig Press, 1973, pp.670-697

1. God the King
2. The Law and the Prophets
3. Natural and Supernatural Law
4. The Law as Direction and Life
5. The Law and the Covenant


 Returning to torah, or direction, a pointing out, Jesus Christ referred to Himself as the torah when He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Greek word for “way” is ‘odos, a proceeding, a course of conduct; in Acts 13:10, Romans 11:33, and Revelation 15:3, according to Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, it means “the purposes and ordinances of God, his way of dealing with men.” The use of “I am” echoed the divine name (Ex. 3:14); the reference to the “way” spoke of the law. Jesus Christ, as the incarnate God, was also the declaration of God’s righteousness and law. By this sentence, Christ made Himself inseparable from either the Godhead or from the law. He is the torah or direction of God; by His declaration, Christ made both Himself and the law more readily identifiable. (p.673)


 The alternative to Christ and the law is thus anarchy and lawlessness; it means a life without meaning or direction. Christ is the declaration of God’s direction or law; the law points us to the right road. Sin, hamartia, is missing the mark; it does involve moving in the right direction, but it is a falling short, a missing of the mark. Anomia, sin, is lawlessness; it means moving in the wrong direction and denying direction. It is anarchy. “If we say we have no sin (hamartia), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). It is the godless who are sinners in the sense of being anti-law, hostile to God’s direction. The word used is anomos, lawless or without law (Acts 2:3; 2 Thess. 2:8; 2 Peter 2:8). However, all men who commit sin (harmartia) habitually and carelessly are in reality not Christians and are guilty of lawlessness (anomia). “Whosoever committeth sin (hamartia, i.e., all who practice sin as their way of life) transgresseth also the law (anomia, such persons are actually anti-law, lawless); for sin (hamartia, i.e., the habitual practice of sin) is the transgression of the law (anomia, is the practice of lawlessness)”(1 John 3:4). (p.673)