The Gospel Requires More Than Natural Light Does From the Law of God and Demands More


The following comments are made by the Reformed Divine Jeremiah Burroughs as he discussed the Gospel and the Decalogue.  The light of nature from the Law is tied together with the Gospel.  The Gospel requires more from us than Natural Light might reveal from the Law as the fullness of God’s will is revealed by Christ’s Preaching and Word. It would do us all well to read the Divines who participated in the great Westminster Assembly that we might gain from their gifts and understanding.  This kind of teaching seems to be a far cry from the antinomian spirit of the age.  Especially in light of how some Reformed teachers want to truncate what the Gospel is by defining it as only a proclamation or herald of good news.  More on that topic is to come on this blog.


The word conversation in the following quotes should be understood as one’s conduct. It is the word the divines used to mean how one conducted their life.

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” We shall likewise speak further of this when we open that of the law, that our conversations must be higher than the conversations of those who lived under the law, or else it does not become the gospel of Christ.

Here Christ is a great preacher of the gospel, and shows that there is more strictness in the gospel than there is by the light of nature or by the law, or by that which they understand by the law. The light of nature dictates that men should not kill, nor commit adultery, but now, if your conversation is such as becomes the gospel, then you must make conscious of anger and tremble at that as a natural man would tremble at murder, for that becomes the gospel.

Our conversations must be such as is beyond such as live under the law. For the law of God goes higher than the light of nature, for there is more revealed there than the light of nature…

Now this gives you a little hint of the difference between the law and the gospel, between the conversations of men that were merely legal, and the conversation that is evangelical. But the opening of it is to show the difference between the law and the gospel in reference to this, and to show how low the conversation was that was merely legal, and how high raised the conversation of a Christian ought to be if he would make it evangelical, such as becomes the gospel of Christ,

Those who live under the gospel must live in a higher way of holiness than those who lived under the law.

portions of Gospel Conversations pp.52-59

I heartily recommend people buy and read Gospel Conversations by Jeremiah Burroughs. It is a life changing exposition by one of the Westminster Divines. This book did a good work in this older mans heart and life.