A Jagged Contention: Third Use

The Cantankerous Critic and my good friend Mr. Scott Keith is now officially Dr. Scott Keith. Having successfully defended his dissertation he will be back contributing on The Jagged Word in his normal spot on Tuesday. In honor of his accomplishment I asked Scott for a quote from Philip Melanchthon, a man he now knows far too much about, for today’s Jagged Contention.


(Edited Version)

“The third office of the Law applies to those who are justified by faith and is that topic teaches the justified concerning good works. It teaches them what works are pleasing to God, and the works of certain commandments, in which obedience to God is exercised. For though we are free from the Law, as far as justification is concerned, however, with regard to obedience, the Law remains. But now that we are justified, it is necessary to obey God. And indeed, we are to begin to do at least some part of the Law. And it pleases Him (God) that this obedience is begun in us, because the person is already pleasing (to God) on account of Christ. What is given here appears to be sufficient regarding the use or offices of the Law. Now, what has already been said regarding justification must be said again, that is that it belongs to the second use of the Law. I repeat the third use belongs under the category of our good works, once the terror of the Law has already been abrogated.”

– Philip Melanchthon, “Loci Communes, 1535”


What do you think of Melanchthon’s description of the use of the Law for the justified?