Theodore Beza on how the Gospel changes the effect of the preaching of the Law in believers

4.29 The other fruit of the preaching of the law, once the preaching of the gospel has effectually done its work.


Among the effects that Jesus Christ produces when He dwells in us, we have shown, and this is not the least, that He creates in us a pure heart (Ps. 51:10) to know (Jer 24:7), to will and to do what is of God (Phil 2;13); previously we were slaves in sin (Rom 6:22), enemies of God (Eph 2:12), incapable of thinking anything good (2 Cor. 3:5).

Thus, when our disposition has been changed, the preaching of the Law begins also to change its effect in us, such that instead of terrifying us, it consoles us (1 John 2:17; 2 Pet 1:10, 11); instead of showing how how near our damnation is, it serves us as a guide to teach us the good works (Jer 31:33; Rom 7:22) in which God has purposed we shall walk (Eph. 2;10; finally, instead of being an unpleasant and unbearable yoke, it becomes pleasant and light to us (Matt 11:30). There remains with us only one regret: that of not being able to obey it perfectly, as we wish to do, on account of the remnant of our corruption which battles against the Spirit (Rom 7:22, 23). But all this regret does not drive us to despair, but rather drives us to pray ardently to our Father who strengthens us more and more (Rom. 8:23-26). Faith, which is the testimony of the Spirit of God crying in our hearts (Rom 8:15), indeed assures us that the curse of the Law has been blotted out by the blood of Jesus Christ to whom it unites us (Rom 8;1); moreover, the same faith also assures us that the Spirit shall conquer, however long He tarries (Rom 6:14), and even death shall be the means of our victory (John 5:24; 1 Cor. 15:26, 54; Heb. 2;14). Thus is brought to completion in us, by degrees, the remainder of true repentance, which comes from true conversion; it begins with contrition, or feeling of sin, and progresses by amendment of all that is in the man, visible and invisible (1 Thess 5:23).