. . . Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral. Article VII, Thirty-nine Articles of Religion --Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.
As a preliminary step in specifying the meaning of love, one may cite John 14:15, 21, and John 15:10, 14, where love, if not formally defined as obedience, is so closely connected with it that there seems to be no room for anything else. 1 John 2:3-5 supports this, and 1 John 5:2 says, "By this we know that we love (agapomen) the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments." It would seem therefore that the visible characteristic of love is obedience, and love itself is a desire to obey. Is there any reason to suppose that Paul disagreed with John's concept of love?
2 "And if I have prophecy and know all the secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to change the position of the mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."
Again, Paul uses subjunctives in present general conditions, nothing implied: a person without love, one who habitually refuses to obey the commandments, does not have knowledge and faith. Surely Paul would not write a chapter to deny justification by faith alone and assert justification by obedience. Here is the key to the paradoxes, the seeming contradictions, that arise from this chapter: love or obedience is a good work that is inseparably connected with faith and regeneration. It is neither the basis nor the means of justification; but a faith or an alleged faith that does not evidence itself in love or good works is not saving faith. (Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:1-2).
Dr. Gordon H. Clark. First Corinthians: A Contemporary Commentary. (Jefferson: Trinity Foundation, 1975). P. 208
So for all those hyper-Calvinists and antinomians out there who deny that Christians have an obligation to obey God, it would seem that Scripture and the Westminster Confession disagrees. (Romans 6:1-2). Saving faith results in a changed life, not a life that habitually and deliberately turns the grace of God into lasciviousness and disobedience. (Jude 1:3-4; 1 John 3:4-6). This is not to say that Christians reach sinless perfection. They do not. But ironically the antinomians believe they are sinless because they are no longer under the law and it is the law alone that can reveal that Christians and everyone else sins (Romans 3:19-20; 7:7). Christians are not under the law as a covenant of works. But they are under the law as their duty to live and love by faith in obedience to Christ and His Gospel. (Romans 10:16; Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38; Romans 3:3).
Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter 14 Of Saving Faith
2. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; (John 4:42, 1 Thess. 2:13, 1 John 5:10, Acts 24:14) and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, (Rom. 16:26) trembling at the threatenings, (Isa. 66:2) and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. (Heb. 11:13, 1 Tim. 4:8) But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace. (John 1:12, Acts 16:31, Gal. 2:20, Acts 15:11)
The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).
Even Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who was the English Reformer who was burned at the stake by Bloody Mary or Mary Tudor, said the following in the revised Articles of Religion:
VII. Of the Old Testament.THE Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore there are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
Thirty-nine Articles of Religion