MEDITATIONS 10: THE LAW & GOSPEL

Blog about the Law & Gospel:

What is the Law & what is the Gospel? How are believers affected by both? What does the Law and the Gospel mean to the unbeliever? Does the relationship between Law and Gospel change once a person becomes a believer?

When reading through Galatians and Ephesians the concept of the Law and the Gospel are brought up continually. It is important to understand the distinction of these concepts. “The law is that which God demands of us (cf. Genesis 2:17; Exodus 20:1-18), while the gospel is the good news that in Jesus Christ, God freely and graciously gives to us everything which he demands of us under the law (i.e., Romans 5:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).” 1 These definitions make clear the divide between the two, but both rule over believers lives. It is the Law which condemns us because no one can live perfectly by the Law; but, its the Gospel which redeems us from the death of the Law. Law is knowledge of sin, and in itself the Law is good and holy. Once believers have Grace from Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we are redeemed from the Law and also find themselves eager to follow the way of the Law. “The law does not change once we are justified. Rather, our relationship to the law changes.” 2 However, the Law is still to be obeyed once a believer through faith accepts Christ as their Savior, (Romans 7:22-23).

This concept eluded this author for a majority of his life. Though a believer he has struggled to keep the Law and has felt in his heart that he was missing a huge portion of what the Gospel truly meant. It is by the love of God, including God’s grace and belief in the Gospel which has saved this author’s soul. Often feeling guilt when breaking the Law of God, he now understands that it is the Gospel which promotes the guilty feeling because believers are compelled to follow the Law through the Holy Spirit which resides in each believer’s heart. It is truly fortunate that God is a keep of promises and followed through with His promise to Adam that He would redeem mankind. Believers are expected to follow the laws which were inwardly written on the heart before God gave them to Moses on Mt. Saini, The Ten Commandments, along with the Laws set forth in the New Testament.

“The irony here is that because the gospel creates faith, it is the preaching of the gospel which leads God’s people into holy living (Ephesians 2:1-10: Philippians 3:2-14).” 3

  1. Riddlebarger, Kim,. “Basics of the Reformed Faith: The Law and the Gospel” February 7, 2012, Westminster Seminary California, https://www.wscal.edu/blog/basics-of-the-reformed-faith-the-law-and-the-gospel
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