"Law and Gospel"


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Law And Gospel with a
Digital Imagination

Law and Gospel is possibly one of the most misused elements of Christianity in our world today.

We find churches that only teach the Law, often referred to as fire and brimstone churches they preach what will happen to you if you fail to live up to the law.

Of course, No one can actually live up to the law, we are all sinners.  As the apostle Paul said in Romans 3:21-25:

"But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of Godthey are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.

They teach the law but fail to tell about the gospel and the grace of God who forgives all sin.

Then we have the Prosperity churches. They just tell you that all you have to do is have faith and tithe and you will be prosperous. Neither God nor Jesus ever suggested that faith and tithing would get you material wealth.  Jesus promised spiritual wealth and a treasure in heaven.

This is also called work righteousness, the idea that we can ever do or be good enough to obtain salvation by our own works. This is not going to happen, salvation is by grace alone. Looking again at the apostle Paul in
Romans 3:27-31:

Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith.  For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.  Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Finally, we have the "Feel Good" churches, they only preach the Gospel and never preach or mention the law.  They tell you that all you need to do is be faithful, believe in Jesus and no matter what you do you will be saved.

Although there is a germ of truth here, since your works will never save you, only grace.  Still those who do not do good works are not saved.  When you are saved the Holy Spirit takes you on, writes the law on your heart and causes you to only want to do good.  Good works act as a witness to your salvation, they do not enable your salvation. Of course, seeing someone do good works is also not a guarantee that they are saved.  As Saint James, Jesus' brother, said in
James 2:14-17:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?  If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?  So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

Good works are the witness to faith.  Your good works will not save you, they simply show that you are saved, saved by grace.

Go and try not to sin further.

It can be most useful to view the gospels in parallel. Being able to see how the different gospel authors treated the same story (as well as which ones chose not to include a particular story) can be most useful
Gospel Parallels

Here you can check out the original Greek.