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Whatever happened to the Law and the Gospel?

By Fred Malone

When one looks at the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the writings of the Apostles, one would think that a confession of faith ought to have some explanation of the law of God as well as the gospel of Christ. You cannot read the Sermon on the Mount, Romans, Galatians, James, or 1 John without seeing many references to the law of God or the commandments of God. Yet in the progression of Baptist confessions from England into America we see a decided and obvious reduction of any serious reference to the law of God or the commandments of God.

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The Wednesday Word – Grace and Truth

“The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” John 1:17.

Moses gave the Law, but the Law it did not come by Moses. Moses, for all his moral rectitude, was not the originator of Law. He gave the Law, but he didn’t invent it.

Moses had to receive the Law. It was not his own. It was not a part of his being. He was not Law incarnate. The Law was delivered to him and he, in turn, gave it to others.

Grace and truth, on the other hand, were not “given” to Christ, they came by Christ for grace and truth were His essence. He was grace and truth incarnate. It is interesting to note that Christ could have come as Law incarnate for, indeed, He was the quintessence of the Law. But when He came to us, He came as the embodiment of grace and truth.

The Law was given to, among other reasons, expose our inability to please God. Our hearts towards God had been frozen in a glacier of self-will and destruction. God, therefore, did not hope that we would keep the Law, He knew we couldn’t. Rather, He gave it so that every mouth would be stopped and all the world become guilty before Him (Romans 3:19).

But there’s good news! Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. When Christ appeared, grace and truth appeared in all its fullness. Grace and truth descended to earth in the person of Jesus the God/Man. He alone is our Gospel. We dare not add to or subtract from Him.

There are no two things in the Bible more different than Law and Gospel. Either we obtain salvation in all its facets by contributing our works, or we freely receive salvation by faith alone in the doing, dying and rising again of our Lord Jesus …plus nothing!

For a moment then, let’s consider some of the differences and contrasts between Law and Gospel!

The Law demands righteousness; the Gospel gives it.

The Law requires good works; the Gospel provides them.

Under the Law, the source of our blessings is from our obedience. But under the Gospel, blessings are a gift based upon Christ’s obedience.

“The Law threatens, the Gospel heals.

The Law shows us our wretchedness. The Gospel takes our misery away.

The Law was not given to save us but to damn us.

The Gospel, on the other hand, was given, not to damn us but to save us.

The Law was not given to bless us, but to curse us.

The gospel was given to set us free from the curse .

The Law puts on its black cap of damnation and sentences men to death. The Gospel, by contrast, put on the white cap of mercy and brings dead men to life.”

The Law tells us what we must do to get right with God. Grace, on the other hand, tells us what God has done for us to get us right with Himself.

When Moses gave the Law, his face shone. But when grace and truth came, the full light of the knowledge of the glory of God was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 10

10. Though we be not now sent to the Law as it was in the hand of Moses, to be commanded thereby, yet Christ in His Gospel teacheth and commandeth us to walk in the same way of righteousness and holiness that God by Moses did command the Israelites to walk in, all the Commandments of the second Table being still delivered unto us by Christ, and all the Commandments of the first Table also (as touching the life and spirit of them) in this epitome or brief sum, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, &c. Matt. 22: 37, 38, 39, 40.. Rom. 13:8, 9, 10.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 9

9. Though we that believe in Christ, be not under the law, but under grace; Rom. 6:14; yet we know that we are not lawless, or left to live without a rule; not without law to God, but under law to Christ, I Cor. 9:21. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a law, or commanding rule unto us; whereby, and in obedience where unto, we are taught to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; Titus 2: 11, 12; the directions of Christ in his Evangelical word guiding us unto, and in this sober, righteous, and godly walking, I Tim. 1:10,11.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

The Division of Old Testament Law

February 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Tom Hicks

Are believers in Christ required to obey any part of Old Testament law? Both Dispensationalists and proponents of New Covenant Theology, or Progressive Covenantalism, as one version of it has come to be called, simply say “no.” In their view, the laws of the Old Testament are fulfilled and abrogated in Christ. Believers are only required to obey the “law of Christ,” which is taught in the commands of the New Testament alone. That’s a simple hermeneutic that draws a sharp line between the testaments and tells believers they don’t have to obey any Old Testament law. One of the major problems with this perspective is that New Testament authors seem to assume the authority of the Old Testament in matters of certain kinds of law. Another problem is that in spite of objections to the contrary, the Old Testament doesn’t treat all of its laws the same way either. We often hear that “the Law” is a unit, that all of it is moral, and that if any of it is abrogated, then all of it must be. While the issues involved in this dispute among sincere brothers in Christ certainly require more than a simple blog post, I offer the following short critique of those views which teach that Old Testament law is monolithic and without any divisions.

 

 

 

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The Wednesday Word: What a Gospel! What a Saviour!

What a Gospel!

What makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world? Years ago that question was discussed at a conference. Some of the participants argued that Christianity is unique in teaching that God became a man. But someone objected, erroneously saying that other religions teach similar doctrines. What about the resurrection? No, it was argued, some other faiths believe that the dead rise again. The discussion grew heated.

A well-known theologian, a staunch defender of Christianity, came in late, sat down, and asked, “What’s the rumpus about?” When he learned that it was a debate about the uniqueness of Christianity, he immediately commented, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

How right he was!

At the very heart of our message is the concept of Grace. We are not only saved by Grace but also live in and by it. Our life is not one of trying to impress God as we tick off a list of dos and don’ts. We can do nothing to move the heart of God to love us. He loves us constantly and continually. His love for us is assured. He loves us simply because He loves us…. He loves us, not because we merit it. No indeed, the truth is that we deserve the very opposite of love. We are helplessly sinful, but God has been and continues to be amazingly gracious to us. This is one of the main things that sets us apart from the world religions.

What a Gospel! It’s all of grace!

Think of this, it’s only by His infinite grace that we are saved,

It’s not by our moral character,

It’s not by our works of righteousness,

It’s not by keeping the Law,

It’s not by Churchgoing,

It’s by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. What a Gospel!

Grace is free. Jesus was not obligated to die for anyone. If we are saved, it is because God resolved to save us and not because we resolved to be saved! It’s all of grace!

What a Gospel!

He is the God of all grace. Think for a moment how graciously He deals with us. Robert Farrar Capon noted in Christ’s story of the return of the prodigal that the Father, “Wasn’t afraid of giving the prodigal son a kiss instead of a lecture, a party instead of probation.”

That’s Grace!

What a Saviour!

Grace is hard to comprehend but so indeed is our Saviour. The Saviour with whom we have to do is none other than God clothed with humanity. He is not a man made into God but God made man. When He spoke, God spoke. When He laughed, God laughed. When He sang, God sang. When He wept God wept. The fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Him (Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

“Wonder of wonders! The mighty God, without ceasing to be God, becomes a man to redeem us! Let the greatest king become the lowest beggar; let the richest prince leave his palace for the vilest cell of a loathsome prison; it is as nothing compared to the act of Jesus, when He left heaven to put on the rags of our mortality! The Creator of all things becomes a creature! The Almighty is a weak baby! The Eternal is a child of time! The Infinite is contracted into the limits of poor flesh! Is not this the wonder of wonders? Is not this grace which has no bounds?”

Henry Law: Christ is All.

What a Gospel! What a Saviour!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Resources for Studying the Law and the Gospel

September 20, 2016 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

A proper understanding of the relationship between the law and the gospel is crucial for any minister hoping to be effective in his preaching and counseling. Indeed, a flawed understanding of the relationship between law and gospel leads to all sorts of problems:

Errors in this doctrine have spawned dispensationalism, theonomy, the New Perspective on Paul, hypercovenantalism, legalism, antinomianism, shallow evangelism, shallower sanctification, worship errors and unbiblical mysticism.[1]

 

 

 

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