Law and Gospel

“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

— Romans 3:31

Now that we’ve spent the past few days looking at the Ten Commandments, we need to clarify the relationship between the Law and the Gospel. Many people don’t understand this relationship, but unless we do, we will live our faith on false pretenses.

The Law reveals to us our need for the Gospel. It shows us our sinfulness; for no one, except the Savior, has kept the Law fully. The Law doesn’t save us; it condemns us. It shows us our need for salvation. We can gain that salvation only by believing the Gospel, the good news that God sent His only Son to die in our place.

This relationship between the Law and the Gospel distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. We could boil all those belief systems into a single two-letter word: “do.” This is the essence of every pagan religion’s message: “Do this; don’t do that.” Even distortions of Christianity base salvation on that one word.

But the basic message of Christianity is not “do,” but “done.” “It is finished” were the last words Christ spoke before He died. It is done. Finished. Christ paid the full penalty for our sins. And now, all who trust in Him may freely have eternal life.

We’re not saved by good works. We’re saved to them. When God’s grace touches our lives, we naturally desire to do good works. As you continue to meditate on the Ten Commandments, remember their rightful place; in obeying them you thank God for that which He has done through the Gospel.

“The world has many religions; it has but one Gospel.”
George Owen