The Law and Gospel

The Bible is actually a collection of 66 different books written by many different human authors (but ultimately one author – the Holy Spirit). It was written over a period of two thousand years and covers thousands of years of history. Yet, the entire Bible can be summarized in two simple themes: Law and Gospel.

Law – The Law tells us three things. 1. It tells us that we are born in sin and that we sin constantly against God. 2. It tells us that God is angry over sin and that, as a righteous God, God must punish sin. 3. It tells us what God sees in us apart from Jesus Christ.

Jesus summarizes the entire Law of God in these two commands found in Matthew 22:37-40; “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depends the whole Law and the Prophets.”

With the exception of Jesus Christ, no one has or can fulfill the Law. The Law tells us what we are really like in the sight of God. Ps. 14:3 “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” Ps. 39:5 “Surely every man at his best is all together vanity.” Rom. 3:20 “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

Gospel – The second theme of the Bible is the Gospel. The word “Gospel” means “good news.” The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus Christ took our place, obeyed the Law perfectly, then suffered crucifixion, death, and the forsaking by God the Father in our place as a just punishment for our sin. Rom. 5:19 “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”

The Gospel tells us that God is a gracious and loving God (John 3:16). The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has won forgiveness, life, and salvation for all and all who trust in Christ alone have God’s pardon and peace. 1 John 1:7-9 “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

So come to Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church where the Law and Gospel are rightly divided and the Word of God, the Sacraments, and the liturgy are rightly used to deliver to you the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.