Wednesday, October 18, 2017

God Only Is Good – The Law and the Gospel

Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 6:33
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God Only is Good

The Law and the Gospel

Romans 1.16, 17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

How do we know just how good God is?

Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel. This is because the Law of God is part of the Gospel, from beginning to end, and the Law of God reveals the righteousness of God. We cannot effectively proclaim the Gospel without some reference to the Law of God. The Law comes from God and reveals His righteous requirements for those who would know His blessings. The Law thus encodes, in the barest of outlines, the righteousness of God, and shows us His holiness in terms we can understand. In the Gospel we need to know Who is speaking to us, what kind of God He is, and precisely what He requires if we would be saved. The Westminster Shorter Catechism defines sin as any want of conformity to or transgression of the Law of God. Following Paul we might add that anything in life that we do apart from faith and trust in the living God is sin as well (Rom. 14.23). For anyone to come to the place of wanting to be saved he must first be apprised of the reason why salvation is both necessary and has eluded him thus far: He’s a sinner. He has transgressed against the holy and righteous and good Law of God and has lived his life without proper gratitude toward and love for the God Who made him. Before the Good News of the Gospel will make sense, people need to find that they are trapped in the bad news of a life in rebellion against God. The Law must come into the Gospel at some point if the Good News of what God offers is to make any sense at all.

How might you use the Ten Commandments to help someone understand the nature of sin? The nature of God’s righteousness?

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