Living godly lives through law and gospel

On a pastoral note, I wish to blog about law and gospel.

Our biblical and civil laws call us to live holy lives, as separate from the world’s standards of righteousness. The gospel of Jesus tells us that “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). As sanctified Christians, we are called by the Lord Jesus and given the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we can live righteous lives. But what does it mean to be sanctified? The word for sanctify or sanctification is not much heard these days but it means we are to be “separate”, “to set apart”, or “a being set apart”. We, as Christians, are called out of this sin-filled world to be God’s children forgiven by God. A godly life is the trait of genuine Christian behaviour.

So how do we live godly and sanctified lives as Christians? Often we try to force others, and even ourselves, to live by God’s law in our civil realm. This may work to a certain extent but it is not the way we are called to live out our Christian faith. Our laws, though established by God, calls us to live righteously in the civil realm (left-hand kingdom), rather than in the spiritual realm (right-hand kingdom). Luther said that God’s left-hand kingdom is established and ordered by God; but it is ruled by power rather than by God’s grace. The law of God is only meant to guide or rule us as “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”.

Without all our human laws and rules, it may seem impossible to live godly and do good works all the time. But the truth is that it is impossible even with all our laws and rules. However, we are blessed that it is God who lives in us who enables us to live in righteousness. If it were not for the grace of God and the Holy Spirit of God, we would never be able to do this on our own strength. The Holy Spirit has made us holy by bringing us to faith in Jesus Christ, redeemed us, forgiven us, and enabled us to lead godly and righteous lives.

Allow Holy Spirit to lead us into his righteousness rather than into human righteousness. The power of the gospel is enough to justify us and sanctify us. God’s Holy Spirit then lives in us to give us new life, transform our lives, energize us, enlighten our understanding, and strengthen our spiritual lives. Then we may be able to live godly Christian lives.

3 thoughts on “Living godly lives through law and gospel

  1. Thanks Iris.

    TC, I agree with you. We serve God based on our relationship with him. We serve because we want to, and we want to because we love him, and we love him because he first loved us.


  2. Kevin,

    As a pastor myself, the way I understand law and gospel this side of the cross is to ground it all in the grace of Christ.

    John writes, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17, 18, TNIV).

    It is all about our relationship with Christ and serving Him from that vantage point. It is not about rules and regulations. Rather it is about a relations with a Person, the risen Messiah.

    When understood in this context law serves as guidelines to keep a harmonious relationship going, and it becomes not about trying to please. Now it is about friendship: “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14, TNIV).


  3. Thank you for this good post. So much of our thinking is “trying to keep the law” instead of learning the ways of the Holy Spirit through the Word and allowing Him to empower our set apart lives. Galatians 5:16 “I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will notfulfill the lusts of the flesh.” That kinda says it all. Yet I read and hear very little teaching on how to do that or even that we should. Your post is saying that.
    Bless you!


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