Law and gospel: Law is still a thing

In a previous blog post, I said that both law and gospel are good things. As people, we mostly try to distance ourselves from the law. We generally prefer to see the law as something a person must do or must not do. It’s kind of like when we know the traffic laws like we should not run a red light.

The written law is external (or outside of us) because it’s written in the by-laws of the city or municipality.

The law is good because it shows us when we’ve broken the law. It reminds us that this is something we should not do. They are outside of us, so if we happen to break one of these laws, our attitude might be like, “so what?! It’s just another law, one of many thousands of civil law. We just pay our $100 traffic ticket and start a new day.

For some, it might be so impersonal and distant from our psyche that a person no longer cares very much. A person might just break the law and think to oneself, okay I’ll just pay the fine, especially if it’s just about the same as paying for the parking fee.

In the Old Testament, God’s people broke their covenant with God. As human beings, whether redeemed or unredeemed in Christ, we still break the law.

Martin Luther says we are Simul Justus et Peccator (Simultaneously Saint and Sinner). Even in our sin, God loved us enough to send his one and only Son to this earth to die on the cross for erase our sins. This is good news…that we have nothing to fear but fear itself because we have a greater love in Christ’s love.

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