01 February 2011

The Beautiful Necessity of Law and Gospel

Have you ever read Romans and felt as though you had been sucker-punched with the fist of your wretched sinfulness?
"For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:      
 
    “None is righteous, no, not one;
         no one understands;
        no one seeks for God.
     All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
        no one does good,
        not even one.”
     “Their throat is an open grave;
        they use their tongues to deceive.”
    “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
         “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
     “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
         in their paths are ruin and misery,
     and the way of peace they have not known.”
         “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
 (Romans 3:9-18 ESV)
Such is the reality of the Law. But then, did you continue reading and become flooded with the grace and mercy of Almighty God and His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ?
"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:21-26 ESV)
Such is the glory of the Gospel. And such is the necessity to always present the Gospel in light of the Law. After all, what good is the good news if we do not first share the bad news? Nobody is going to have interest in a Savior if they have never been shown why they need a savior. So don't be afraid to tell someone that he is a sinner, because it's true, you know. And it's far more loving to expose them to that truth, so that the light of the Gospel can truly shine through the darkness of that sin. And when it does, oh, will it shine!

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