A Short Credo on Law and Gospel by Douglas Wilson

 I believe that the Scriptures divide men into two great categories, those who believe and those who do not (Matt. 25:33). This in turn gives us two fundamental hermeneutics—one of faith and love and the other of unbelief and hatred.

 I believe that to the unbelieving heart, the Word of God in its entirety comes as law, condemning the sinner. This is particularly evident with the moral imperatives of Scripture (Rom. 3:20; 5:20), but it is equally true of the words of consolation and hope. To those who are perishing, the words of Christ our Savior are the very aroma of death (2 Cor. 2:14-15). So the unbelieving heart sees law and condemnation everywhere, including in the gospel.

 I believe that to the believing heart, the Word of God in its entirety comes as gospel, bringing the sinner to salvation. This is particularly evident with the declaration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, the heart of the gospel message. But it is also true of the Ten Commandments, which are words of joyful deliverance and salvation (Ex. 20:1). The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul (Ps. 19:7). Moses declared that the law was not too hard for Israel to keep. This is applied by Paul to Christ Himself (Dt. 30:11-14; Rom. 10:6-11).This is because Christ is the telos of the law for everyone that believes (Rom. 10:4). The word is near us—it is in our hearts and in our mouths. So the believing heart sees Christ everywhere, including in the law.

 I believe that in the work of salvation, in the transition from unbelief to faith, God uses the moral demands of Scripture to make sinners aware of their need for salvation (Rom. 3:20; 5:20; 7:7; Gal. 3:19; Mk. 10:18-19), and that He uses the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to deliver them from the condemnation of this law (1 Cor. 15:1-4).


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