Magkaaway ba ang “gospel” at ang “law”?

Our church is currently on a new journey through The Ten Commandments. Last September 30, during our 32nd anniversary celebration, nagbigay ako ng introduction kung ano ang purposes ni God sa Sampung Utos at ano ang kinalaman nito sa buhay Cristiano natin ngayon. Sinabi ko sa simula ng sermon:

Yes, gusto nating maging “deeper into the gospel.” Pero hindi ibig sabihing we set aside the law. It is not gospel vs law. Hindi magkaaway ang dalawang ‘yan. Makikita natin all throughout this series na kapag nagiging deeper ang understanding natin ng law, nagiging deeper din tayo into the gospel.

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In preparing for this new series, sobrang laking tulong ng first three chapters ng book ni Philip Graham Ryken, Written in Stone: The Ten Commandments and Today’s Moral Crisis. Here are some of the quotations from that book:

John Bunyan: “The man who does not know the nature of the law cannot know the nature of sin. And he who does not know the nature of sin cannot know the nature of the Savior.” (page 9)

Respect for God always demands respects for his law. And whenever people have a low regard for God’s law, as they do in our culture, it is ultimately because they have a low regard for God. (page 12)

The law, with all its goodness, springs from the goodness of God’s character. The law is good because God is good, and his goodness penetrates every aspect of his law. (page 19)

It is our breaking of the law that helps us see our need of the gospel. The more clearly we see what God’s law requires, the more obvious it becomes that we cannot keep its commands, which is exactly why we need the gospel. We cannot be saved by our own keeping of the law because we do not keep it. But Jesus did! He kept the whole law on our behalf. Perfectly. More than that, in his death on the cross he suffered the penalty we deserve for our failure to keep God’s law. Now everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved by his keeping of the law and by his suffering of its curse. (page 25)

With the exodus came a change of masters. God’s people were released from their bondage to Pharaoh in order to serve the true and living God – not as captured slaves, but as liberated sons and daughters. The law that God gave them at the time of their emancipation was not a new form of bondage, therefore, but a freedom charter. It was just because God’s people had been saved by grace that they were now free to live by the law of his covenant community. They had been redeemed; therefore, they were not to have any other gods, make any idols, and so on. God did not set his people free so that they could do whatever they wanted, but so that they could live for him. This was the whole point of the exodus. (page 29)

Martin Luther: “The true function and the chief and proper use of the Law is to reveal to man his sin, blindness, misery, wickedness, ignorance, hate and contempt of God, death, hell, judgment, and the well-deserved wrath of God.” (page 37)

Donald Grey Barnhouse: “The law of God is like a mirror. Now the purpose of a mirror is to reveal to you that your face is dirty, but the purpose of a mirror is not to wash your face. When you look in a mirror and find that your face is dirty, you do not then reach to take the mirror off the wall and attempt to rub it on your face as a cleansing agent. The purpose of the mirror is to drive you to the water.” (page 37)

The more we look into the mirror of God’s law, the more clearly we see that we are sinners who need a Savior. Once we see that, we need to look to Jesus, who has fully met the requirements of God’s law and has suffered the penalty that we deserve for our sin. There is a pardon for every lawbreaker and forgiveness for every sinner who trusts in Jesus Christ. (page 38)

It is when we have a limited understanding of the law that we are most tempted to legalism, because then we think that we can keep it…God’s standard is only maintained when we recognize what his righteousness truly requires. And when we know what God requires, in all its fullness, we also see the full extent of our sin. It is only a full understanding of God’s law that reveals our full need for the gospel. (page 53)

J. Gresham Machen: “A low view of law always brings legalism in religion; a high view of law makes a man a seeker after grace.” (page 54)

The more thoroughly we understand the implications of God’s law, the more truly grateful we are for the grace of God in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. When we know what the law requires, we can understand the cross. (page 55)

The law, then, is not an enemy of the gospel. Our disobedience is. The law serves the gospel.

So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24 ESV).

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