Distinguishing Law And Gospel

In my last post, I shared a testimony I read recently from a man who experienced the devastating on-the-ground, real life consequences of the failure to distinguish between God’s Law and God’s Gospel (both are good but both have unique job descriptions). Well, a couple months back I sat down with my good friend Jono Linebaugh (Professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminary and Content Manager of Liberate) to discuss the all important distinction between the Law and the Gospel. In my opinion, no one speaks more clearly and intelligently about this than Dr. Linebaugh. His explanation in the short video below is really helpful. Enjoy…

  • the Old Adam says:

    Nice job, gentlemen.

    Good stuff on law and gospel.

    The promise was given directly by God to Abraham. The law was given via a messenger boy (an angel), to Moses.

    The gospel always trumps the law. The Promise always trumps the demand.


  • […] Tullian Tchividjian in conversation with Jono Linebaugh, professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminary: Rate this:Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintMoreDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in Forgiveness, God's Law, God's grace, Jesus Christ, Justification, Law, The Gospel, Tullian Tchividjian. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  • John Dunn says:

    To maintain a “continuing use” of the Law which brings the saints under daily condemnation to the killing letter MUST categorically affirm that the Law still condemns and accuses Christ himself! The saints belong wholly to Christ. They are now one with Him in sacred union, joined inseparably to Him as his holy Body, through his cross and by His Spirit. Therefore, to maintain that the Law still condemns and kills the saints is to admit that it does so to Christ who is vitally united to them as their exalted Head.

    And if the Law still threatens and condemns Christ’s Body, then it must be admitted that there was something woefully lacking in Christ-the-Head that his cross-work could not completely satisfy and abolish the Law’s demands in His own body of death when He suffered vicariously in the place of His saints on the cross. If the Bride is still under Law condemnation to any degree, then Christ’s death was not sufficient enough to extinguish it when it was nailed to His cross (Eph 2:15, Col 2:14). And therefore, it must be concluded that Christ’s suffering and death on the cross did not satisfy the Law’s just condemnation for the saints to the fullest measure. If the saints are not completely free from the continuing pursuit of the Law’s killing letter, then Christ is also not free from its pursuit, nor is He a deliverer. Further satisfaction to the Law’s justice must still be outstanding.

    However, our blessed Savior Christ Jesus, *abolished death* and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim 1:10). He completely released us from the enslavement of the Law’s power and dominion (Rom 7:1-6). Therefore, we must never insist that the Law, the very ministry of death and condemnation (2 Cor 3:7-9), still has a continuing place of killing-command over those blood-washed, New Covenant saints who are completely set free *in Christ* and sanctified by His Spirit. If the Old Covenant is completely abolished, we must not resurrect any part of it to bind those who are under a completely New Covenant. If we do so, we devalue Christ’s righteousness and the power of his cross.

    For freedom Christ has set us free . . . walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh . . . but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law (Gal 5:1, 16, 18).

  • Paul St. says:

    Free from fear and condemnation to speak love in Christ. thanks

  • […] The (nearly lost) Reformational Hermeneutic – link to video […]

  • […] So we put our emphasis here – on the Word God alone brings and uses!  We put all our eggs in this basket.  Period!  This is the faith we know and proclaim, and it is good, right and salutary to talk this way – these are, we believe “God’s talking points” (aside: to see some Evangelicals beautifully emphasizing and explaining some other doctrines Luther brought to the fore, see Jono Linebaugh and Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, discussing Law and Gospel here) […]

  • st jean says:

    Dr Linebaugh did a beautiful job explaining the difference between God’s good law and the announcement that we are free in Christ.
    I am excited to be part of the Liberate conference this year as I consider the content of this blog. (speaking the Law and Gospel) and it actually happens.
    A very clear and concise explaination. no confusion here.

  • John Dunn says:

    The Law was not given to Israel as a blessing or gracious gift. For Israel, the Law was an instrument of Adamic curse, a sin-exposing regime of death and condemnation, which enslaved her to continual disobedience and failure . . . which found ultimate expression in her rejection and murder of Messiah through the Law. The Law led Israel to murder her Messiah.

    But the sovereign design of the Law was to imprison Israel under sin until the promised Christ should appear in her midst, and in dying at her wicked hands, abolish the Law of commandments expressed in ordinances, extinguish its legal demands, and put away sin once and for all. That which was cursed (Law) for Adamic Israel served as sin’s bailiff to lead her to that which was gracious beyond measure . . . the promise of Christ and him crucified.

    But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

  • The Crossing says:

    […] discussing the Law and the Gospel–what they are, what they do, and why it matters. HT: Tullian Tchividjian About Gary Gary serves as one of the pastors of The Crossing. Tags:gospel, Law, […]

  • Debbie Howerton says:

    Excellent description….chilling! He whom the Son sets free….. is FREE indeed. Praise His holy blessed name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Related Articles

Tullian Tchividjian
There is some talk these days regarding big terms like antinomianism (a word coined by Martin Luther which simply means…
Tullian Tchividjian
When it comes to the raising of children, one-way love is both the easiest thing in the world and the…
Tullian Tchividjian
There are things worth dying for. The gospel is at the top. Regardless of what others may say or what…