Law and Gospel

Someone told me recently that the law is like a set of railroad tracks. The tracks provide no power for the train but the train must stay on the tracks in order to function. The law never gives any power to do what it commands. Only the gospel has power, as it were, to move the train. - Tullian Tchividjian

I have a hard time understanding the role of the gospel in my sanctification sometimes. I treat it like a safety net. When I fall, the gospel catches me and allows me the chance to try again. There is value in an approach like that, but I know there is more.

I am grateful for what Christ has done for me. This is a motive for good works. In that sense, the gospel provides motivation (power) to live the Christian life. But I have the feeling that there is more to it than that.

I have some more thinking to do…


Steve Martin said...

The law demands good works.

The gospel inspires them.

The law always accuses. The gospel always liberates.

The law kills. The gospel makes new again.

Since we must die before we can be made new again, the law has an important role.

But the gospel always trumps the law.

J. K. Jones said...

Thanks, Steve.

Do you agree with T. T.'s comment above?

Steve Martin said...


The law serves the gospel, but the gospel is not dependent on it(the law). The Lord has chosen to speak to us through His law and His gospel. But the Lord's proper work through the gospel can never be limited, even by God's own law.

I think we have to say that in order that we have a God who is free.

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