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(Lesson Six)

THEY DIFFER IN WHOM THEY ARE PREACHED TO

Now that we understand the fundamental differences between Law and Gospel, the question arises-to whom to do we preach the Law, and to whom do we preach the Gospel? Maybe this vese will help:

But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine...(1 Tim. 1:8-10)

All of us would fall into one of these categories listed above. Perhaps not in deed, but certainly in word or thought. So the Law is to be preached to everyone without exception in an evangelistic sense. But then, once the Spirit has done His work, it is very important we distinguish between who we preach the Law to and not the Gospel, and vice versa.


PREACHING OF THE LAW

To those who fit the description from 1st Timothy, and refuse to repent after hearing of their condition before God, to them the Law and the LAW ONLY are to be preached. As long as a person is at ease in their sin, that is how long they are to hear of the threats of God and the terrible wrath awaiting them.

Some people would say that if we offer them the Gospel then they would turn from their sin. Not so! Jesus said only those who are sick are in need of a doctor. These who choose to remain in their sin have no use for the Gospel and offering it to them will only give them a false assurance of salvation and bring a blemish upon the Body of Christ.

However, once they become convicted of their sin, the Gospel is to be administered to them promptly. For from that moment on they are no longer in the categories found in 1st Timothy.


THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL

Now, to those who hear the Law and are convicted and turn from their sin, not a word of the Law is to be preached. God forgive us Pastors and teachers who give our people the ol' "switcheroo"-we tell them that Jesus loves them and died for their sins, and then when they repent we lay a whole bunch of house rules and legalisms upon them. I think many of us have Law and Gospel turned around!

To those who are terrified of their condition before God we must say, "Don't be afraid! Jesus has accomplished salvation for you! There is room in heaven for you!" And from this point we allow the Holy Spirit to convict as He desires and trust in God to sanctify His people according to His plans.


IN CONCLUSION...

Ideally, each sermon will contain both the preaching of Law and Gospel. The Law will serve to effectively convict those who are being drawn by the Father, and the Gospel will then give them the comfort and consolation they so desperately need.

For those who are in rebellion, the sections of Law in each sermon will continue to hammer them until they are completely hardened and turn from God completely or they are broken and then find the Gospel message is for them. Please do not be afraid of giving kids the Law. You might hear some complaints from the parents, "What kind of God are you preaching? I thought God is a God of love!" That's true. But it would do you well to remind these critics that God is also a God of justice and the Law is a good indicator of where we stand in His eyes.


Congratulations! You finished the entire series. You now have a good understanding of the difference between Law and Gospel. Choose another series of studies and learn even more about God and His Word!!