Galatians 1:6-9 & Hebrews 8:12-13
From the Reformer
For all that, they muddle Law and Gospel. As a result they pervert the Gospel. Either Christ must live and the Law perish, or the Law remains and Christ must perish; Christ and the Law cannot dwell side by side in the conscience. It is either grace or law. To muddle the two is to eliminate the Gospel of Christ entirely.”
It seems a small matter to mingle the Law and Gospel, faith and works, but it creates more mischief than man’s brain can conceive. To mix Law and Gospel not only clouds the knowledge of grace, it cuts out Christ altogether.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
The law condemns; it never mollifies the conscience. The Law tells you what you must do and the consequences if you do not. But try as you might, you will not keep the Law, therefore you will feel guilt. So your conscience tells you that you must do something to appease God. What your conscience is saying in reality is, Do something to make my guilty conscience go away. Therefore, works is idolatry. Your guilty conscience has set you up as the one to appease.
You must have a new conscience: Christ’s conscience. Then when you sin, when you break God’s Law, while your conscience tells you that you are guilty and must do some work to please God, Christ’s conscience says: I knew you would do this; that is why I came to die. I am not pleased but I still love you so keep the faith.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers