Law and Gospel

Day 204

Galatians 2:21 & Matthew 5:43-48

From the Reformer

The apostasy of the Galatians is a fine indorsement of the Law, all right. You may preach the Law ever so fervently; if the preaching of the Gospel does not accompany it, the Law will never produce true conversion and heartfelt repentance. We do not mean to say that the preaching of the Law is without value, but it only serves to bring home to us the wrath of God. The Law bows a person down. It takes the Gospel and the preaching of faith in Christ to raise and save a person.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

The Law should certainly be promoted. It makes people aware of their sin and what they should do to please God. Yet if the Law alone is advocated, soon enough people despair because they never live up to its demands. This is why the Gospel must be taught. People learn from the Law that God demands moral excellence. They learn from the Gospel that God loves them in spite of their deficiencies.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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