What is the difference between the Law and the Gospel?

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There are two distinctly different doctrines in God’s Word, namely, the Law and the Gospel. It will be of great benefit to us in our spiritual life, if we know how to correctly distinguish between these two doctrines in our hearts. Therefore, it is important that we thoroughly understand the difference between them.

  1. The Law teaches us what we are to do and not to do.

    The Gospel teaches us what God has done and still does for our salvation.

  2. The Law shows us our sins and God’s wrath because of them.

    The Gospel is the good news of God’s boundless grace in Christ, who has saved us from our sins.

  3. The Law demands, threatens and condemns.

    The Gospel promises, and gives as a free gift the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.The Apostles’ Creed,

  4. The Law causes a person to feel that his sins are very much alive, enormous and oppressive, and in this way causes the sinner to die.

    Rom. 7:9-10: For I was alive without the Law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

    The Gospel wipes away all sins, creates a comforting faith in God’s grace in the sinner’s heart, and in this way makes him spiritually alive.

    2 Cor ..3:6: The letter (the Law) killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.

  5. The Law is to be preached in order to bring a person to a knowledge of his sins.

    The Gospel is to be proclaimed in order to comfort those who are alarmed by their sins.