When two people have a DTR, they “define the relationship.” What about the relationship between the law and the gospel in Christian theology? They seem to be at odds, but actually function in such as way as to make them good friends.
Bob Thune and Will Walker have designed a 9-lesson study called, The Gospel-Centered Life, where they provide a helpful three-point survey of how the law and gospel relate to each other. They lay it out like this:
First, it is through the gospel that we become aware of our disobedience to God’s law.
Second, it is through the gospel that we are freed from the curse of the law.
Third, it is through the gospel that God sends his indwelling Holy Spirit to produce his fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, etc.) in and through us.
In other words, the law drives us to Jesus for our justification. Jesus then gives us his Spirit, who produces spiritual fruit in our lives (sanctification). So, the law shows us the problem by revealing our failure and need, while the gospel provides the solution by revealing the cross of Jesus and providing the transforming power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. So, in their relationship, the law and gospel are not at odds. They actually are good friends who work quite well together. The confusion takes place when we ascribe the gospel’s power to the law. So, let’s allow each fulfill its proper role. If we will,