When Law and Gospel are muddled or mixed, the Holy Scriptures will be misread and misused. Without the right distinction of the Law and the Gospel, the bible appears to be a book riddled wih contradictions. At one place it condemns and at another it pardons. One text speaks of God’s wrath visited upon sinners, while another declares His undying love for His enemies. Throughout both the Old and the New Testaments, the Scriptures reveal both God’s wrath and His favor. The Scriptures show us a God who kills and who makes alive. This God does so through two different words. With the word of His Law, sinners are put to death. It is only through the word of the Gospel that spiritual corpses are resurrected to live in Jesus Christ. Unlike the Law, the Gospel speaks of Christ’s own righteousness that comes not as our accomplishment but as His freely given gift received by faith.
John T. Pless