Law and Gospel: Bad News - Good News (Peoples Bible Teachings)

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We steadfastly enforce some doctrines, yet agree to disagree about others. Who decides which ones are and are not salvation issues? When I was a newcomer to the Church of Christ, I recall being very puzzled about this. I noticed how the various big name preachers were quite willing to fellowship those who took a different view than them about the head covering or those whose conscience do not allow them to serve as a soldier or a policeman. However, lines of fellowship were drawn over other issues that seemed just as benign to me.

GOOD NEWS IN A BAD NEWS WORLD

I asked my preacher about this. Surely if every teaching in the New Testament is part of the gospel then every single concept in the New Testament is one that will damn us to hell if we get it wrong. If not, why not? Failing to understand the distinction between the gospel and other doctrines makes change nearly impossible and results in division. Christians who exert effort to study their Bibles will, as they learn more and more, come to understand that they have been mistaken on any number of topics. A conscientious person will want to make changes to correct their prior mistakes, but in doing so they will invariably meet with resistance from other Christians who do not share their new conclusions.

Never mind that the change is small and also scriptural, someone will protest vehemently because to them it is a possible digression into error. For example, Preacher Jim teaches a new insight he has gained from the Scriptures in bible class and explains the practical implications of this new understanding. Preacher Jim is quite convinced he is right and that the church should make a minor adjustment. Elder Tim believes he, and others in the church, could lose their salvation if they deviate from the understanding they already have.

Elder Tim is automatically suspicious, defensive and threatened by this new idea. Fear is a powerful motivator; he resists Preacher Jim at all cost. There will be no change on his watch.


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Failing to understand the distinction between the gospel and other doctrines lays the foundation for legalism. Therefore everything taught in the New Testament must be perfectly obeyed if we are to be saved. We must be correct about the five acts of worship, we must be make sure the church treasury is spent on only authorized expenses, etc.

The Law is different from the Gospel

Some of our leaders are conceitedly dogmatic to the point of doubting the intelligence, integrity and devotion to God of anyone who would dare disagree with them. We steadfastly enforce some doctrines, yet agree to disagree about others. Who decides which ones are and are not salvation issues?

Introduction to Law and Gospel ST103 Law and Gospel: Bad News –Good News

When I was a newcomer to the Church of Christ, I recall being very puzzled about this. I noticed how the various big name preachers were quite willing to fellowship those who took a different view than them about the head covering or those whose conscience do not allow them to serve as a soldier or a policeman. However, lines of fellowship were drawn over other issues that seemed just as benign to me. I asked my preacher about this.

What is the bad news / good news approach to sharing the gospel?

Surely if every teaching in the New Testament is part of the gospel then every single concept in the New Testament is one that will damn us to hell if we get it wrong. If not, why not? Failing to understand the distinction between the gospel and other doctrines makes change nearly impossible and results in division.

Christians who exert effort to study their Bibles will, as they learn more and more, come to understand that they have been mistaken on any number of topics. A conscientious person will want to make changes to correct their prior mistakes, but in doing so they will invariably meet with resistance from other Christians who do not share their new conclusions. Never mind that the change is small and also scriptural, someone will protest vehemently because to them it is a possible digression into error. For example, Preacher Jim teaches a new insight he has gained from the Scriptures in bible class and explains the practical implications of this new understanding.


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Preacher Jim is quite convinced he is right and that the church should make a minor adjustment. Elder Tim believes he, and others in the church, could lose their salvation if they deviate from the understanding they already have. Elder Tim is automatically suspicious, defensive and threatened by this new idea. Fear is a powerful motivator; he resists Preacher Jim at all cost. There will be no change on his watch. Failing to understand the distinction between the gospel and other doctrines lays the foundation for legalism.

Therefore everything taught in the New Testament must be perfectly obeyed if we are to be saved. The Gospel makes alive. When Moses came down from the mount after receiving the Law and saw that the Israelites had fallen into idolatry, he threw the tablets of the Law down to them and people died Exodus Later, when Peter preached the Gospel, people were saved Acts With a better understanding of the Law, it will be easier for you to explain sin. Without the Law, sin cannot be known; Romans says, " If sin is not known, then the need for Jesus is not felt.

This is why you mention the Law to those with whom you witness. By asking them if they have ever sinned. Tell them that lying, cheating, stealing, lusting, not honoring God, etc.

Law and Gospel: Bad News, Good News

Everyone is guilty somewhere Rom. Everyone needs the Gospel. The Law is peculiar. It says "be holy," but shows us we are not. It says "do not lie," but shows where we do. It says "honor the Lord your God," yet shows us where we fail. Since none of us can keep the whole Law, we are all under condemnation. There is no way out. What can we do? That is why "the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith" Gal.

The Law guides us to Him.