The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Law & gospel bring God's word

Listen for each as you hear the Sunday lessons

Lutherans say the word of God comes to us as “law and gospel,” and that both need to be held together for God’s word to be fulfilled. Let’s consider what this means, in this first of two columns on the key concept. The Bible says two things that are especially important.

First, it speaks words that accuse and condemn us, revealing our human brokenness and showing us our sin.

Second, it reveals words that comfort and save us, healing our brokenness and conveying God’s grace.

People sometimes associate “law” with the Old Testament and “gospel” with the New Testament — but the distinction isn’t that simple.

The entire Bible is both law and gospel. Which message people hear often depends on what they need to receive from God at different times in their lives.

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February issue


Embracing diversity