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The Witness of the Law

The Gospel is incomplete without the Law.

He is the Lord's faithful witness in the catholic law, whose words are seasoned with the oracles of God, that the bodies of men may not rot, eaten by worms, but may be salted with heavenly savour for the Sacrifice.

  - Sechnall, Audite Omnes Amantes (Irish, 5th century)

...through the law comes knowledge of sin.

  - Romans 3.20

The reference here to "catholic law" does not mean Roman Catholic canon law, as we might suppose. Here the sense of "catholic" is "universal", and the "law" in Sechnall's poem is the Law of God. Patrick's witness included the Law of God.

The Gospel is incomplete without the Law. The Law makes known our sin, so that we see ourselves as needing a Savior. The Law also outlines the magnitude of Christ's saving work - both His active obedience in fulfilling all the righteous requirements of the Law and His passive obedience in bearing all its wrath.

Unless men hear the Law of God they will not be likely to repent of their sins. Without repentance there is no saving faith; without saving faith men will die in their sins. If we would truly evangelize our generation, we must diligently bring them both the Law and the Gospel.

And we must bring these in our lives as well as our words, as Patrick did among the Irish. It will not do simply to harangue the lost with the ugliness of their Law-exposed sins. We must show them, through our obedience, the beauty of lives that conform to the divine standards of love for God and neighbor.

Then we can explain to them that Jesus is the way out of our disobedience into the holiness and righteousness and goodness of His life - life in obedience to God's Law.

The Law and the Gospel go together. But they must go together in our lives, and not merely in our witness.

The Pastors' Fellowship

Pastors, we are meeting tomorrow night to discuss the work of making disciples. If you would like to attend this free webinar, write me today, so I can reserve a spot for you and send you the preliminary materials.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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