Law and Gospel

Why Rules Alone Never Work

BY MATT JOHNSON

Your eternal salvation isn’t dependent on performance or effort. Well, not your performance anyway... We Christians are a dull bunch. Tie a string around your finger if you have to, but whatever you do, remember this: spiritual performance inventories are futile. Luther knew this, and the Apostle Paul backs him up.

Why Rules Alone Never Work

Are We Reading The Old Testament The Wrong Way?

BY DONAVON RILEY

Often, when we talk about the Old Testament, we talk about God's promises and work for his chosen people, Israel. We talk about God's redeeming promise to Adam and Eve. God calls Abraham out of the Haran into Canaan. God sends Moses to Pharaoh with a message of liberation.

Are We Reading The Old Testament The Wrong Way?

Self-Esteem?

BY ERICK SORENSEN

What do you think of when you hear the term “self-esteem”? I tend to think of two different caricatures: On the one hand I think of Stuart Smalley. He was an old Saturday Night Live character that was supposed to be a motivational speaker type.

Self-Esteem?

The Radical Gospel

BY GERHARD FORDE

The radical gospel of justification by faith alone simply does not fit, cannot be accepted by, and will not work with an anthropology which sees the human being as a continuously existing subject possessing ‘‘free choice of will’’ over against God and/or other religious goals.

The Radical Gospel

Hearing the Gospel with Old Testament Ears

BY KYLE G JONES

As a bass player, when I listen to music, I listen for what the bassist is doing. But, when I listen to music in my 2004 Honda Civic I have a problem: only one of the four speakers works. Everything I listen to is panned to the left, leaving my favorite songs sounding hallow and half-empty.

Hearing the Gospel with Old Testament Ears

The Offensive Law, and Salvation Without Regret

BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK

If our job is to magnify the Lord to the world, God must have decided to use our children to magnify our own sins so we can see them.  My children hate correction.  They take it as a personal insult.  No matter how gently, or grace filled I correct, padding it on either side with nice things, they receive it like a punch from a bully.

The Offensive Law, and Salvation Without Regret

Carseats, Gluten, and Opinionated Bloggers

BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK

Never has the law fallen so hard on me as in motherhood.  Never before was I more aware that my best wasn’t good enough.  If parenting doesn’t drive you to your knees, you’re doing it wrong. I remember a conversation with a mom-friend years ago.

Carseats, Gluten, and Opinionated Bloggers

A Question The Christian Must Not Utter

BY MARTIN LUTHER

When man, conscious of his failure to keep God’s command, is constantly urged by the Law to make payment of his debt and confronted with nothing but the terrible wrath of God and eternal condemnation, he cannot but sink into despair over his sins.

A Question The Christian Must Not Utter

The Paradox of Pastoral Preaching

BY BRAD GRAY

At times, evangelical Christianity can be a paradox. For as much as Protestants have spurned Roman Catholicism, they’re much more Catholic than they’d ever like to admit. By which, I mean, we operate with a stricter conditionality that we’d probably ever feel comfortable confessing.

The Paradox of Pastoral Preaching

Freedom in Death

BY RYAN COUCH

What is the role of the law in the life of the Christian? Is the Christian under the law? If I am free from the law why doesn’t it feel like it? I wrote this story to help answer these questions and illustrate the above words of Paul from Romans 7.

Freedom in Death

Moses For The Old Man

BY MARTIN LUTHER

This text contains the teaching we hold and boast of as our chief doctrine, which is called the true Christian teaching, namely, the doctrine of grace and forgiveness of sins, and Christian liberty from the law. It is a very loving and friendly admonition to repentance and the knowledge of Christ.

Moses For The Old Man

Haunted 

BY KATHY STRAUCH

Creeping through the house was a cunning art. Taking a single step was a strategic game to avoid creaks in the wooden floorboards. The goal was to maneuver through the house unnoticed. Any sound or change in shadows elicited alarm. There was nowhere to hide, every inch of the haunted house left visitors open and vulnerable to eyes prowling around in the shadows. 

Haunted 

Missing the Point

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

God created Israel to be the vessel into which he would place both his Law and his Son. He gave them, first, his Law, which revealed what it was that God required. The Israelites believed that God had chosen them to demonstrate a life of obedience to his Law, but the truth, which they did not understand, was that they were specifically chosen by God to reveal to the world the reality that they could not obey.

Missing the Point

No Approaching God Without Christ

BY RJ GRUNEWALD

The Law is a powerful word. The Law has the power to kill. The Law has the power to condemn and break down. The Law has the power to crush. And all of those powers are necessary—without the power of the Law, we’d never bear witness to the power of the Gospel.

No Approaching God Without Christ

First, the Bad News

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

Either one of those verses alone is scary; but both of them together are terrifying!  They are unequivocally harsh in their condemnation of both the sin and the sinner.

First, the Bad News