Many times we can be tempted to think of it as Law OR Gospel. This creates a dichotomy between those who follow the Law for righteousness, and those who find license through Grace. It can sometimes collapse, in an unhealthy space, into something like this.

Notice what is the same on both sides: SELF. The heart of the Law is to love God and love the neighbor…as we love ourself. When citizens operate out of selfless love for the other, then we have a good society. However, most people get trapped in either self-protection, self-absorption, or self-loathing. All of these lead to an unhealthy and often violent society.

The Gospel declares that YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD, apart from any performance or adherence to the Law. You are inherently worthy of God’s Love because God created and is creating you. God invites you, daily:

  • to get past your preoccupation with the false self that trips you up,
  • to know that your true self is deeply loved and held by God, and
  • to know that you are completely free to love your neighbor, no matter who they are, because that neighbor is also completely loved and held by God.

The Gospel has always been present from the beginning of scripture, but is most clearly articulated through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God demonstrated God’s love to the point of dying for us, showing us the path we must take to experience the resurrection life. This is only possible when we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We need the Law AND the Gospel in order to grow into the good society that God promises we will become.

Read All Posts on Law and Gospel

A Visual Meditation on Law and Gospel

The Worship Theme tomorrow is titled “How You Live Matters.” This is the continuation of our CORE series where we look at the core elements of our faith. The real theological issue is a classic Lutheran teaching called Law and Gospel. This is a massive topic and I’ve...

A Visual Commentary on Galatians 3:1-29 from the Narrative Lectionary

The Narrative Lectionary text for this weekend's sermon is Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29. This is the middle sermon in a three-part series on Galatians. Paul is making his argument why the Gentiles are as much children of Abraham and the Gospel as the Jews. Below is my...

The Law and the Promise | Thinking Through Galatians 3

The preaching text for this weekend's sermon in the Narrative Lectionary is Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29. This is really a placeholder text to represent the center section of Paul's letter to the Galatians during this three week mini-series on the the letter. This post will...

A Visual Commentary on Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21 from the Narrative Lectionary

This is a big weekend for me. It is my first opportunity to preach in my new call at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan. I spent the day sketching through some ideas about Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21. (You can download the PowerPoint here.) Enjoy! Isn't it funny how...

Thanksgiving, Daniel, and Empire

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Advent begins this weekend and I will preach on Daniel 6:6-27. This morning I was meditating on this text, and on the major themes of Daniel and how they tie into the grand story of God’s Promise. Here are some sketches to work through...

Law and Gospel #visualnotes

These are the notes I took while I was a TA in Law and Gospel at Luther Seminary. It was team taught by Rolf Jacobson and Pat Keifert.

The Dark Side of Grace

Last week I posted an article called Theology of the Cross. The emphasis in that article was that the Good News of our salvation is that it is not based upon our ability to succeed in being righteous. The Gospel is an unconditional promise of God to restore all...

Theology of the Cross

Why do we wear crosses around our necks?  They are usually pretty and shiny. I wear one every Sunday to adorn my vestments during the traditional service. Fancy, right? What would society say if a kid came to school looking like this? School security would snatch...

What is Your Picture of the Gospel?

Rolf Jacobson asked me to present during our last session of the Law and Gospel class. I am the teacher’s assistant (TA) and Pat Keifert was out of town, so it made sense that I would do so. The only problem is that, after last week’s session, I felt like I have...

The Key of Our Calling | A Sermon on Vocation from Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-8 in the Narrative Lectionary

This is the second sermon in a series on Vocation. It is also the next installment of the Narrative Lectionary text that takes us to Deuteronomy 5 and 6. This sermon explores how the Law and Promise provide the Key in which to play out God's vocation in our everyday...

A 7-Part Series on the Books of Moses

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