THE WORD IS
The Christian religion is repulsive to many. The heart rebels against God. People blame God for their own faults. Adam already did this, and we are not any different. When God's Law convicts us of sin we become bitter. "The Law brings about wrath" (Rom. 4:15). God demands complete obedience from us. He is not satisfied with anything less than perfection. If we only hear of God's demands, the result will be, a heart filled with bitterness toward God.
We need the Law so that "every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God... through the Law comes the knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:19,20). When this happens, the Law has accomplished its task. Then it is time for the Law to be silent and time for the Gospel to speak.
The Gospel does not criticize us for our sins. On the contrary it tells us of Jesus who has atoned for our sins. The Gospel does not demand holiness from us, but rather gives us Jesus' holiness as a free gift. It does not demand the impossible from us, but rather brings us joy. The Gospel gives us full forgiveness for our sins for the sake of Jesus.
The Bible contains both Law and Gospel. The Law cannot give us peace of conscience. It has not been given for this purpose. The Gospel on the other hand frees us from the burden of sin. "While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son" (Rom. 5:10). God's love is amazing. It seeks even the person whose heart is filled with the most bitter hatred. God's all?forgiving love has appeared in Jesus Christ and it is now proclaimed in the Word of the Gospel. When we are burdened and oppressed by sin we must earnestly meditate on the suffering and death of Christ. It was for us. Such meditation will show us the love of God, which is also the only effective power against hatred.
The Gospel creates faith and trust in God. The Law cannot create faith in anyone. This is the reason why the Gospel must predominate in Christian preaching. Proclaiming sin as something acceptable and right is not Gospel. The Gospel is the good news that our sins have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus. This is the kind of good news Jesus sends His disciples to proclaim to the world.
Do you know and believe that your sins have been forgiven? Do not doubt God's promise. Grasp hold of grace as a drowning person would grasp hold of a life preserver.