Law & Gospel – what is it?

 
 S (Scripture): Ezekiel 8:4 Then I perceived that the glory of the God of Israel was there, as in the vision I had seen earlier in the valley.

5 He said to me, “Son of man, look up toward the north.” So I looked up toward the north, and I noticed to the north of the altar gate was this statue of jealousy at the entrance.

6 He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations that the people of Israel are practicing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see greater abominations than these!”

7 He brought me to the entrance of the court, and as I watched, I noticed a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and discovered a doorway.

9 He said to me, “Go in and see the evil abominations they are practicing here.”

O (Observation):  Junk.  Israel’s got junk.  We’ve all got junk.  God’s people are being called out by God.  Ezekiel happens to have a front-row seat to his people’s bad ways.  

So why do this?   Why point out the negatives?  

What is the effect?

A (Application):  As a Lutheran, I use a paradigm known as Law & Gospel.  The Law is that which makes us realize we are not worthy of joy or favor.   Look again at what Ezekiel saw:  abomination!   But to what end? To drive Ezekiel (and all in the faith) to the Gospel!

What is the Gospel?  God’s saving grace, free & undeserved.  

The Law drives us to The Gospel.  

Every time I think I’m worthy of something, I’m usually reminded that I actually don’t deserve it.  That’s not to make me feel bad, just to remind me that I’m not God : )

This leaves me humble…at least, I hope it does.  

Give the 10 Commandments a quick read through.  See if you can go a day without breaking every one of those.  : )  Click here to read Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  Check out how he explains the commandments.   

The purpose of this exercise?  To see that God’s grace abounds. To see that we have a God of life, who cares deeply about us, despite our frailties.  A God who takes our faults and turns them into beautiful things. Like taking lifeless dust, and creating you and me.  

How do you see God bringing new life in the midst of sin and brokenness?  In your life?  In the life of another?

P (Prayer): Lord, we give you thanks for your forgiveness. That you take our junk and turn the tide for good.  Amen. 

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