Matthew 5:17 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
The Law. We don’t talk about it much in modern Christianity although in Scripture it is one half of the total Biblical equation: The Law and The Gospel.
Repeat after me: The Law convicts, the Gospel saves. That is the message of the Bible encapsulated. We present the Gospel (most of it anyway, Hell is not mentioned much either) with all its blessings and rewards which results in a lot of people saying, “sounds like a great deal to me, I’m in!” However, the Gospel is meaningless without the Law. Really? Let me explain.
The Gospel is a message of salvation. Salvation means to “save” someone from something. If you don’t know you need to be saved, then why would you really want/need a Savior? You don’t – unless it’s been packaged with a lot of tempting benefits (a great life, blessings, God’s favor, health, wealth, prosperity, you “best day yet”, etc.).
Let me ask it another way… if I ran up to you and said “I have the cure! You can be saved!”, you would think I was nuts because you don’t even believe you are sick. So if I modify that with “I have the cure and if you take this cure, you will be prosperous, happy, favored and showers of blessings will rain down on you!”… you might go for that even though in your own mind you aren’t even sick.
The real Gospel message that results in a true saving response is “you are spiritually sick, you’re headed for eternal death and I have the cure!”. That leads to the obvious and appropriate demand from the hearer for PROOF that they are spiritually sick and need to be cured (saved), thus needing a Savior (the essence of the Gospel message).
That’s where The Law comes in – otherwise familiar to us and boiled down to the list known as “The Ten Commandments”. The Law exposes our true nature and proves the existence of our spiritual disease.
Thou shalt not lie. Ever lied? You’re a liar. Me too.
Thou shalt not steal. Ever stolen, even one thing? Yeah me also, fellow thief. Jesus said if you lust after someone it’s the same as committing adultery because you’ve done the deed in your mind and heart (and you would do it physically if you truly believed you would never get caught or have consequences). Adulterer! That’s just three commands and we’ve all broken probably ALL ten.
We can go ahead and add blasphemer (taking God’s name in vain or using it casually), idolater (making something more important than God) and murderer (if you’ve ever hated someone). Lying, thieving, adulterous, murderous idolater…
You see? The Law exposes, proves and confirms that we all have the “S.I.N.” disease and need a cure. The cure is the Gospel. We owe God a just penalty for our wickedness (eternal death) but Jesus – here’s comes The Gospel – died in our place to pay that penalty for us.
The Law convicts, the Gospel saves. The Law demonstrates we just deserve condemnation. The Gospel is the free gift of God that saves us from that condemnation.
That’s why Jesus said He didn’t come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it, to complete it, to give the solution to what it exposes in humanity.
The Law convicts, the Gospel saves. Give the whole story to those you love and they will understand WHY the Gospel is THE GOOD NEWS!
Think It Over: Do you leave out the “The Law” when you talk to someone about Jesus? Do you leave out any mention of Hell and eternal condemnation? Do you think someone really is responding to “salvation” if they don’t understand they need to be saved from something? Is not avoiding Hell and eternal separation from God a genuine motivation to respond to the Gospel? Of course, it is. Learn to present the entire message of Scripture: The Law convicts, The Gospel saves.