Lesson Index  l Contact Us    


Lutheran Confirmation

(AKA www.SmallCatechism.org)

Scriptural  +  Confessional  +  Practical  +  Lutheran 

Unit 1-D: 
Law & Gospel

""For God so loved the world that He gave His one and
only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall
not perish but have eternal life."
                                    John 3:17 (NIV)

The Bible's Message

The Bible's message is God's message. We know that because the Bible is "inspired."

"Inspired" can mean many things. Some people think it means that it "is interesting" or "fascinating." Certainly, the Bible does "inspire" us and give us joy.

"Inspiration," however, refers to the fact that God caused or  "Breathed-in" ("inspired") the Bible. That means that every single word of the Bible is God's Word, not words invented by humans. 

St. Peter wrote,
 "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we
  told you about...our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Peter 1:16 NIV)

Many Christians don't believe all the Bible is God's Word. This is because they don't want to listen and obey God in everything. This is exactly where Satan wants them. Whenever we deny God's Word, we disobey God by making our words more important that God's Word.

Two Teachings Of The Bible

The purpose of the Bible is to show us how to be saved and how to live a Christian life.

The Law tells us how to live our lives. This is the first major teaching. We find the Law of God throughout the Bible. The best example of God's Law is in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5).

If we could be perfectly holy, we could be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments perfectly. Since we can't keep God's Law perfectly, everytime we hear God's Law, God's Law...

  • Shows Our Sin (SOS)
  • Makes us feel guilty,
  • Condemns us to eternal life in hell,
  • Reminds us that God will punish us for our sins, and
  • Promises that we will die for our sin.

The Gospel, the Bible's second major teaching, teaches us that Jesus has paid the price for our sins. The Gospel is God's remedy for all the punishment promised by the Law. The Gospel is God's undeserved gift of salvation given to us in Jesus Christ. The Gospel...

  • Shows Our Savior (SOS)
  • Comforts sinners with Jesus' forgiveness,
  • Reminds us Jesus paid for all our sins, and
  • Promises eternal life.

Confusing Law And Gospel

The most dangerous mistake any one can make is to confuse Law and Gospel. How can you tell is someone is confusing Law and Gospel? Just ask this simple question: "How are you going to heaven?"

1) Some say they will get to heaven because they are good people. Wrong! By completely eliminating Jesus' forgiving work on the cross, they believe they are saved completed by keeping the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, the Bible says, those who believe this are going to hell.

2) Some people believe Jesus died for them, but He didn't completely save them. Since Jesus' sacrifice wasn't enough, they must do good things to be saved. This belief, too, confuses God's plan of salvation. As the Bible says, unless Jesus is our only Savior, we are going to hell. Those who want, by their own good works to "help" Jesus, are not Christians. They deny the Gospel and are in danger of eternal damnation.

The only way we are saved is by the clear--not confused--message of the Bible. St. Paul wrote,

"It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

Law and Gospel are not confused when we affirm the Bible's teaching that

  1. Nothing we can do can save us. Only Jesus can 
       do that.
  2. The good works we do are simply the way we thank God for salvation in Jesus Christ.

St. Paul wrote that our good works are the way we live out God's calling for us that He planned for us before He even created the world.

  • Why did God create you?
  • What did God plan for you to do before the world began?
  • Are you ready to do what God called and prepared you to do?


< Back

Next >


Website Designed And Maintained By
Rev. Thomas F. Fischer
All Contents Copyright 2007.

Materials May Not Be Reprinted Without Written Permission Of The Author.