A Highlighted Summary of“The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel”  


Both are equally necessary because both have for their final aim… Mankind’s salvation.  


Law ever since the fall cannot lead us to salvation; it can only prepare us for the Gospel.  Furthermore, it is through the Gospel that we obtain the ability to fulfill the Law to a certain extent.  


The Law has nothing to say about forgiveness, about grace.  It issues only commands and demands.  The Gospel, on the other hand, only makes offers.  It contains nothing but grace and truth!  


Wherever in Scripture you come across a threat, you may be assured that that passage belongs in the Law.  


Law 律法Gospel福音

Tells us what to do, but does not enable us to comply with its commands.

告诉我们做什么,但是不能给我们能力来遵守它的命令。 Offers and gives us faith.  It plants love into the heart and makes him/her capable of all good works. 赐下,给予我们信心。在心里面栽种爱,并且使得他或她有能力行一切的善。

Law uncovers man’s sin and offers no help to get out of them. 律法揭露人的罪,并且不能提供任何帮助来使人脱离罪。Takes all terror, all fear, all anguish, from him/her and fills them with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.除去他或她所有的战兢,所有的惧怕,所有的痛苦,并且在圣灵里面用平安和喜乐充满他们。

 Law produces remorse. It brings forth the terrors of hell, death, and wrath of God. It eventually drives them to desperation. 

律法生出懊悔。它带来地狱,死亡和上帝愤怒的震惊。最终驱使他们绝望。 Does not require anything good that mankind must do: not a good heart, not a good character, no improvement of his/her condition, and no godliness. It issues no orders, but it changes man.  不要求任何人类必须行使的良善:不要求一颗良善的心,不要求一个好的品格,不要求他或她境况的改善,甚至不要求敬虔。它不发出任何命令,而单单改变人。

Says “Do”说“做”Says “Done”说“已成了”

The Law is to be preached to people who are secure in their sins.  The Gospel is to be preached to those who are alarmed of their sins.  


When the law convicts a person, immediately present the Gospel.  


No Gospel element must ever be combined with the Law.  Anyone sharing the Law shamefully perverts it by injecting grace into it. (Grace = loving-kindness, forgiveness, and patience of God.)  


When sharing the Law there must remain in it nothing pleasant to lost and condemned sinners  


Even if you were to quit your habitual cursing, swearing, and the like, that would not make you a Christian. 即使你愿意放弃你诅咒、起誓骂人等恶习,那也不能使你成为一个基督徒。 

The Law must be proclaimed before the Gospel otherwise the Gospel will have no effect.  


Secure sinners must be preached into hell before they can be preached into heaven. They must be made to realize that they are sick unto death before the Gospel can restore them to health.  The Law must first reduce them to nothing in order that they may be made to be something, to praise of the glory of God, by the Gospel.    


Salvation is not a question of what man must do, but what Christ has done.  


Feelings follow faith, not faith from feelings.  If a person’s faith comes from feelings, it is not genuine faith; for faith requires a divine promise which it lays hold of.  


Love must not be added to faith but grow out of it.  


The way of to salvation is this: We are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, towards our salvation, but Christ has already done everything for us, and we must merely cling to what He has done, draw from His finished work of redemption and trust in it for our salvation.  


First a person is saved then he becomes godly.  


As long as a person has not been reduced to the state of a poor, lost, condemned sinner, he has no serious interest in the Savior of sinners.  


The trouble is that people frequently do not really go to Jesus; they call themselves poor sinners, but are not; they want to bring before God some works of their own.  


All we can offer God is our sins, nothing else!  We deny Him if we come to Him offering Him something for what He gives us (grace).  


The Law kills, but the Spirit, that is, the Gospel makes alive.  


The ultimate aim in our proclaiming the Law must be to preach the Gospel.  


What makes a person a Christian is this believing knowledge, that he/she is a miserable, accursed sinner, who would be lost forever if Christ had not died for him/her.  


                                                                                                                                               A Christian must regard him/herself as a lost and condemned sinner, or all his/her talk about faith is worthless.   


has been prepared by Matthew R. Richard   

马太 R. 理查德 整理

Direct Quotes Taken From:  


Walther, C.F.W.  God’s No and God’s Yes: Condensed Version by Walter C. Pieper 

(Concordia Publishing House, 1973)  

沃瑟,C.F.W. 上帝的不和上帝的是:沃瑟 C.皮蓬(协同出版社,1973)