Less Law and More Gospel
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree" (Gal. 3:13)
One of the greatest dangers that has crept into evangelical churches is legalism. It is subtle but it is there. Where we see this most clearly is how often Christians say they don’t really need more theology or doctrine in the sermon. What they need are sermons on how to fix their marriage, how to fix their children or how to manage their time more wisely. They want more practical sermons and less theological sermons. In other words, what they want is more law. They want a list of do’s and don’ts, a list of check boxes to tick off as they go through life. But what they really need is more gospel because, as Paul tells us in Romans 3:10, “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’” All who rely on the works of the Law are under a curse because the Law can’t save us. The Law can’t fix us. The Law can’t put us back together. The only thing the Law can do is tell us we’re broken and point us toward a savior. Hence, Paul goes on to say, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (vv.13-14). But who is Abraham and what is this blessing Paul is speaking of? Without theology those questions cannot be answered. Thus, what we need is to know God more and to know him rightly. And what we need is to know more about this Jesus who “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” What we need is more theology (the study of God, who he is and what he has done); we need more gospel, and we need less of the law.
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