The law condemns, and cannot justify a sinner; The Gospel justifies, and cannot condemn, the sinner that believes in Jesus.
In the law God appears in terrible threatenings of eternal death; in the Gospel, he manifests himself in gracious promises of life eternal.
In the former he curses from Mount Ebal; in the latter, he blesses, as on Mount Gerazim.
In the one, he speaks in thunder, and with terrible majesty; in the other, with soft whispers, or "a still small voice."
By the trumpet of the law he proclaims war with sinners; by the jubilee-trumpet of the gospel he publishes peace—"peace on earth, and good-will toward men."
The law is a sound of terror to unconvinced sinners; the Gospel is a joyful sound, "good tidings of great joy."
The former represents God as a God of wrath and vengeance; the latter as a God of love, grace, and mercy.
The one presents him to sinners as "a consuming fire": the other exhibits the precious blood of the Lamb, which quenches the fire of his righteous indignation.
That presents to the view of the sinner a throne of judgment; this a "throne of grace."
Every sentence of condemnation in the Scripture belongs to the law; every sentence of justification forms a part of the Gospel.
The law condemns a sinner for his first offense; but the Gospel offers him the forgiveness of all his offenses.
In my newly purchased "Morning Exercises" devotional by William Jay, he describes the law as a schoolteacher preparing the children until Christ's plan was fully revealed. William Chantry describes it similarly in "Call the Sabbath a Delight" as he explains that before man was provided with 1) full revelation (the full canon of scripture) and 2) a counselor (the holy spirit), the Lord was merciful and gracious to provide a very prescriptive and structured set of rules and punishments.
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