The Gospel is for Sinners – by Desmond Ford
- Dr Desmond Ford
- Eternal Life
Jul 8, 2016 3287
The law promises exactly what the gospel promises, namely eternal life. However, the law’s promise can never be fulfilled to sinners, while the gospel’s promise is especially for sinners. All the promises of the law are based on conditions we can never meet. The gospel’s only condition is that we accept its gifts.
The law is full of threats. Whenever you find a threat in Scripture, it belongs to law, never to gospel. Whenever you find hope, mercy, or consolation, it comes from the gospel. The law leads to conviction of sin – and to despair or hypocrisy. The gospel creates the very faith it asks for. It removes our terrors, replacing them with peace and joy.
The law has, as its primary purpose, the afflicting of the comfortable. The gospel comforts the afflicted. The law must be preached to sinners who feel secure; the gospel to sinners feeling alarmed and fearful.
It must be said repeatedly that the New Testament has two sets of texts on law: one set seemingly for law, and the other set seemingly against law. This contrast is because the New Testament everywhere supports the law as a standard of righteousness, but everywhere condemns it as a method of righteousness.
When we see the distinction between law and gospel, the gates of heaven appear – and furthermore, they are open! The angels beckon. Our hearts leap, and a joy unfathomable springs up. Only when we lose the guilt of sin can sin lose its power over us.
We were saved two thousand years ago in the same manner we were originally lost – through a representative. We were lost through our representative Adam in Eden, and saved through our Representative Jesus at Calvary. As we were lost without having anything to do with it (except as we were ‘present’ in our representative), so we were redeemed. Salvation is not now the sin question but the Son question.
Everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:15
Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven. Matthew 12:31
Whosoever will may come, and he that cometh, Christ shall not cast out.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27-32. Adapted from “Performance, Perfection, and Promise”