This is part 2 of the series God’s Holy Law. In order to use the law rightly we need to make some important distinctions. One of the most important of these is the distinction between law and gospel. Historically, confessional Reformed theologians have distinguished between those places in Scripture where God’s promises are conditioned upon our performance and those places where his promises are, to us sinners, freely given. Historically, Protestants have described these two ways of speaking in Scripture as “law and gospel” or, as Calvin frequently said, “law and grace.” There are some, perhaps many, in the Reformed community who, because they were raised in congregations where this way of speaking wasn’t used or because they associate this language with Lutheranism, or because they are moralists who think that making such a distinction will cause Christians not to obey God’s law, reject this distinction. By “third use” (tertius usus legis) I’m referring to the historic Protestant and confessional distinctions between the way the moral law is used. There are other distinctions and issues that we need to clear up as we move into the exposition and application of God’s holy the Christian life.
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