Luther: Both The Law And The Gospel Make Promises

For the Law did not have promises added to it about Christ and His blessings, about deliverance from the curse of the Law, sin, and death, and about the free gift of the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life. But the Law says (Lev. 18:5): “By doing this a man shall live.”

Therefore the promises of the Law are conditional. They do not promise life freely; they promise it to those who keep the Law. Therefore they leave consciences in doubt, because no one keeps the Law. But the promises of the new covenant do not have any condition attached; they do not demand anything of us; they do not depend on our worthiness as a condition. Instead, they bring and grant us the forgiveness of sins, grace, righteousness, and eternal life freely, for Christ’s sake.

Martin Luther | Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 26 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 437.


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