The Law and the Gospel

In a recent post titled, Another Way To Go, Tullian Tchividjian gives a great explanation of the difference between the law and the gospel using the example of the fictional character, Jean Valjean, from Victor Hugo's, Les Miserables. Tchividjian writes:

"Just as it is difficult to experience forgiveness without some knowledge of what you have done wrong, so it is difficult to understand the Gospel apart from the Law. If the Law is God's first word, the Gospel is His last."
"Listen closely: the law exposes Valjean (and us), while grace exonerates him. The law diagnoses, but grace delivers. The law accuses, the gospel acquits. The law condemns the best of us, while grace saves the worst of us. The law says cursed, the gospel says blessed. The law says slave, the gospel says son. The law says guilty, the gospel says forgiven. The law can break a hard heart, but only grace can heal one. Which is precisely what happens to Valjean. He may be a fictional character, but our response to his predicament is not fictional. The tears come because each one of us is dying to be treated this way. The scene gets us in touch with that one time that someone did show us a little sympathy when we deserved reproach."

From Another Way To Go, by Tullian Tchividjian, posted 3/4/13. To read more by Tullian Tchividjian, check out his blog on The Gospel Coalition Website.