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What’s the Difference Between God’s Law and the Gospel?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2023 3:01 pm

What’s the Difference Between God’s Law and the Gospel?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 20, 2023 3:01 pm

Episode 1361 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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Questions in this Episode


1. Is it ok for Christians to listen to music by artists who are devil worshippers?   2. Will listening to Harry Potter books open my family to pagan practices?   3. Is it sinful to not perfectly obey God, like not going to church?   4. What's the difference between the Gospel and God's law?   Today’s Offer: Inner Core   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.   Resources

Book -  Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Michael Horton


What's the difference between God's law and the gospel? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can feel free to leave a voicemail if you've got our voicemail system, and of course you can always email us anytime. Send your question to us at First up today, let's go to Adrian from St. Louis, Missouri. Adrian, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Pastor Adriel. Sometimes I'm on Facebook and I see some of these reels that talk about Satanic type of symbols and things like that, songs that people write, even, you know, fraternities and things like that. I'm not going to mention any fraternities that I'm talking about, but they hold, they have certain symbols to these fraternities.

Your opinion, if you don't know anything about, you know, certain symbols in these fraternities, what does that mean? Does that mean to a Satanic worshiper? I'm just kind of curious because I see a lot of, like I say, I see a lot of reels that, you know, say certain signs are Satanic. So I'm just a little bit confused about that.

Adrian, I appreciate this question, man. I've seen some of that stuff on social media as well. You know, you have like a music artist who does something and then maybe just like waves their hands around one way and somebody captures an image of it and it looks like they're making a symbol with their hands. And is, you know, is this some sort of Satanic symbol?

Are they communicating something kind of under the radar to their followers or trying to sneak in some kind of Satanic worship? I've seen this stuff. Sometimes I think it's like, okay, that's a little bit over the top. But what I will say is, and I'm speaking also right now as a father with little kids, right, like you're thinking about what the entertainment industry puts out there, even the cartoons that are being made for children today and the agenda that so many people have. Really indoctrination or propaganda, you know, wanting you to think a certain way, whether it's regard to the sexual ethic of the world, just sort of normalizing things that the Bible is very clearly against. So I'm thinking about, you know, gay and lesbian relationships or just what the family ought to be, what family ought to look like.

That's sort of been turned upside down in many days. And that stuff that's been communicated through media, through songs, through things like cartoons. And so I would say, one, we've got to be vigilant as Christians and wise in terms of, you know, what are we intaking?

What is it that we're putting before our eyes? I don't know that, you know, like some of it is just, you know, I think a matter of Christian liberty. I mean, so it depends on what specifically we're talking. If we're talking about, you know, a song that really doesn't speak to any of this stuff, but the person who wrote the song is not a Christian. They don't profess faith in Jesus Christ. Is anything wrong with listening to that song?

I don't think so. I think you can appreciate it as good art and even give thanks to God, glorify God for good art and common grace. But just being vigilant and wise and realizing that there is an agenda behind so much of what's in media and not foolishly just saying, okay, whatever, you know, let's just, let's just, sure, we can watch whatever and listen to whatever. And it's not going to affect us because it will. And it does.

And that's the case with social media as well. I think as believers today, we need to be careful that we're receiving God's word every day. What I mean by that is that we're reading it, we're praying to the Lord, we're seeking the Lord, we're grounded in His word and that our minds are shaped and formed by the scriptures, led by the Holy Spirit, being guided by the Holy Spirit in our day to day living, because there are so many other voices out there that want to take that spot and that will take that spot unless we're intentional about coming before the Lord and saying, God, you lead me, you help me, Lord, and give me the mind of Christ.

I already have it, right? Scripture says we've been given the mind of Christ, but help me to grow in that as I study your word. And so, Adrian, may God bless you and your family in that and give you all wisdom and discernment. And may He do that for all of us in this present age.

God bless. I'm so glad you talked about that agenda, Adrian. The fact is there was the issue with Target with some of their transgender merchandise, but it turned out that one of their designers was actually putting satanic symbols and something along the lines of Satan loves trans people. I mean, that really is taking it to a whole new extreme. And as you said, kids are going to be in a Target and they're going to be shopping for that stuff. Yeah. I mean, it's, I mean, wrong for all sorts of reasons.

I mean, it's morally wrong. It's also, I mean, Target got hit pretty hard because of all that. And I'm wondering, you know, I think they're going to be more careful in the future.

But you're right. We have to, we do have to be vigilant and wise and be aware of the fact that there are all sorts of voices out there vying for our attention and the attention of our children. And so it's, it's up to us to be on guard. And that doesn't mean, you know, being cloistered off and cut off from the world, you know, that we can't do that. Paul says in First Corinthians chapter five, you know, we're in the world, but we're not of the world. And so existing in the world with charity and love and courage and discernment, that's what we're called to as Christians. And we need to be grounded in the Word of God in order to do that faithfully.

So well said. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's our phone number. If you want to leave your question on our voicemail system, you can call us anytime at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Chuck, who's calling in from Missouri. Chuck, what's your question for Adriel? Chuck, are you there? Hello? Hey, Chuck. Hey, yeah, sorry about that.

No problem. Hey, I guess I was listening on a previous broadcast about Harry Potter. And I guess I was just wondering, don't you think that it's dangerous to dabble in something that, because it seems like a lot of children get into that and they get interested in witchcraft and magic and stuff. And a lot of people have gone to, you know, like, Wiccan and stuff like that because of that. I just wondered what you thought about that.

Yeah, hey, Chuck, thank you for that question. I mean, it sort of fits with what the previous question about just being discerning with regard to entertainment. And so, you know, I think for us as believers, let's say, you know, you're asking the question, well, is it okay for us as a family or for my kids, you know, my daughter or my son to read the Harry Potter books? I think you open up conversations and you say, I mean, obviously, right, this is nothing, this is entertainment. And if you see, I mean, as you're caring for your children, if you see a curiosity and a moving towards things that maybe would be problematic, well, then you address that, you deal with it. And maybe it is something where you say, you know what, this is not going to work for us as a family. I just don't like that, but I think that's where we have to parent and be involved.

And I'll just, speaking for our family, you know, we've never really had an issue with it particularly. It's opened up opportunities for us to have conversations, for me to have conversations with my kids about good and evil. They know the difference between, you know, the truth of God's word and something like, you know, a book like Harry Potter.

And we have to make that difference clear. And additionally, right, there are other books out there too, you know, written by Christians, by people who profess faith in Jesus Christ that include fantasy and magic right now. Actually, before bedtime, most nights of the week, I'm trying to read through the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which has been a lot of fun, right?

And there's all sorts of, you know, magic and spells and wizards and whatnot there. But it's, again, been a neat opportunity to get to talk with my kids, to have some time together as a family. And it does open up conversations at times about spiritual things, which is what you want. You want to be able to have conversations about Jesus, about the faith, about good and evil, right and wrong. Just in everyday life, make it a normal part of everyday life. And so, again, I think that this calls for wisdom and it may not be the same, you know, one family might do things a little bit differently.

I don't think we need to judge each other there. I think so long as we're engaged in the lives of our children, first and foremost, and having conversations about these things and discipling them, raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, I think we're doing good. And so, Chuck, God bless you and give you wisdom and bless you and your family as you think about these things as well. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. I want to mention we have a YouTube channel and you can watch us live on YouTube every day at 11 30 a.m. Pacific time. Just translate that into your own time zone.

But 11 30 a.m. Pacific to 12 noon Pacific, you can watch Adriel live in the studio. Jim is actually checking out our YouTube channel today and he has this question. He says, Is it a sin to not be in perfect obedience, such as not going to church? Well, sin is any any want of conformity to or transgression of God's law.

It's when we fail to live up to the righteous requirements of the law. We're sinning, right? Some people think, you know, if I'm just neutral, if I don't hurt anybody and keep to myself, well, then I'm doing a pretty good job. I'm not sinning. I didn't murder anyone.

I didn't, you know, commit adultery. But it's more than just not doing bad things. It's positively being righteous. I mean, that's what God's law calls us to is to love God.

That's a positive thing. It's it's it's it's something we're doing and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And so insofar as we we fall short of that and we don't perfectly do that. Yeah, there's there's sin involved there. We come to the Lord with that. We recognize that as followers of Jesus Christ, even those who are born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, that we're going to battle with sin until we're in the presence of the Lord. That doesn't make sin OK. And it doesn't excuse our sins. But it is a reality. We have that reality of indwelling sin. And we're called by the Spirit to walk in the Spirit and to put to death the sinful deeds of the body day by day.

It's a it's a daily thing. And God help us in that. Now, with regard, Jim, to the second part of your question and and well, what about not going to church? I would say that neglecting gathering together with the people of God, not going to church is indeed a sin. It's a violation of that commandment that we have in the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments to to honor the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. That is a day of worship where we gather together with God's people, the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, Sunday. And at the heart of that is gathering together with other believers.

We really have missed this, I think, in the United States. I think that we've we've drifted away from the Bible's teaching on on this in particular because we're we're very much individualistic. You know, there's so much emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus, which is a good thing. But it's been said before that, you know, there's a difference between having a personal relationship with Jesus, which we're all called to have, and a private, isolated relationship with Jesus, which which we shouldn't have.

Our relationship with Christ blossoms and grows and is meant to be lived in the context of the community of faith, the local church with other believers. And so and so, yes, if you're not in a church, you're neglecting going to church. I would say that that is I think that that is a sin. Not not I think that it is.

And it is it is wrong. And a lot of people hear that and they think, whoa, you know, I thought the church was just some you know, it was kind of there to be helpful, but we don't really need it. The essence of the Christian life is my personal walk with Jesus.

No, it's not an either or. It's all of it together. And when we neglect the church, we're not taking seriously the reality of the sinfulness in the world, the temptations that we experience as Christians, our need to, you know, journey with the pack, if you will, guarded under the means of grace, the preaching of God's word, the accountability of the saints.

We need all of that. A couple of passages just to highlight this and I want to speak to you right now. You're a Christian.

You're listening to this broadcast. You know, you confess faith in Jesus. You've been baptized. Maybe you, you know, you read the scriptures, but you don't go to church.

Some of you I know it's it's I had a horrible experience and I and I and I want to be sensitive to that. I'm not saying going back go back to that church where maybe you were when you were mistreated or abused don't know. But we all need to be in churches where Jesus is being honored and where his word is being faithfully taught. Now, no church is perfect and neither are we. But we ought to attach ourselves to true churches as believers wanting to grow in Christ. And then when we're isolated, we're, you know, isolating ourselves not going to church where we are sinning. We're neglecting what God has called us to in his law.

But we're also setting ourselves up for failure in the Christian life. The author of the Hebrew said in Hebrews chapter 3 verse 12 take care brothers lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living God but exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. You see how important how important it is for us to have that mutual accountability and exhortation so that we aren't hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. And again in Hebrews chapter 12 the author of the Hebrews talks about not neglecting the coming together.

Verse 25 Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25 or I'll start in verse 24. Consider how to stir up one another to love and good works not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near. In other words as the day of Christ's return draws near more and more we need to be fellowshipping with other believers. We need to be in the local church. And so I would just I would just exhort you encourage you and say man get plugged in to a solid church.

You need to be in a church and and grow together with the believers there under the ministry of the word. Don't neglect that and set yourself up for spiritual failure. Thank you for that question. Good counsel.

Thanks for that Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, we are a listener supported ministry. That means we don't receive money from a church or denomination.

We don't play commercials on this program. We count on people just like you to keep us on the air. And if you have been listening to Core Christianity for a while you find this program valuable. It's helped you grow in your faith. We would encourage you to join a special group of people that we call our inner core. Yeah, the inner core is a group that sends us a monthly gift of $25 or more. A recurring gift and it's one of the ways you can partner with us throughout the year in sharing Core Christianity.

I mean, what are we talking about here? We're talking about the core truth of the Christian faith with so many Christians have lost sight of don't understand. And we get to have conversations every day with people on the radio or through the podcast. People who are growing in their faith and in their understanding of God's Word. Even newer believers who are just for the first time connecting with Christ through the scriptures as a result of this broadcast. And so I hope that you will consider partnering with us in this effort, laboring side by side for the faith of the gospel truly. And if you've been blessed by the broadcast, I want to ask you especially, you especially, would you consider joining the inner core? And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book written by Dr. Michael Horton, Core Christianity, which is another excellent resource delving into the core truths of the Christian faith. If you'd like to learn more, just go to forward slash inner core. That's forward slash inner core.

Love to have you perfectly consider joining that group of folks. Well, we do receive emails here at Core Christianity. You can email us anytime.

Here's our email address. It's questions at This one came in from James, and James says, I've been a listener for a couple of years now, and I've heard you mention the law and the gospel before, but I'm not really sure if I fully understand the weight of the two.

Can you please explain the differences and why they are important? Yeah. James, thanks for that, and I always love talking about this. I mean, especially thinking about Core Christianity and some of those fundamental truths and distinctions that we need to know as Christians.

So let me just give it to you. There was a time years ago now, actually, where I was having a conversation with someone who was visiting our church, and they wanted to become a member, and we were having conversations, and I asked them, what is the gospel? Can you tell me what the gospel is? And this individual, their response was, well, you know, love God with all your, you know, don't have any idols. They began to go through the Ten Commandments, and are the Ten Commandments good? Yes, the Ten Commandments are good.

That's the law, right? God's revealed will for us, for our lives, is what God calls us to. But the issue is, none of us perfectly keeps that law. We cannot be justified, that is, accounted righteous before God on the basis of the law because all of us have sinned and fallen short of it. We've fallen short of the glory of God, as Paul says in Romans. And so many times, when people hear about Christianity, or they think about, well, what is Christianity about? This is why so many people outside of the church, you know, when they're talking about religion, they say, well, aren't all religions the same? Don't they just basically call you to love God and love other people? Isn't that what they all are basically saying?

And so couldn't we just conclude that they're all, you know, essentially pointing in the same direction? I know you've heard that before, if you talk to people who maybe don't profess faith in Christ and are on the outside of the church. And if we confuse the law and the gospel, then in one sense we'd be saying, yeah, that's true. The essence of the Christian faith is do these things.

But that's not the case. What Christianity gives us is something that every other religion doesn't give us. And that's the good news of the gospel.

It's how, even though you have fallen short of keeping God's holy law, his good law, God has made a way for you to experience his grace and mercy, a relationship with him, through his son Jesus Christ. And his son Jesus came into this world and perfectly fulfilled all of the commandments of the law. He was holy and righteous and pure. Never once did he sin.

He's the only person to ever live like that. And then what happened? He was condemned. He was cursed. He went to the cross. And he suffered on that cross. Why did he suffer on that cross if he had never sinned? Well, he suffered for our sake. He went to the cross for all the times we had fallen short of God's holy law. And the gospel, the good news of the Christian faith is Jesus has borne our sins so that through faith in his name we might be forgiven and justified, not on the basis of works.

Nobody can boast about this. No one can say, well, I'm saved and justified because of how good I am, how holy I am. No, solely on the basis of God's mercy. And so that should also turn us into the most humble people, shouldn't it? We should be full of humility because we recognize that we didn't save ourselves.

It was purely the grace of God. And so distinguishing between the law and the gospel, the law, they're both good, but the law in and of itself is not good news for me as a sinner outside of Christ. It condemns me because I fail to keep it. The gospel is how Jesus has kept that law perfectly so that I might have life. And if you want to, I mean, at the end of the day the question is, you know, are these distinctions biblical? I would say, yeah, read the book of Galatians.

For example, Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, had a great, has a great commentary lecture series on the book of Galatians, which is a wonderful resource. He talks a lot about that distinction there between the law and the gospel. But read the book of Galatians. I mean, Paul says very clearly, Galatians chapter 3 verse 10, For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse, for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them. Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for the righteous will live by faith. But the law is not of faith. Rather, the one who does them shall live by them.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Maybe you're listening right now, and you've always thought to yourself, Christianity is about a list of rules to keep. And that's why I have such a hard time with the Christian faith because I do a terrible job at keeping, I just feel like I'm not very good at that. Well, the truth is, we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Christianity is more than just a list of rules to keep. It's the gospel.

It's the fact that God in His love pursued us even though we had fallen short of keeping those rules, and He sent His Son into the world to be the perfect satisfaction for our sins and to live the righteous life that you didn't live, so that by believing in Him you might have your sins forgiven. I want to invite you maybe to recognize that you've misunderstood what Christianity is all about and to receive the grace of God and having received it, confessing your sins to pursue God, to say, Lord, I want to follow You and walk with You and honor You with my life. I want to obey Your word, not because I'm in need of anything else but Your grace and Your love and Your mercy. I need Your word. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to forward slash radio, or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-20 17:52:36 / 2023-11-20 18:02:51 / 10

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