A proper understanding of the relationship between the law and the gospel is crucial for any minister hoping to be effective in his preaching and counseling. Indeed, a flawed understanding of the relationship between law and gospel leads to all sorts of problems:
Errors in this doctrine have spawned dispensationalism, theonomy, the New Perspective on Paul, hypercovenantalism, legalism, antinomianism, shallow evangelism, shallower sanctification, worship errors and unbiblical mysticism.
Regarding the importance properly understanding the law and the gospel, Charles Bridges once wrote in his excellent work The Christian Ministry that:
The mark of a minister “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,” is, that he “rightly divides the word of truth.” …This revelation is divided into two parts—the Law and the Gospel—essentially distinct form each other; though so intimately connected, that an accurate knowledge of neither can be obtained without the other.”
And Sinclair Ferguson likewise concurs:
Each and every minister worth his salt must wrestle both intellectually and experientially, as well as hermeneutically, homiletically, and pastorally, with the issue of the relationship between the law and the gospel.
Because such a proper understanding is so important, and because there is such a lack of teaching on the subject in both seminaries and in many churches, below I have compiled a list of resources for those seeking to grow in this area. If you have others to suggest, please list them in the comment section. Happy Reading!
Most Recommended Law/Gospel Resources:
- True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton
- Treatise on the Law and Gospel by John Colquhoun
- Lectures on the Law and Gospel by Stephen Tyng (also available for free online)
- The Law and the Gospel journal article by Fred Malone
- “Free from the Law, O Happy Condition,” introductory videos/audio on the Law and the Gospel by Jon English Lee and Brandon Ash
- The Economy of the Covenants between God and Man by Herman Witsius (see also D. Patrick Ramsey & Joel Beeke’s good introduction & analysis of the work)
- The Marrow of Modern Divinity by Edward Fisher (could easily be put in the category below)
- The Grace of the Law by Ernest Kevan (historical survey showing several puritan views on the relationship between law & christians)
- Law and Gospel by Ernest Reisinger in Founders Journal #28 (which was on Law and Gospel)
- The Law and the Gospel by Ernest Reisinger
- Short Writings on the Law– by Richard Barcellos
Law/Gospel & Pastoral Ministry:
- The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges
- True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton (this one is so good that I had to list it twice)
- The Baptism of Disciples Alone by Fred Malone
- The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson
- The Ten Commandments More Than a Symbol – Founders Journal # 68
- Christ the End of the Law – A sermon by Charles Spurgeon
- The Christian and the Law– Founders Journal # 91
- How the “Uses of the law…sweetly comply with…the grace of the gospel” (2LCF 19.7)– by Richard Barcellos
 The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges (Banner of Truth, 1997), 222.
 In the foreword of: Stephen J. Casselli, Divine Rule Maintained: Anthony Burgess, Covenant Theology, and the Place of the Law in Reformed Scholasticism, Studies on the Westminster Assembly (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2016), xi.
More from me on the Law: https://jonenglishlee.com/the-spirituality-of-the-law/