Resources for Studying the Law and the Gospel

open book on the table

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.[1]

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.”[2]

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.[3]

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:


Law/Gospel & Pastoral Ministry:

[1] “The Law and the Gospel,” by Fred Malone.

[2] The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges (Banner of Truth, 1997), 222.

[3] 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:




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