Progressive Patterns

Law = Gospel

Many who claim to believe and to teach the gospel are in a similar error. They set aside the Old Testament Scriptures, of which Christ declared, "They are they which testify of Me." John 5:39. In rejecting the Old, they virtually reject the New; for both are parts of an inseparable whole. No man can rightly present the law of God without the gospel, or the gospel without the law. The law is the gospel embodied, and the gospel is the law unfolded. The law is the root, the gospel is the fragrant blossom and fruit which it bears. {COL 128.2}

Christ's favorite theme was the paternal tenderness and abundant grace of God; He dwelt much upon the holiness of His character and His law; He presented Himself to the people as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let these be the themes of Christ's ministers. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Make plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Tell the people of Christ's life of self-denial and sacrifice; of His humiliation and death; of His resurrection and ascension; of His intercession for them in the courts of God; of His promise, "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself." John 14:3. {COL 40.2}

Romans 3:27 Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Christ had repeatedly shown that his Father's law contained something deeper than mere authoritative commands. The moral law contains the gospel in principle. {3SP 54.2}

The law and the gospel cannot be separated. In Christ mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The gospel has not ignored the obligations due to God by man. The gospel is the law unfolded, nothing more nor less. It gives no more latitude to sin than does the law. The law points to Christ; Christ points to the law. The gospel calls men to repentance. Repentance of what?--Of sin. And what is sin?-It is the transgression of the law. Therefore the gospel calls men from their transgression back to obedience to the law of God. Jesus, in His life and death, taught the strictest obedience. He died, the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, that the honour of God's law might be preserved, and yet man not utterly perish. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 1}

Mighty truths have been committed to human agencies, truths which, when unfolded, quicken into activity the minds of men and women who are in the darkness of error, and call to them, "Come; for all things are now ready." The knowledge of truth is the great power of God unto salvation to all who believe. The atoning sacrifice, the righteousness of Christ, is to us the vital center of all truth. In the cross of Calvary, mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The law and the gospel are in perfect harmony; they are interwoven as the warp and the woof. They shed a flood of light amid the moral darkness of the world, stimulating, renovating, sanctifying, all who will believe the truth, all who will gladly and gratefully accept the light coming from the throne of God. {RH, September 29, 1891 par. 8}

As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, that all who had been bitten by the fiery serpents might look and live, so must the Son of Man be lifted up before the world by his servants. Christ and him crucified, is the message God would have his servants sound through the length and breadth of the world. The law and the gospel will then be presented as a perfect whole. Those who accept the salvation so freely offered, have more than a nominal faith, a theory of truth; they believe to a purpose, appropriating to themselves the richest gifts of God's love. With assurance they can say, "Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." {RH, September 29, 1896 par. 9}

After Israel had been in bondage in Egypt, and through witnessing idolatry had almost forgotten God and the precepts which he had given, the Lord led them forth into the wilderness. He had them assemble about Mount Sinai, and there, amid awful grandeur, Jesus Christ, who was the founder of the whole Jewish economy, spoke the ten precepts of God to the people. Christ unites in himself both the law and the gospel; they are not divided. Those who are offering prayers to the God of heaven and earth will not refuse to be obedient to the plainest precept of the law. They will listen to the voice of Christ, and will "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy," as the day on which the Creator of the heavens and the earth rested from all the work which he had done. They will not turn away from the holy commandment, and accept a spurious sabbath instead of the holy, sanctified day that God instituted in Eden as a memorial of his creative power. The Sabbath was given to man as a sign that was to show to whom the allegiance of the people was given. {ST, March 12, 1894 par. 2}

This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding up the two in a perfect whole. (See Romans 5, and 1 John 3:9 to the close of the chapter.) These precious scriptures will be impressed upon every heart that is opened to receive them. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,"--those who are contrite in heart. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." These have not a mere nominal faith, a theory of truth, a legal religion, but they believe to a purpose, appropriating to themselves the richest gifts of God. They plead for the gift, that they may give to others. They can say, "Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." {PH154 38.1}

Christ came to our world to represent the character of God as it is represented in His holy law; for His law is a transcript of His character. Christ was both the law and the gospel. The angel that proclaims the everlasting gospel proclaims the law of God; for the gospel of salvation brings men to obedience of the law, whereby their characters are formed after the divine similitude. {17MR 7.4}

There are those who hold up the difference between the law and the gospel. But between the law and the gospel there is no contradiction, but the closest union. They are in perfect harmony. One does not supersede the other. The law points to the gospel, while the gospel reflects its glory on the law and on the whole Jewish economy, revealing Christ in every offering. The animals daily slain at the tabernacle--the victims of sin--pointed to the Lamb of God, who was to be slain for the sin of the world, not to save sinners in their sin, but from sin, and to lead them to loyalty to God's law. {18MR 135.5}

If men with reasoning faculties pass over what the Lord Jesus Christ says, it becomes us to stand where we can defend the honor of the law of the Lord God of Israel. We can do so by presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. The enemy has ever labored to disconnect the law and the gospel. They go hand in hand. {2SAT 102.1}

[[poster: How many times can we break the rules between us?]]

Law naturally kept by angels

But in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8. {MB 109.2}

Blend perfectly in Christ

There should be deep searching of the Scriptures that the ministers of God may declare the whole counsel of God. The relation of Christ to the law is but faintly comprehended. Some preach the law, and feel that their brethren are not doing their whole duty if they do not present the subject in the very same way in which they do. These brethren shrink from the presentation of justification by faith, but just as soon as Christ is discovered in his true position in relation to the law, the misconception that has existed on this important matter will be removed. The law and the gospel are so blended that the truth cannot be presented as it is in Jesus, without blending these subjects in perfect agreement. The law is the gospel of Christ veiled; the gospel of Jesus is nothing more or less than the law defined, showing its far-reaching principles. "Search the Scriptures," is the injunction of our Lord. Search to find out what is truth. God has given us a test whereby to prove doctrine: "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Search the Scriptures diligently, earnestly, unweariedly, to find out what God has revealed concerning yourself, your duties, your work, your responsibilities, your future, that you may make no mistake in seeking for eternal life. You may, in searching the Scriptures, know the mind and the will of God; and although the truth does not coincide with your ideas, you may have grace to lay down every prejudice in favor of your own customs and practices, and see what is truth, pure and unadulterated. Here is the word of the Lord. Obey it from the heart. Christ is full of pitying tenderness to all who repent. He will pardon the transgressor. (RH, May 27, 1890)

Pledge of eternal life

So far from making arbitrary requirements, God's law is given to men as a hedge, a shield. Whoever accepts its principles is preserved from evil. Fidelity to God involves fidelity to man. Thus the law guards the rights, the individuality, of every human being. It restrains the superior from oppression, and the subordinate from disobedience. It ensures man's well-being, both for this world and for the world to come. To the obedient it is the pledge of eternal life, for it expresses the principles that endure forever. (Ed 76)

Each law of God is an enactment of mercy, love, and saving power. These laws, obeyed, are our life, our salvation, our happiness, our peace. {FLB 89.3}

Root and fruit

Many who claim to believe and to teach the gospel are in a similar error. They set aside the Old Testament Scriptures, of which Christ declared, "They are they which testify of Me." John 5:39. In rejecting the Old, they virtually reject the New; for both are parts of an inseparable whole. No man can rightly present the law of God without the gospel, or the gospel without the law. The law is the gospel embodied, and the gospel is the law unfolded. The law is the root, the gospel is the fragrant blossom and fruit which it bears. (COL 128)