A Jagged Contention: Old and New


“The real difference between the old and the new law is this: The old law says to those who are proud in their own righteousness: You must have Christ and his spirit; the new law says to those who humbly recognize that they lack all righteousness and who seek Christ: Behold, here is Christ and his spirit! They therefore, that interpret the gospel as something else than ‘good news,’ do not understand the gospel. Precisely this must be said of those who have turned the gospel into a law rather than interpret it as grace, and who set Christ before us as a Moses”

-Martin Luther, “Lectures on Romans” (199)


As Luther comments on Romans 7:5-6 and the distinction made between the “old law” and “new law (gospel)” he asserts that it is a difference in speaking. That is both the old and the new speak about Christ but Christ spoken to people in differing states of mind or “conscience.” Do you agree that the difference between the old and the new is one of how we speak to one another?

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