What Is The Misunderstanding Over The Law?

            Jeff VanVonderen summarizes the misunderstanding over the law with a great summary statement to begin our discussion on the law saying, “The greatest misunderstanding concerning the Law comes in the area of our perception of its purpose.  Somehow we continue to believe that the Law is God’s provision for people to live victoriously.[1]  For all intents and purposes, we know that we are saved (i.e. justified) by the Gospel but then we run to ourselves and our perceived spiritual competency and proceed to try and live out a victorious life (i.e. sanctification) underneath the Law.  Michael Horton comments on this saying, “We got in by grace but now we need to stay in by following various steps, lists, and practices.  There was this brief and shining moment of grace, but now the rest of the Christian life is about our experience, feelings, commitment, and obedience.[2]”  Our problem is not that we don’t trust the Gospel of Grace.  Rather we trust the Gospel of Grace, but we do not just stop there, we add an expansion pack of self-effort, rules and laws upon the reformation teaching of ‘Grace alone.’ (See Galatians 3:3)

[1] Jeff VanVonderen, Tired of Trying to Measure Up (Bethany House, 1989), 91.
[2] Michael Horton, Christless Christianity (Baker Books, 2008), 120.