The Law and the Gospel
Text: I Timothy 1:1-11
I. I have frequent encounters with people who do not distinguish between the Old Testament and the New Testament
A. None want to fully return to the Mosaical covenant, but each wants some feature found in the Old Testament to be binding on Christians
B. Popular features seem to be:
1. The Ten Commandments
2. The Sabbath Laws
4. Infant Membership in the Church
6. Instrumental Music in Worship
C. The first issue Paul addressed to Timothy in his letter was the problem of people wanting to blend the Old Law with the New - I Timothy 1:3-11
D. As Paul states, they don’t know what they are talking about - I Timothy 1:7
E. As Christians we must know how to rightly divide the word of God - II Timothy 2:15
II. What does the Gospel say about the Law?
A. Paul’s remarks were according to the glorious gospel of God which was given to him in trust by God - I Timothy 1:11
1. He and the other apostles had a stewardship to keep - I Thessalonians 2:4
2. It was a commitment of the truth - Titus 1:1-3
3. These are not his own words - I Corinthians 2:12-13
B. That there were two covenants is pointed out by citing Jeremiah 31:31-32
1. The Hebrews writer points out a new covenant implies that the other was old - Hebrews 8:13
2. A similar point is made by Paul - Galatians 4:22-26
C. What were the two covenants called?
1. Generally you find the old covenant referred to as “the Law” - John 1:17
2. The new covenant is referred as “the Gospel” - Mark 16:15
D. Through whom did the covenants come?
1. The Law came by Moses - John 1:17; Acts 7:38
a. That is why it is sometimes called “the Law of Moses” - Acts 13:39
2. The Gospel came by Jesus - Hebrews 12:24
a. That is why it is sometimes called “the gospel of Christ” - Romans 1:16
b. That is why it is sometimes called “the law of Christ” - Galatians 6:2
E. To whom was the covenants given?
1. The law was made for the Israelites - Hebrews 8:9; 9:18-20
2. The Gospel is given to all nations - Colossians 1:6, 23; Matthew 28:18-20
F. Why two covenants?
1. The Law was to bring people to Christ - Galatians 3:21-25
2. The Law had a flaw, it depended on people - Hebrews 8:6-8
3. The Law was weak and unprofitable, while the new was better - Hebrews 7:18-19, 22
4. The Gospel is more glorious - II Corinthians 3:6-18
III. What Purpose Did the Law Serve?
A. The law was not made for the righteous man - I Timothy 1:9
1. It was not made for a man justified by Christ, we are slaves of righteousness - Romans 6:18
2. A righteousness of faith - Romans 9:30; 10:10
3. So if the law of Moses was not for the righteous, then who was it for?
B. It was for the sinner - I Timothy 1:9-10
1. For the lawless – those without a law
2. For the disobedient - those who refuse to obey a law
3. For the ungodly - those who have no religion
4. For the sinner - those who violate their religion
5. Notice that Paul’s list continues roughly following the Ten Commandments
a. The unholy - those who break the first command and do not recognize God (#1 and #2)
b. The profane - those who take the name of God in vain (#3)
c. Murderers of fathers and mothers (#5)
d. Murders (#6)
e. Fornicators and homosexuals (#7, thus “you shall not commit adultery” includes, according to Paul, all forms of sexual sins)
f. Kidnappers (or slavers) (#8, it is more than stealing material things, stealing people is included)
g. Liars and perjurers (#9, thus it includes both daily life and court matters)
C. The law was given because people sin - Galatians 3:19
1. The law including the Ten Commandments were to make people recognize that sin existed - Romans 7:7-11
2. It showed man his miserable state - Romans 3:9, 19-23
a. While speaking to those under the law, it condemned all the world
D. Christ came to free us from the law to give us another - Romans 7:1-6
IV. Does the Law and the Gospel Conflict?
A. A typical argument to say we must be under the Ten Commandments given at Mt. Sinai, if not then there are no laws against immorality.
1. The falsehood in that argument is that the Ten Commandments are not the only place in God’s law where immorality is taught against.
2. In addition, the same God who gave the Ten Commandments also gave us I Timothy 1:9-10 and the rest of the glorious Gospel.
B. God did not condone immorality before the Ten Commandments were given
1. Example: The wickedness of men caused God to destroy mankind with a flood - Genesis 6
2. Example: The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality - Genesis 19
C. God did not condone immorality among the Gentiles while the Israelites had the law
1. Example: God’s condemnation of Tyre - Isaiah 23
2. Example: God’s condemnation of the Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 4
D. God clearly doesn’t condone immorality today
1. God’s Spirit came to convict the world - John 16:7-11
2. He teaches us - Titus 2:11-12
V. Who, then, is the Gospel for?
A. Paul told Timothy that the Law was for those who had no intentions of obeying it - I Timothy 1:9
B. The Gospel was to be taught to all nations - Matthew 28:18-20
C. Jesus is coming to take vengeance on the ignorant and disobedient - II Thessalonians 1:7-9
D. Acts 17:30-31
Based on an article by M. W. Kiser