Law, Then Grace

by Allen Cantrell

 

“Men are not turning to Christ because they have no sense of sinning against the Lord. They are not convicted of sin because they don’t know what sin is. They have no concept of sin because the law of God is not being preached. You cannot improvise a hasty sop, ‘All men have sinned.’ You must dwell on the subject at length. Exposit the ten commandments until men are slain thereby [Romans 7:11]. When you see that men have been wounded by the law, then it is time to pour in the balm of Gospel oil. It is the sharp needle of the law that makes way for the scarlet thread of the Gospel.”—

                                                                                                -Walter Chantry

 

I am in full agreement with this approach. It is the pattern found in Romans. The sharp, unsparing sword is Romans1:18-3:20 and the healing oil of grace is Romans 3:21-5:21. We cannot improve on God’s methods! Whenever we try to do so, false ‘converts’ are the result.

Churches are filled with those thinking they are saved because they “said the prayer”, “asked Jesus into their heart”, went forward in a service, etc. They are never confronted with, and made to understand their exceeding sinfulness before a thrice-holy God who would be just to strike them down in hot wrath. They are never made to tremble by Holy Spirit-wrought conviction through the preaching of God’s law. As a result of a deficient (or non-existent) knowledge of sin, there is no repentance unto life. There is no appreciation of grace. There is no new creation.

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