How To Read The Bible | Law and Gospel
Debbie Ellinger   -  

Read This

God’s word can be divided into two categories – Law and Gospel.

Matthew 19:16-26 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


Remember This

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


Parent Cue  

Morning Time

Before your kids go to school, ask them to share any rules or teachers or coaches that might make their day difficult. Tell them that you love them and regardless of what happens, nothing they do or don’t do will make you love them less.

Bed Time

The Bible teaches us to confess our sins to one another. One night at bed time, sit at the foot of your kids bed and remind them that just like Jesus promises to love us no matter what we do, you’ll do the same for them. Ask them if they’d like to share anything that they’ve done wrong so you can remind them that they are loved and forgiven no matter what.

*Parents, sin does often require consequences (if they don’t come on their own). But don’t let this moment be for anything other than showing grace.

Meal Time

Why do people we love give us rules? What’s their usefulness? Why does God give us rules?

Read Romans 3:10-12 and Psalm 119:105. What are some of the reasons that these verses tell us that God has given us the Law?

Drive Time

While you’re driving ask your kids to help you think of all the important rules of the road. Ask them if the could add one rule to driving, what rule would they make?  Ask them if there was a rule they could eliminate, what would it be?


From the Small Catechism

What are the two great doctrines of the Bible?

“Law and Gospel are the two great doctrines of the Bible. We must sharply distinguish between the Law and the Gospel in order to understand the Bible rightly.” – Explanation of the Small Catechism, p. 49

What is the difference between the Law and the Gospel?

“The Law teaches what we are to do and not to do; the Gospel teaches what God has done, and still does, in Jesus, for our salvation.” – Explanation of the Small Catechism, p. 49

[Over the course of this series read the questions and answers in the Introduction to the Explanation section of Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation]