Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Law and Gospel, in Brief

Particular applications of the distinction between Law and Gospel sometimes cause controversy and give rise to criticism.

At the level of the basic distinction itself, however, I should think that most of that controversy would dissipate.

Shortly after the definition of “the Gospel” quoted here previously, Niels Hemmingsen gives such a basic, concise summary of the distinction between Law and Gospel:

“From these things the difference between Law and Gospel can be easily understood. For the Law promises life to those who do the Law. The Gospel freely [gratis] offers salvation to those who believe in Christ. For the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, according to Rom. 6.”


By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.