The Law Was Not the Gospel for Adam, but Christ’s Satisfaction of the Law is the Gospel for Us
The real point of the law-gospel antithesis is not “conflict”. It is non-identity. The law is not the gospel. The gospel is not the law. The gospel, however, is about Christ’s satisfaction of God’s law for God’s elect. Though law and gospel are not the same thing, they are not opposed because they never claim to have the same function.
Law says what God demands. Gospel says how Christ satisfied that demand for the elect. The law never offered life off probation: only one sin would put Adam and his seed under its curse, and no matter how many acts of obedience to the law, the law could never promise the life of the age to come.
The law-gospel antithesis does NOT understand Romans 10:4 in terms of abrogation. The “end of the law” is Christ completing all that the law demanded, so that there is no remainder left for…
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