Five reactions to the Law

by libr8tr

I have been considering how people react to the law lately.  Luther had a robust understanding of the human conscience and referred to the impact that both law and Gospel had on it.

I think there are five reactions to the law:

  1. Abide by.  Attempt to fulfill the commands and demands of scripture.  This person has received their marching orders when they hear the law
  2. Despair.  This person has seen the utter holiness of God and now says with Isaiah, “Woe is me.  I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips”
  3. Rebellion.  When told that they are in violation of the law, a smile creeps across their face and they go to break more
  4. Minimizing.  This person attempts to bypass the non-negotiable demands by looking for a loophole.  They excuse themselves.  In modern parlance, these are ‘lawyers’
  5. Lawless.  “I do whatever I want”.  If the law doesn’t exist, then I can’t be in violation of it.  This person has no conscience

#’s 1, 3, 4, and 5 all reveal a sinful and idolatrous heart.  To these, only the law should be preached until they show signs of repentance

#2 is in a place to receive the Gospel (see Luke 3, “what should we do?”)  This person is ready to hear the ’90-proof’ Gospel.  Jesus for you.  Only Jesus now.

Any thoughts?