Two Models of the Gospel – The Law

Correctly understanding the law of God is fundamental to correctly understanding the gospel itself. This is an illustrated study attempting to make the law easily understood at least as it relates to the two models of the gospel.

law gospel models

I shared this recently with our study group. Let’s develop it further:

The Biblical Healing Model

The problem is that we keep doing this:

We make holes in the law (transgressions) by disobedience because, not realizing that all the laws are designed for our good to keep us from harm (like a hedge of protection), we want access to the temptations that are “out there.” God honors our free will and permits us to go outside of His law if we chose. That freedom includes the freedom to experience the consequences of those choices.

When we make those wrong choices we give Satan access to attack us through that breach – that weak area in our protection:

law breached access

For example, if our sin is gluttony and food is the most important thing in our world, then Satan can easily tempt us in that area and afflict us with obesity, disease and a mind less able to appreciate spiritual truths.

If we go further and rebel against God and reject His law; essentially stepping outside of its protection altogether, then we are unshielded from Satan’s attacks:

In too many cases sinners come to think that it is God Who is afflicting them and they lose their trust in Him. But God is ever merciful. If we will turn to Him in trust He will again protect us:

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph 6:16)

That shield of faith (or trust) is really God’s protection of us when we willingly place ourselves under His protection,


The Traditional Legal Model

In this understanding of the gospel and how the law operates within it, the law is imposed upon us; we are required to obey it.

The problem is that we can’t. We don’t have a nature that can keep the law. This is evidenced by much scripture:

  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked …” (Jer 17:9)
  • “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psa 51:5)
  • “… they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psa 53:3)
  • “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? …” (Jer 13:23
  • “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom 3:23)
  • “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Eccl 7:20)

God says that He found fault with us – the problem is with our nature:

“For finding fault with them …” (Heb 8:8)

So asking us to keep His law in our fallen nature is almost like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. What is needed is for us to have a new nature; a changed heart; repentance. (The word “repent” is derived from a military term which means “about face.”) When we change our attitude towards God and start to seek and love Him then He says that He will work to fix the problem:

“… I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;” (Heb 10:16)

While we are then physically the same, this is a change in our nature in terms of our attitude, our mindset so that we will love and respect God and want to obey His laws:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:5)

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psa 40:8)

That change puts us back in this situation:

law natural

An important note about the Traditional Legal Model is that if a person does not turn to God, if they do not or will not fit themselves into the law by fulfilling it then, ultimately, God will end up being the One Who is hurling “fiery darts” at them:

tlm result

This changes Him from protector to executioner. Does that make you want to love Him more?

Watch for more to come on the Two Models of the Gospel in the future …

There is additional support for this concept when keeping the law is understood.

See a video version of this page here:



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