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6.1 The Law and the Gospel – Explanation of Terms

In chapter 6 we will turn our attention to the doctrine of the means of salvation and ecclesiology. In the first lesson we will study the subject of “the law and the gospel”.

Ecclesiology describes the nature and reality of the church. In this chapter we will expose the close relationship between our understanding of the sacraments, the church, and ministry. Nearly every Christian denomination defines itself by its understanding of church and ministry, and by its sacraments, and it is in this area that the greatest number of doctrinal differences are found (for example, the Catholic conception of Holy Communion is not consistent with that of the Protestants, and this subject is, in turn, closely related to each denomination’s understanding of church and the significance each assigns to ministry).

In Lesson 1 we will become acquainted with the relationship between the law and the gospel, in order to link to the doctrine of justification from Module 5: “How can a human being come to believe in the grace of justification and thereby attain salvation?”