Gospel Trumps Law
John 3:13-17 (ESV)
No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
At the end of the day, this trumps everything. The gospel, that faith alone in Jesus Christ despite all our sin, despite every good work we have tried to do, and may even think we have done saves us from our sin, saves us from death, this trumps law. Most just don’t seem to get this. It seems to incredible that we are given eternal life, given the glories of heaven for nothing. It just seems incredible. But it is true, it is credible, because the one speaking is credible, the one who died and rose from the dead. Gospel trumps law, as the resurrection trumps the grave.
Trumps, that is card game lingo. Playing Euchre, a one eyed jack can trump an ace and take the trick. Nothing beats the highest trump card. The resurrection of Christ, his ascension is that trump card. Jesus rose from the dead for your justification. You’re guilty but Christ trumps you, he takes you. He rose from the dead, sits at the right hand of the Father, and pronounces you innocent. His declaration trumps your heart, trumps the law. The Gospel is God’s final word on the matter.
Christians so often lose sight of this. You give them : for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Romans 3:23-24 (ESV). Or : For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 (ESV) and they give you “yeah but.” Most Christians have a laundry list of law verses that define them, that is they let the law define who they are as Christians. They want law to trump the Gospel. Well they think they do. Verses like : “ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  Do all things without grumbling or questioning,  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philip. 2:12-15 (ESV) or “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Cor. 13:5 (ESV) Which verses they totally divorce from their overall context which would demand that you see that you are righteous in Christ alone. They take these verses and try to make them the gospel equating faith with the works that faith produces, most often when you aren’t looking. They take the Sermon on the Mount, and say, yes but Christ says be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Yes he does. There is law in the Bible. All sorts of things are condemned. So much so that the law guarantees you are guilty and deserve to go to hell. But that is only half the truth. There is another doctrine in the Bible it is called gospel. It contradicts the declaration of the law. That is right in this manner, the Bible contradicts itself. One part says you are guilty. Another part says you are innocent, you are justified. One part says you have to follow the law to get to heaven. The other says Jesus followed it for you, and died that you might be saved. Well some would say this is a contradiction. Perhaps it is, but then the gospel trumps. If it doesn’t we are all going to hell. You can take the law road if you want to, I can’t stop you. But it doesn’t go to heaven. If the Gospel doesn’t trump law, then we are all doomed. But we know the gospel trumps law, because Jesus rose from the dead for our justification. Life trumps death.