The Law shows what the quality of a person should be in his nature, thoughts, words, and works, in order that he may be pleasing and acceptable to God. The Gospel teaches that God's Son, our Lord Christ, has borne the Law's curse and has atoned and paid for all our sins. Through Him alone we again enter into favor with God, receive forgiveness of sins through faith and are delivered from death and all the punishments of sins, and are eternally save.
These two doctrines should always be diligently taught in God's Church forever, even to the end of the world. They must be taught with the proper distinction: (a) through the preaching of the Law and its threats in the ministry of the New Testament the hearts of impenitent people may be terrified, and (b) they may be brought to a knowledge of their sins and to repentance. This must not be done in such a way that they lose heart and despair in this process. "The law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24); so the Law points and leads us not from Christ, but to Christ, who "is the end of the law" (Romans 10:4). People must be comforted and strengthened by the preaching of the Gospel about Christ. God forgives all their sins through Christ, adopts them as children for His sake, and out of pure grace - without their merit- justifies and saves them. (paragraphs 17, 20, 24-25)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.