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HISTORY of Christian Theology

Is a fundamental concept of Luthernism and is contrasted by Luther with the Gospel. For Luther, the law consists of God’s commands regarding how one should live which no one can fully obey. Consequently, the law functions to condemn and terrify us, and thereby drive us to the good news of the Gospel, which promises forgiveness based solely on belief. He also recognized a second use of the law to maintain civil order. Subsequent Lutherans added instruction regarding Christian living as a third use of the law. Law is also a term used in the Bible that generally refers to the Law of Moses.

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