My Story of Suffering



Every Sunday in the Theology Gals Facebook group I post a weekly prayer request thread. Last week I was heartbroken as I read through them. We have many gals suffering greatly: a husband living with extreme depression, a child diagnosed with a terminal illness, the sudden death of a parent, and many other things I won’t mention. There were even things which may not seem as severe, but they are things which result in suffering or trials. I hear ladies sometimes say something like, “I know this is small compared to what many are dealing with.” I’ve often told women, “Don’t compare your suffering with other sufferings.” Suffering and trials come in different ways, different extremes, last different lengths of time. Scripture talks about suffering in general. The things in Scripture about suffering are for you, regardless of how severe your trial is.

I know how difficult it can be when you’re right in suffering’s midst. It feels like it may never end. Even though I’m not completely on the other side of this season, I’ve seen the Lord’s grace in so many ways through it, and I’m thankful. I’ve experienced peace and joy from the Lord, even when my circumstance seems hopeless. Still, it’s not something I really like to talk about in detail, nor is it easy to do so. But I decided I would share my story, the things I’ve been through and the things I’ve learned because of suffering, with the hope of encouraging others.

Marriage and Children

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a wife and mom. The night I met my husband at a birthday party, we talked the whole evening about theology, music and the Christian faith. Brenton was further into his study of Reformed Theology than I was. He asked me to call him when I got home that evening (few had cell phones in 1994) so he’d know I’d arrived safely, and we talked for three more hours. When I finally made it to my room in the middle of the night, before I slipped into bed, I pulled out my journal and wrote this sentence: “Tonight I met the man I’m going to marry.” It’s a little corny, I know. It wasn’t because I thought God gave me some private revelation, I don’t even know why I wrote it. I just knew there was something special about this guy. It took Brenton a little while to get the courage to ask me out, but on January 12,1995 we went on our first date, and seven months later to the day, we were married.

Thirteen months after we said, “I do”, we welcomed our first son. I come from a family with lots of girls and few boys so while I hoped for some boys, I wasn’t especially optimistic that I’d have many. Little did I know the Lord would ultimately bless us with four sons. We would have had more children if we had been able, even if it was five more boys, but the complications I had with childbirth became life threatening. I can clearly see God’s sovereignty in it now. I am grateful for the children the Lord has given us.

My husband and son’s around 2007

I think I was made to be mommy to boys. I enjoyed hunting for toads as much as, if not more than, they did. I was right there every time we fed our pet mantis’, because I love watching them catch and eat their prey. I love messy science experiments. I don’t mind having pet snakes and lizards, and we have many. I love attending the Reptile Expo, and even purchased a pet lizard for myself, a crested gecko. From the time I was little, it seemed to me boys’ toys were more fun. When my oldest son received his first set of Lincoln Logs, I stayed up late into the evening building a village. I know those things aren’t necessarily just for boys, but with having all boys, we have many of these in our lives. I’m about as girly as they come. I love pink and purple, dresses and makeup. I’m sensitive. But I love being mom to my boys, and I enjoy many of the things they do.

I have loved being a wife and mom. Even on those challenging and difficult days, I was reminded of the many blessings the Lord had given me. I was a busy mom, caring for my husband, raising four children, homeschooling and being involved at our church. There were many days I barely sat down: cooking, cleaning, laundry, teaching, walks to the park, playing, etc. I enjoyed it though, even the busyness of it all. I also loved entertaining. It wasn’t uncommon for us to have several people over to our home after church for Sunday dinner. I had a routine for preparing for the Lord’s Day that worked well and I just loved the worship, rest and fellowship of the day. Life was good.

Little did I know how much everything was about to change…

I remember the first day I started having some odd pain. I was perplexed by it; it didn’t make any sense at the time. When my husband called me from work, I even mentioned it to him. I wasn’t too concerned, took some ibuprofen and went on with my day. Over the next few months I just wasn’t feeling well, I was so tired, and that pain. It didn’t come all at once, but things got worse and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I made an appointment with our longtime family doctor, I was in tears. I told my doctor, “Something isn’t right.” That appointment revealed some lumps. Dealing with those were a distraction from finding a diagnosis to the other symptoms. That was followed by various scans and ultimately removing the concerning lumps and biopsy, which thankfully came back non-cancerous. I was still having many unexplained symptoms.

Suddenly my life was full of doctor appointments, tests, specialists, hospital stays and more tests. Things were getting worse. I was living with constant nausea and vomiting, fevers and pain, along with other symptoms. I would eventually get down to 88 pounds, something I hadn’t weighed since probably about 6th grade. I was getting so weak. I was unable to care for my family. My doctor eventually sent me to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where I spent a month. And other things were bringing heartbreak to our family at the same time. My second to last day at Mayo, they found my brother in law’s body. We’ve experienced many losses the last several years, in the midst of my own physical suffering.

While there have been diagnosis’ which include an autoimmune disease and neurological condition, treatment can be tricky. I absolutely have experienced some healing, but it’s still a daily struggle. Few people know what I have and continue to really suffer with physically, emotionally and spiritually. I still rarely enjoy eating and often have to force myself to even try. Daily I live with nausea, fevers and pain. I don’t want people to know how weak I really am. I’m not depressed, thankfully. In fact, my third son said to me one day, “You’re always so happy, Mommy, and it doesn’t make sense with what you’re going through. It has to be the Lord.” He’s absolutely right. By God’s grace, I’m content…. most of the time. The Lord has given me immense peace and joy. And my tears are more often than not because I’m amazed by God’s grace. It’s because of His love and grace that He has blessed me with so much, including a loving and faithful husband who I adore more than words could describe. The way he has cared for me and our family is beyond what I could have hoped. I have sons who constantly amaze me, and I’m thankful for the close relationships I share with each of them. My husband and son’s all contribute to keeping our home run smoothly, taking over responsibilities I can’t keep up with, and never a complaint.  The Lord has blessed me with such good friends, too, lifelong friends who love and care for me, who encourage me and point me to Christ. These blessings far outweigh the suffering.

It took me awhile to get here though. I’ve had many rough moments, and still have to fight discouragement often. In the beginning of this season, I cried quite a bit. I’ve had many moments of crying out to God, asking, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why can’t you just heal me?”  I’ve had times where the pain was so great, I begged God to please just take me. It wasn’t because of depression, but rather, I didn’t know if I could physically handle it anymore. My husband and closest friends will tell you there was a time I really wanted to give up, that for a short moment I considered stopping the treatment that was keeping me alive. Again, it wasn’t depression. Physically, the misery can be so wearing. I’ve also been rushed to the hospital, almost died. My body wasn’t holding onto potassium, something our bodies can’t function without. I’ve had the doctor sit next to my hospital bed the next morning and say, “Do you understand you almost died? Do you understand this is life threatening?”

My suffering pales in comparison to what my husband and children have gone through. That’s the worst part. Hearing my husband crying in the middle of the night…he’s not a crier. The only time I saw him weep before that, was when his father was dying. The worst thing is that look on my children’s faces when mommy is being rushed to the hospital once again. It’s the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever seen. They don’t say it out loud, but I know they’ve all wondered if they were losing me. It didn’t help that in the midst of this, our family also suffered several losses: my brother-in-law, two of my close friends, my grandparents, my mother-in-law, my son’s close friend and more. Eight funerals in four years. And then one of the hardest things, which I’ve already written about, was when my oldest son said to me, “I can’t believe in a God who lets those who love Him suffer so much.” I’ve experienced great guilt over what my husband and children have gone through and guilt that I can’t care for them the way I want to.

I’m now grateful for the suffering, although I’m ready for it to be over yesterday. And yet I realize that I wouldn’t be learning the things I have, was I not going through this. One of my dearest friends reminded me recently, “You wouldn’t have your Theology Gals podcast had you not gone through this.” She’s right. We speak of God’s sovereignty, but I’ve had to learn to truly trust in His perfect wisdom and plan. Scripture describes many reasons for suffering and we’re told to count it all joy because the Lord uses it for our good. I don’t deny I’m not thrilled about the prospect of this continuing to be my life this side of heaven, suffering the symptoms of the autoimmune and neurological conditions which plague my body. I admit that often I put my hope in the possibility of healing instead of in the Lord, regardless of what my future looks like. I also struggle with coveting the good health of others and the things they’re able to do that I am not. I can’t remember what it feels like to feel normal, to not have pain, to not feel sick.

The reason I’ve written this is to share about the things the Lord has done in my life through suffering and the things I’ve learned, with the hope of encouraging someone else. I’m a far more grateful person than I ever was before. I’m very aware of God’s grace in ways I hadn’t considered previously. I understand more now, that I’ve been given far more than I deserve. I was guilty of trying to control things I should have been trusting the Lord with. At one point I told a friend, “I have to trust the Lord now, I have no other choice.”

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I can hold onto and trust in the truth of God’s Word even when I don’t feel like it. I’ve felt like the Psalmist in Psalm 13 when he says, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” It’s the end of the Psalm that reminds me that I have much I can hold onto, regardless of how I feel, even when I start wondering if He’s listening at all. The Psalmist concludes chapter 13 with, “ But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Isn’t that amazing? Even when the Psalmist feels far from God, even wondering if the Lord had forgotten him, he holds onto the goodness and kindness of our Lord and is reminded of his salvation and rejoices in it. No matter how difficult things get, as Christians we have hope in our salvation, the death and resurrection of Christ. There are similar Psalms where despair is expressed, followed by a proclamation of God’s goodness. I’ve found comfort in the Psalms of lament.

I know some of you reading this are suffering right now, have been suffering for a while, or maybe you’re dealing with something smaller or new. You may have an illness, a difficult marriage, a sick child, infertility, you’ve suffered losses, or…the list goes on. Or maybe you’re one who is thinking, “I’ve suffered some small trials, but nothing that severe. But my small trial is still hard.” I say to all of you what I said in the beginning of this article: don’t compare your suffering with others’ suffering. Suffering and trials come in different ways, different extremes, and last different lengths of time. Your suffering is difficult for you regardless of what it is and how long it lasts, and the Lord will use it. When I did an in-depth study of suffering from Scripture, I was shocked by all the reasons for suffering that Scripture mentions. Our suffering tests and prepares us and teaches us to rely on God (2 Corinthians 4:17, 2 Corinthians 1:8-9). We suffer so we we may be comforted by God and comfort others in their suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). We suffer for our good (James 1:1-2,24; Romans 5:3-5). These are only a few of the reasons.

On our Theology Gals episode on suffering, we talked about not only reasons for suffering but also the many things Scripture offers to comfort us in the midst of our suffering. The Holy Spirit comforts us and gives us peace and joy in the midst of our struggles. The Lord has also given the church to love and support us. But I know very personally that suffering can feel lonely sometimes, too. I’ve felt so lonely but yet I’m never really alone. Neither are you, never really alone. The Lord is always near.

While I’ve had plenty of weak moments, asking why and even questioning God, I’ve also found comfort in His grace and the gospel, finding my hope in Him instead of all the things I’m tempted to look for hope in. He isn’t just in control of all things, He also loves me. Even in my darkest moments, I can look to Christ and find hope. There’s much I don’t understand. I do know, however, that His ways are good, His ways are loving, His ways are perfect. Take comfort in this.

 


Reformed Acronyms and Abbreviations



With all of the acronyms and abbreviations used in Reformed Christian circles, we’ve put together a reference list as we often get questions about what these things mean. Not everything on here is specifically Reformed, but are things which may be used in various theological discussions and writing.

2C 2nd commandment

2CV 2nd commandment violation (3CV and so on depending on the commandment violated)

2K two kingdoms

3FU Three Forms of Unity

3PC/4PC three point Calvinist/four point Calvinist

AACC American Association of Christian Counselors

AALC The American Association of Lutheran Churches

ACA Anglican Church in America

ACBC Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

ACE Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

ACNA Anglican Church in North America

Amil Amillennialism

AoG/AG Assemblies of God

APA Anglican Province of America

APC Associated Presbyterian Churches

APM A Puritan´s Mind

ARBCA Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America

ARP/ARPC Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

AV Authorized Version, Bible (same as KJV)

BCF Belgic Confession of Faith

BCO Book of Church Order

BCP Book of Common Prayer

BCT Baptist Covenant Theology (1689 Federalism)

BoT Banner of Truth

BPC Bible Presbyterian Church

BPS Book of Psalms for Singing

BT Biblical Theology

CanRC The Canadian and American Reformed Churches

CARPC Covenanting Association of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches

CB Credo Baptism

CCCC/4C’s Conservative Christian Congregational Conference

CELC Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference

CmL Ceremonial Law

CofC Church of Christ

CoG Covenant of Grace

CoR Covenant of Redemption

CoW Covenant of Works

CREC Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (formerly the confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches)

Credo credoBaptism (believers baptism)

CRC/CRCNA Christian Reformed Church in North America

CRPC Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church

CT Covenant Theology or Critical Text

CTS Covenant Theological Seminary

CvL civil law

Dispy dispensationalist

DPW Directory for Public Worship

DoG Doctrines of Grace

EFCA Evangelical Free Church of America

ELCA Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

ELS Evangelical Lutheran Synod

EP Exclusive Psalmody

EPC Evangelical Presbyterian Church

EPCA Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia

ERLC The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention

ERPC Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church

ESS: Eternal Subordination of the Son

ESV English Standard Version, Bible

ERQ Eglise Reformee du Quebec (Reformed Church of Quebec)

FACA The Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas

FCC Free Church of Scotland, Continuing

FCS Free Church of Scotland

FoG Form of Government

FotF/FOTF Focus on the Family

FPCNA Free Presbyterian Church of North America

FRCNA The Free Reformed Churches of North America

FV Federal Vision

GA general assembly (the highest court of presbyterian polity)

GPTS Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

GSB Geneva Study Bible

HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible

HNRC/HRC Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation/Heritage Reformed Congregation

HRC The Heritage Reformed Congregations

ICRC International Conference of Reformed Churches

IFB Independent Fundamental Baptist

HC head covering

IHOP International House of Prayer

IRBS Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies

KAPC The Free Reformed Churches of North America

KPCA The Korean Presbyterian Church in America

kirk Scot word for the church

KJV/KJB King James Version, Bible

KJO King James Only

KTS Knox Theological Seminary

LBCF/1689 LBC Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

LCMS Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

LD Lord’s Day

LS Lordship Salvation

MDiv Master of Divinity Degree

MERF Middle East Reformed Fellowship

ML moral law

MLJ Martyn Lloyd Jones

MOS Mortification of Spin (podcast)

MT Majority Text

NAPARC North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council

NASB New American Standard Bible

NCT New Covenant Theology

NGSB New Geneva Study Bible

NIV New International Version, Bible

NKJV New King James Version, Bible

NLT New Living Translation, Bible

NPP New Perspective on Paul

NPW normative principle of worship

NRC Netherlands Reformed Congregations

NRSV New Revised Standard Version, Bible

OCRC Orthodox Christian Reformed Church

OPC Orthodox Presbyterian Church

OPCGA Orthodox Presbyterian Church General Assembly

Paedo paedobaptism (infant baptism)

PB Puritan Board or paedobaptism

PCA Presbyterian Church in America

PCAGA Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly

PCUSA Presbyterian Church USA

PSA Penal Substitutionary Atonement

PRCT Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology

PDM Psalms of David in Metre

PreMil Premillennialism

Presby Presbyterian

PresRC The Presbyterian Reformed Church

Presup presuppositional apologetics

PostMil Postmillennialism

PRC/PRCA Protestant Reformed Church in America

PRTS Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

PTL Praise the Lord

R2K Reformed two kingdoms or radical two kingdoms

RB Reformed Baptist

RCA Reformed Church in America

RCC Roman Catholic Church

RCJ Reformed Church in Japan

RCM Reformation Christian Ministries

RCUS Reformed Church in the United States

RE Ruling Elder

REC Reformed Episcopal Church

RES Reformed Episcopal Seminary

RPCA Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia

RPCGA Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly

RPCHP Reformed Presbyterian Church (Hanover Presbytery)

RPCNA Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America

RPCS Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland

RPCUS Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States

RPTS Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary

RPW regulative principle of worship

RSV Revised Standard Version

RT Received Text

RTS Reformed Theological Seminary

RUF Reformed University Fellowship

SBC Southern Baptist Convention

SBFA Salvation by faith alone

SD Sabbath Day or Savoy Declaration

SDG Solo Deo Gloria

ST Systematic Theology

SWRB Still Water Revival Books

TE Teaching Elder

TEDS Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

TGC The Gospel Coalition

TR Textus Receptus or Truly Reformed

TT TableTalk

TFoU Three Forms of Unity: Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort

TULIP Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints. (The 5 Points of Calvinism)

URC/URCNA United Reformed Churches in North America

VT Van Til

WELS Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

WCF Westminster Confession of Faith

WHI White Horse Inn (radio show/podcast)

WLC Westminster Larger Catechism

WPCUS Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States

WRF World Reformed Fellowship

WRS Western Reformed Seminary

WSC Westminster Shorter Catechism or Westminster Seminary, California

WTS Westminster Theological Seminary(PA) or Whitefield Theological Seminary or Western Theological Seminary

YRR Young, Restless and Reformed

 

*If I’ve missed something or need to make any corrections, you can either comment on this post or email me.

 


Rod Rosenbladt on The Gospel for Those Broken | Theology Gals |Episode 54



 

On this week’s episode, following a short update from Coleen, we play a message from Rod Rosenbladt, The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church.

Mentioned on this episode:

The Gospel is for the Broken Ligonier

1517 Legacy

The Thinking Fellows

The White Horse Inn

Grace Alone Witness Apparel

The Rapp Report

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Discussion on Women’s Roles | Theology Gals | Episode 53



On this week’s episode of Theology Gals, Coleen and Ashley discuss some topics which have come up regarding the role of women. They discuss submission, The Excellent Wife, men learning from women and other topics.

Episode Resources:

No, I’m not a Feminist or an Egalitarian by Rachel Miller

Complementarianism Theology Gals podcast

Episode Music from Castle Pines

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Purity Culture with Rebecca Lemke | Theology Gals | Episode 52



On this week’s episode of Theology Gals Coleen and Ashley discuss “purity culture* with Rebecca Lemke.

*This episode may not be appropriate for some of our younger listeners.

Episode Resources:

You can find Rebecca and her podcast, The Scarlet Virgins here

Rebecca’s book The Scarlet Virgins: When sex replaces salvation

You can find Rebecca and her podcast, The Scarlet Virgins here

Rebecca’s book The Scarlet Virgins: When sex replaces salvation

The Scarlet Virgins episode Counter Purity Movement: Trading One Dysfunction for Another ft. Justin Megna

Let’s Change the Modesty Conversation by Rachel Darnall

Episode Music from Castle Pines

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Patriarchy Part 2 with Rachel Miller | Theology Gals | Episode 51



This week on Theology Gals Coleen and Ashley continue their discussion with Rachel Miller on  “Christian” or “Biblical” patriarchy.

Episode Resources:

What’s Wrong With Biblical Patriarchy

Is Complementarian Just Another Word for Patriarchy?

My Experience with Patriarchy

Eternal Subordination of the Son and Biblical Patriarchy

The Soul-numbing Dangers of Patriarchy

Eternal Subordination of the Son with Rachel Miller | Theology Gals

Redeeming Barak

No, I’m not a Feminist or an Egalitarian

Episode Music from Castle Pines

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Patriarchy with Rachel Miller | Theology Gals | Episode 50



This week on Theology Gals Coleen and Ashley discuss “Christian” or “Biblical” patriarchy with Rachel Miller.

Episode Resources:

What’s Wrong With Biblical Patriarchy

Is Complementarian Just Another Word for Patriarchy?

My Experience with Patriarchy

Eternal Subordination of the Son and Biblical Patriarchy

The Soul-numbing Dangers of Patriarchy

Eternal Subordination of the Son with Rachel Miller | Theology Gals

Redeeming Barak

No, I’m not a Feminist or an Egalitarian

Episode Music from Castle Pines

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Special Announcement | Theology Gals



Listen to this special announcement about Theology Gals.

Episode Music from Castle Pines

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Law and Gospel Part 2 | Theology Gals | Episode 48



 

On this week’s episode of Theology Gals, Ashley and Coleen answer listener questions about law and gospel.

Episode Resources:

Nomism vs Antinomianism Heidelcast Episodes by R. Scott Clark

Heidelberg 114: Between Moralism And Antinomianism (1) by R. Scott Clark

Heidelberg 114: Between Moralism And Antinomianism (2) by R. Scott Clark

The Question is Not Whether But Why?

Heidelcast: Nomism and Antinomianism by R. Scott Clark

3 Types of Legalism

 

Episode Music from Castle Pines  

Women can join our Facebook Group Theology Gals-Ladies Theology Discussion and Encouragement
Follow us:
On Facebook
On Twitter @TheologyGals
On Instagram theologygals
Email us at theologygals@gmail.com

If you’d like to ask Theology Gals a question which may be answered on a future episode, you can text or leave a voicemail at (951) 407-0234. You may also send an email.

Consider supporting Theology Gals with just a few dollars a month


Law and Gospel | Theology Gals | Episode 47



On this episode of Theology Gals, Coleen and Ashley discuss law and gospel. 

Episode Resources:

Yes Virginia, There Is A Law-Gospel Distinction by R. Scott Clark

Law, Gospel, And The Three Uses of the Law (1) by R. Scott Clark

Law, Gospel, And The Three Uses Of The Law (2) by R. Scott Clark

The Three Uses of the Law by R. Scott Clark

Law and Gospel by Michael Horton

Concerns About The Rhetoric: “X Is A Gospel Issue” by R. Scott Clark

The Indicative and The Imperative A Reformation View of Sanctification by Michael Horton

Calvin on Law and Gospel by Michael Horton

Heidelberg Catechism

Theology Gals – Lordship Salvation with Pastor John Fonville

“Ignorance of the distinction between the Law and Gospel is one of the principle sources of all the abuses which corrupt and still corrupt Christianity.” –Theodore Beza

“There is no point upon which men make greater mistakes than upon the relation which exists between the law and the gospel. Some men put the law instead of the gospel: others put the gospel instead of the law; some modify the law and the gospel, and preach neither law nor gospel: and others entirely abrogate the law, by bringing in the gospel. Many there are who think that the law is the gospel, and who teach that men by good works of benevolence, honesty, righteousness, and sobriety, may be saved. Such men do err. On the other hand, many teach that the gospel is a law; that it has certain commands in it, by obedience to which, men are meritoriously saved; such men err from the truth, and understand it not. A certain class maintain that the law and the gospel are mixed, and that partly by observance of the law, and partly by God’s grace, men are saved. These men understand not the truth, and are false teachers.” -Spurgeon

The Churches of the Reformation from the very beginning distinguished between the law and the gospel as the two parts of the Word of God as a means of grace. This distinction was not understood to be identical with that between the Old and the New Testament, but was regarded as a distinction that applies to both Testaments. There is law and gospel in the Old Testament, and there is law and gospel in the New. The law comprises everything in Scripture which is a revelation of God’s will in the form of command or prohibition, while the gospel embraces everything, whether it be in the Old Testament or in the New, that pertains to the work of reconciliation and that proclaims the seeking and redeeming love o God in Christ Jesus (Systematic Theology, [Grand Rapids, 4th edn. 1941], 612).Louis Berkhof

For Paul often means by the term law the rule of righteous living by which God requires of us what is his own, giving us no hope of life unless we completely obey him, and adding on the other hand a curse if we deviate even in the slightest degree. This Paul does when he contends that we are pleasing to God through grace and are accounted righteous through his pardon, because nowhere is found that observance of the law for which the reward has been promised. Paul therefore justly makes contraries of the righteousness of the law and of that of the gospel [Romans 3:21 ff.; Galatians 3:10 ff.; etc.] (Institutes, 2.9.4)

Also Mentioned:

Justin Peters The Hurt of Healing

Justin Peters Interviews Costi Hinn

Episode Music from Castle Pines  

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