How does law and mercy work together in the New Testament? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is challenging.  A major focus of the New Testament is the focus on Jesus.  The Gospels (“good news”; evangelion in Greek) focus on the teachings of Jesus. His teachings and ideas are rooted in God's mercy.  On the whole, Jesus presents a very merciful notion of God.  If one accepts the teachings of Christ as absolute, the force of the law, in the form of God, will demonstrate mercy upon the submissive individual.  The law is thus seen as an instrument of benevolent mercy, something that can bring the individual into the path of righteous behavior and good work.  

The law is not used as a bludgeon to divide the soul of the individual because the teachings of Christ as seen in the Gospels are unifying principles of mercy. The basis of the "good news" is that individuals can be saved and the path to human salvation lies in accepting the universal love and mercy that Jesus offers.  In compiling the New Testament, the law of Christ's teachings is seen as a force of mercy that enables the individual to approach spiritual identity with love and compassion. This makes law and mercy synonymous, working together to save the condition of humanity in the New Testament.

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