"...the (Gospel) Promise is not simply about something that might happen, the promise in the process of being announced, creates the reality of which it speaks. God wasn't talking ABOUT the promise, God was preaching the promise INTO Abram and he believed. It's the same with us.
I think of the law and the gospel this way: Call it Purposes and Promises. Law and Gospel is what I'm going to call it here. A sailboat is decked out with all of the greatest latest technology. It tells you where you are, it tells you where you need to be, it plots your course. You absolutely need that on a sailboat. What danger lies up ahead, you need to know that. How do you get from point A to point B? What does it mean to sail properly? You need all of this instruction. But you need wind in the sails or it's not going to go anywhere.
There are a lot of people who become Christians - that brief and shining moment where they hear the gospel, at the beginning. They're sailing out of the harbor. They've just learned that all of their sins are forgiven, it's a new covenant, established by Christ, inaugurated by his blood! They get that. Wind is in their sails...they're following the directional advice, they're plotting their course, law and gospel are working fine together. For that brief and shining moment. And then suddenly, someone STOPS preaching the gospel to them, and they're dead in the water, with all this technology, with all this wisdom. With all this smartness on the boat. They can't go anywhere. That's where a lot of Christians are today. Surrounded by the Christian life section at the bookstore. By 90 percent of what they hear on Christian radio. By far too many sermons that they're likely to hear this coming Sunday which keep them turned in on themselves, which give them some new gadget... and they're saying "I'm DEAD IN THE WATER! My problem ISN'T that I don't have enough technology, my problem isn't that I don't have enough direction! I don't need another gadget to tell me I'm dead in the water! Is there any wind for my sails?
Only the Promise can do that." -- Michael Horton