“The scheme of some persons, if I apprehend it right, is this, that Christ came into this world, to relax the old law of works, and to mitigate and abate the severities of it, and to introduce a new law, a gospel law, a law of milder terms, a remedial law, the terms and conditions of which, are faith, repentance, and sincere obedience, which though imperfect, is through Christ and for his sake accepted of, in the room of a perfect righteousness. The whole of which scheme is entirely false. For, in the first place, Christ came not into the world, either to destroy, or relax the law of God, but to fulfill it, which he did completely, by his active and passive obedience to it.
He fulfilled every jot and tittle of the perceptive part of the law, which required a holy nature and perfect obedience, both which were found in him. He bore the whole penalty of the law, in the room and stead of his people, all its exactions, requirements and demands were answered by him; all its severities were executed on him; he was not spared or abated any thing, and hereby he magnified the law, and made it honorable.
He indeed freed his people from the curse and condemnation of it; but has not either abolished or relaxed it, but keeps it in his own hands as a rule of life and conversation to them, and has left it in its full mandatory, cursing and damning power over others without the least mitigation, relaxation, or infringement of it. Moreover the gospel is no new law, it: is no law at all, there is nothing in it that looks like a law, it is called (Acts 20:24), The gospel of the grace of God; because it is a discovery of the exceeding riches of God’s grace in his kindness to lost man, through Jesus Christ It is called the gospel of our salvation, because it reveals the Savior, it gives an account of his person, office, and grace, and of the great salvation he has wrought out; and points out the persons who shall share in it, and be everlasting possessors of it, as the word euggelion itself translated, gospel, signifies good news, or glad tidings. Now what is there either in the name, or thing, that looks like a law.
The gospel is no other than a pure promise, a free declaration of peace and pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation to poor sinners by Jesus Christ. The sum and substance of it is, that this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).” – John Gill