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The Rough Outline

26 August 2011 by Frank Turk

The difference which the Apostle makes between the Law and the Gospel is this: under the Law was a very rough outline versus what, under the Gospel, is very clear and colorful. So he says again that the Law was not useless, nor its ceremonies not worth anything. Because although the artist was not yet finished with the picture, so to speak, the picture sketched was still of great benefit to the fathers of our faith -- but our condition is better still. And remember: the things they only saw on the horizon, at a distance, are the things we get to see up close. The same righteousness, sanctification, and salvation of Christ is seen by both; and the difference only is in the manner of God's method of painting the picture.

I agree that the kingdom of Christ, which is now present with us, was then announced as the future; but the Apostle’s words mean that we still have a lively image of future blessings. He understands that the full harvest of that blessing is delayed until to the resurrection and the future world.

-- Commentary on Hebrews, 10:1