Can the Rule of Faith and the Gospel Coexist?

July 17, 2023

There is a temptation, I argue, among contemporary evangelists and theologians alike to dispel the need to introduce the Rule of Faith or the Law of God as prescribed in the Ten Commandments in association with the Gospel. The argument is that the Rule of Faith will stifle or, worse, impede the progression of an individual’s journey toward Christ and thus inhibit his ability to form a relationship with him. If the premise of evangelizing is only to develop a friendship with Jesus Christ and others, the argument against the Rule of Faith may hold. However, the intentions of many evangelical collaborators, especially those who espouse a synodal-praxis mindset, as we have witnessed with the German Synod, prefer to separate the Gospel from the Deposit of Faith of Jesus Christ.  

The basis of this separation can be explained in a myriad of ways. Still, an underlying current in this malaise of evangelical experimentation is the disdain for anything that prescribes spiritual and moral accountability of the human senses. The book of Deuteronomy reminds us of the importance of aligning our minds to the Rule of Faith-the Law of God:

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to work in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and the statutes of the Lord, which I command you this day for your good.[1]

The Fidelity of the Gospel

Scripture reminds us that God loves us and wants our good.[2] God’s love, as expressed and further realized through his only-begotten son Jesus Christ unveils an essential mandate for all of us to carry our cross in the name of Jesus. Any semblance of an evangelization process that does not propose to remain faithful to the actual content of the Gospel-the Deposit of Faith and Morals is nothing more than the vacuum of social pleasantries that arguably does not remotely foster a sense of genuine conversion and trust toward developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.

The initial proclamation of the Gospel requires a delivery of the Gospel message that God sent his only-begotten son to rescue us from the peril of sin and death and allow us to believe in the Son of God and be united with him in heaven for all eternity. Fidelity of the Gospel seeks a dialogue of love between us and God the Father. The Rule of Faith is rooted in the dialogue of love, which exemplifies a dialogue of love between a Father and his children who desires that his children come to the knowledge of the truth.

The Salvation of Souls

The truth of evangelization is the proclamation of Jesus Christ crucified for the salvation of souls. This means we are called to put in the mind of Christ[3] by rejecting sin with the assistance of the sacrament of reconciliation and turn toward the ends of the evangelization process, which is a total surrender to the will of God where all that is desired is my final resting state with God in heaven.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. If man exists, it is because God has created him through love, and love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.[4]

The Rule of Faith and the Gospel are intimately bound together to form a symphony of faith whose aim is the salvation of souls. The Word of God demonstrates his love for us through the rule of faith as revealed in the Old Testament and brought to completion with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, dying on the Cross for our own salvation with God the Father. Can the Rule of Faith and the Gospel coexist? The simple answer is yes, just as man and woman coexist in the sacrament of holy matrimony, nature builds on grace, and faith is at the service of reason, where reason expresses the nature of faith.

“Conversion requires convincing of sin, it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being proof of the action of the Spirit of Truth in man’s inmost being, becomes at the same time the start of a new grant of grace and love.”

St. John Paul II, DeV 31; CCC 1848



[1] Deut 10:12-13

[2] Jeremiah 12

[3] Phil 2:5

[4] CCC 27

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