Every Sunday after I give the Lord’s commission to His covenant people (this month from Acts 1:8) I tell them to live according to the commands of the gospel. This would appear to be an unthinkable dichotomy in some Reformed circles. How can one obey the gospel? Law and Grace are to be treated separately. Some would say: “Law condemns,” but “Grace Saves.” There is no obedience involved in the gospel, but only the mercy of God poured out to sinners. Some would even trace this thinking back to the Reformers. It is true that Luther viewed this distinction clearly. But for those in the Reformed side of the tradition (The Calvinian branch), we see a very different picture displayed. In preparing for my sermon on John 10 this coming Lord’s Day, I came across Calvin’s brief observation on John 10:14. He says the following:
But it means also that he utterly disregards all who do not obey the Gospel, as he repeats in the second clause, and confirms what he had formerly said, that — on the other hand — he is known by the sheep.
This may be a difficult sentence to understand, but Calvin’s point is still clear. The great shepherd disregards those who do not obey the gospel. Here we have obedience and gospel brought together.