Life in Christ
Savior God. It provides a teaching which endures for ever, like the
Word of God.
The Old Law is a
preparation for the Gospel.
“The Law is a
pedagogy and a prophecy of things to come.”
It prophesies and
presages the work of liberation from sin which will be fulfilled in
Christ: it provides the New Testament with images, “types,” and
symbols for expressing the life according to the Spirit. Finally, the
Law is completed by the teaching of the sapiential books and the
prophets which set its course toward the New Covenant and the
Kingdom of heaven.
There were . . . under the regimen of the Old Covenant,
people who possessed the charity and grace of the Holy
Spirit and longed above all for the spiritual and eternal
promises by which they were associated with the New Law.
Conversely, there exist carnal men under the NewCovenant,
still distanced from the perfection of the New Law: the fear
of punishment and certain temporal promises have been
necessary, even under the New Covenant, to incite them to
virtuous works. In any case, even though the Old Law
prescribed charity, it did not give the Holy Spirit, through
whom “God’s charity has been poured into our hearts.”
The New Law or the Law of the Gospel is the perfection
here on earth of the divine law, natural and revealed. It is the work
of Christ and is expressed particularly in the Sermon on the Mount.
It is also the work of the Holy Spirit and through him it becomes
the interior law of charity: “I will establish a New Covenant with
the house of Israel. . . . I will put my laws into their minds, andwrite
them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my
The New Law is the
grace of the Holy Spirit
given to the
faithful through faith in Christ. It works through charity; it uses the
Sermon on the Mount to teach us what must be done and makes
use of the sacraments to give us the grace to do it:
17 St. Irenæus,
4, 15, 1: PG 7/1, 1012.
18 St. Thomas Aquinas,
I-II, 107, 1
8:8, 10; cf.