Dr. Law and Dr. Grace

September 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Bible Studies, Biblical Doctoring, Romans, Salvation | 14 Comments
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Two of my favorite sermons of all time are Payday Someday by R. G. Lee and Dr. Law and Dr. Grace by Lester Roloff. Once I used Dr. Law and Dr. Grace for a Sunday School lesson, and I modified it a little. I’m going to present “my” version of it here, without any claim of originality whatsoever. For any part of it that is helpful, all the credit must go to Brother Roloff. For any part of it that is incorrect or unhelpful, all the blame must go to me.

Dr. Law and Dr. Grace is the story of two doctors. These doctors are very unusual. They are unusual for two reasons: (1) They never make a mistake when they diagnose a patient; (2) they never charge any of their patients any money. Despite these remarkable facts, however, most people still flat-out refuse to go to them for help.

Here is a prospective patient: He has read in the Bible that there is none righteousness, no not one, and none that really knowingly seeks after God. (Romans 3:10-11) But he knows something is wrong with him because of his symptoms, his condition, and his behavior.

So he goes to see Dr. Law. Dr. Law is always in his office. He is already waiting for this patient. There is no one else waiting to see him. The patient starts to tell Dr. Law about the signs and symptoms of his illness, but Dr. Law says he does not need the patient’s help to make a diagnosis. The patient is surprised that Dr. Law thinks he can make a diagnosis without any input from the patient, but Dr. Law says that he doesn’t “think” he can make a diagnosis – he already knows what the problem is: The patient has a heart problem.

The patient tries to argue: “But, Doctor,” he says, “I’m having trouble with my hands: They want to fight, and click the mouse on my computer at the wrong times, and point my fingers at other people who are having problems.”

“No,” says Dr. Law, “the problem is your heart.”

The patient objects: “It’s my eyes – they want to look at things I shouldn’t be looking at.”

“No,” says Dr. Law, “it’s your heart that has a problem.”

The patients pleads, “What about my tongue? I accidentally mashed my thumb the other day, and my tongue started cursing. My tongue always wants to be sarcastic and put folks in their place, and it is constantly trying to set forth all my own personal opinions.”

“No,” says Dr. Law, “the problem is with your heart.”

The patient says, “It’s my ears – the things they like to hear! It’s my feet – the places they want to go!”

“No, son,” says Dr. Law, “you’ve got heart trouble.”

The patient, exasperated, demands, “I need you to recommend another doctor for a second opinion.”

Dr. Law says, “There’s only one other doctor I would ever recommend for you, and since you won’t admit it’s your heart, it won’t do you any good to see him.”

So the patient sets out to find another doctor on his own, and he finds one: Dr. Vain Religion.

Dr. Vain Religion looks exactly the way a doctor is supposed to look, and a part of the patient somehow just likes him right away. The patient tells this new doctor that he has already been to see Dr. Law.

Dr. Vain Religion says, “Ah, Dr. Law’s too old. He doesn’t know the modern ways. He’s confused about the method and the message. He hasn’t attended the same doctors’ seminars that I have.”

The patient agrees. He did not like Dr. Law, either.

Dr. Vain Religion examines the patient and he says there’s nothing seriously wrong. He recommends that the patient go to church. He also recommends that the patient get baptized, join the church, get a job at the church, and start helping others.

The patient is willing to do these things, and in fact he does. However, none of this helps. The patient gets tired doing these things. He gets weary, and his symptoms keep coming back. He winds up getting extremely frustrated, and, in despair, at his wits’ end, he goes back to see Dr. Law.

Dr. Law’s diagnosis hasn’t changed, but the patient asks him what he recommends, and he says: a new heart. This is a big problem. Dr. Law recommends a new heart, which requires a surgical operation, but Dr. Law does not operate.

“Great,” says the patient, “what you’re telling me is that I require surgery but you won’t perform surgery! Doesn’t that mean I have to die?”

Dr. Law says, “As far as I’m concerned you do, but I just make the diagnosis.” Then he takes the patient by the hand and leads him through a door to another office, and introduces him to Dr. Grace.

Just like Dr. Law had been, Dr. Grace seems to be waiting for this particular patient. Just like Dr. Law, Dr. Grace does not charge any money. There is a world of difference, though, in their bedside manners. Dr. Grace is warmly welcoming. He beckons the patient to come into his office. He is extremely glad to see this patient.

Dr. Grace tells him that all his first-time patients have the same trouble: they all need new hearts.

The patient is still nervous and scared. “Is there anyone else who can assist you in helping me, Dr. Grace?” he asks. “Do you have a nurse? Can I call my wife, or my best friend?”

“No, son,” says Dr. Grace, “this is a personal matter, just between you and me. You can tell your wife and friends about it later.”

“I’m not an idiot,” says the patient to Dr. Grace. “There is no way this is going to be free.”

“I don’t want to mislead you,” says Dr. Grace. “The visit and the consultation are free, but the operation costs a great deal. However – someone else has already paid for it.”

So, by faith, the patient lies down on the table, with no anesthetic, and he submits to the operation. For the first time he sees his old heart the way it really is. It’s rotten and black. It looks terrible and smells even worse. Out it comes, and in goes the new heart!

This new heart is pure and clean, and the patient feels a new flow of life. After the surgery, Dr. Grace tells the patient that no follow-up procedure will be necessary. The operation was successful and permanent! He does however recommend some exercises: some kneeling, some lifting up of holy hands in love, some walks through the community, knocking on doors, some exercise of the vocal chords in praise.

Before leaving, the patient gets to meet the Friend Who had paid for his operation. This Friend has nail scars in His hands. He has a spear-pierced side.

The patient goes back to thank Dr. Law. After all, Dr. Law had been stern and obstinate, but he had helped to save the patient’s life. This time, Dr. Law looks different. The patient realizes that he will always love Dr. Law for leading him to Dr. Grace, and for helping him meet the Friend Who paid for his operation: the Friend Who was really responsible for giving him a new, clean, pure heart.

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  1. […] Lester Roloff, before he would begin a sermon, would sometimes sing along with some of the young ladies whom God had used him to rescue from lives of addiction and immorality. In one song, he liked to remind people of the seriousness of our spiritual warfare. […]

  2. […] The Law can not change us. Nobody can deny that the Law is holy and good and just, because it came from the holy God. The Law is good, because it reveals God’s holiness and our unholiness – our sinfulness. But the Law cannot cure us – it makes the diagnosis. […]

  3. […] most serious kinds of heart surgery are not easy to perform. The skin has to be slit open; the rib cage cracked open; the organs sorted […]

  4. […] Grace through Faith 4. Six Thoughts which Remind Us that We Cannot Achieve Righteousness on Our Own 5. Dr. Law and Dr. Grace(*) 6. The Paycheck You Don’t Want To Receive 7. The True Jewish Justification 8. It’s […]

  5. […] Not the Least – Part 2 26. The Last but Not the Least – Part 3 27. Tips for Teachers 28. Dr. Law and Dr. Grace 29. Healing for Truly Broken Hearts 30. The Husband of One Wife – Part 1 31. The Husband of […]

  6. […] does say that a merry heart can be like medicine, but sometimes we need to experience sorrow to diagnose our true […]

  7. […] an example: Pretend you are in the doctor’s office. You have been there many times before – for checkups and for minor treatments. Usually it is […]

  8. […] only slightly. However, if the doctor told me my heart was about to stop working, and without a new one I would die, and them someone gave me his heart so I could live, I don’t think I could stop […]

  9. […] Call 5. The Great Physician 6. Two “Right” Feet 7. The Remedy for Mood Swings 8. Diverting the Flow of the Word 9. Dr. Law and Dr. Grace (*) 10. The […]

  10. […] relishes the thought of a trip to the doctor which culminates in the pronouncement, “You have X amount of time left to live.” Adam […]

  11. […] commands. If a society bases it’s laws on the Ten Commandments, that society will not be holy, because society is made up of sinners. But that society will have a government where it is safer to preach the […]

  12. […] were born with can produce only sin and evil. When we trust Christ, He removes the old heart, and replaces it with a new heart, from which can flow God-pleasing […]

  13. […] a part in your own growth. Be intentional about “eating” (hearing the Word). Get some “exercise” (get involved in ministry in your local […]

  14. […] Jesus was talking about a water-Spirit birth – at once cleansing and giving new life, a true heart transplant surgery with antiseptic poured in – eternal antiseptic which eternally prevents […]


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