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Not long ago I wrote a blog on whether or not salvation was by works.  Of course, it is by faith.  Our works give evidence of our salvation.  They are incapable of producing or maintaining it.  However, in addition to the fact that there are preachers and parishioners out there who make it sound like we must earn our salvation, there are also those in churches who emphasize on works all the time.  Much is made of the blatant liberalism that is invading Christianity, and rightly so.  However, legalism is just as bad in its own way.  Notice here what Paul had to say to those who were Judaizers—religious folks who were trying to force the observance of certain Jewish ceremonial laws on people who had been set free through Christian salvation:



Galatians 1:6-9:  I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have be received, let him be accursed.

What is happening in legalistic churches may not be quite this serious, but these dos-and don’ts cathedrals are still pushing a very poisonous and destructive form of Christianity upon their congregations and upon each other.  Things such as : “You have to read x number of chapters of the Bible each day or you aren’t reading it enough to please God.  If you dance, wear pants if you’re a woman, or go to a movie you are going to bust hell wide open.  If you don’t tithe you’re robbing God.  You have to believe in and practice sinless perfection or you’re a casual, carnal Christian.  If you aren’t in church every time the doors are open, you’re backsliding.  If you don’t speak in tongues you aren’t saved.  You had better pray x number of hours a day every day or else you’ll never hear from God.  Don’t dress casually, wear your Sunday best if you expect God to be pleased to see you in His house.  If you work Sundays you are compromising with the world even if you cannot get out of it without being fired.  If you’re too fat or too thin you’ll forfeit your salvation and go to hell.  If you don’t witness or quote Scriptures every time you open your mouth you’re denying your Lord and Savior.  If you forget to confess one single sin you’re going to hell.”

And on it goes.  Well, this whole line of thinking can go straight to hell because it is not Biblical!  The bondage legalism brings is unconscionable, especially upon brothers and sisters who are weak in the faith.  Remember this:

John 8:32,36:  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Romans 8:1, 14-15:  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Do not let legalistic believers add burdens to you that we as Christians were never meant to carry.  Rejoice in the freedom that Jesus brings to us.  Live guided by the Holy Spirit, not by a long list of dos-and-don’ts.  If you are guided by the Spirit, you will live and grow in Christ the way that God wants you to.  We do not go back to the Law.  Instead, we go forward in the liberty of Christ!

One Response

  1. Amen! There is now a “New Law” for those in Christ! It is called the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”! (Romans 8:2). This is the “Law” that believers are now under! 🙂