Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Legalism Gets So In The Way...

...It Impedes The Best Kind Of Fishing!

Are you totally liberated from legalistic weirdness? Do you feel that you are better than others due to your adherence to rules? Do you attempted to earn points or still try to maintain righteousness in your life (Christian) by strictly conforming to the letter of the law... rather than to the Spirit of the law...or do you desire an enjoyable loving relationship with God and people more than with the cold written code?

Rules maniawhat a drag a life like that would be! Now of course you won't find the word legalism in the Bible at all. It is a term that Christians use to describe a doctrinal position where saints (or sinners) overemphasize a system of rules and regulations in both achieving salvation (which is impossible to do—no one can earn it) and spiritual growth ..or what I would call, maintaining their own righteousness by force. Legalists believe that a very strict literal adherence to rules and regulations is what God demands in order for them to gain righteousness. Legalism, is a doctrinal position that is essentially opposed to God's grace. And those who hold to this position fail to see the very purpose for which the law, especially God's Top Ten List (the Old Testament's Law of Moses), was even given—it's to be our "schoolmaster" or "tutor" if you will, to point us to Christ the ultimate Solution (the Bible Jesus) in order that we will repent and start an ongoing loving relationship with our Father God by faith. Yes, it's to be a grace thing, instead of a passion for cold impractical rules and regulations. The Bible says this:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24).

"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Gal. 3:25).

Listen, it's possible to graduate from this school and mature spiritually leaning on the Lord. Did you know that God devoted an entire book of the Bible to fiercely combating legalism? Did you know that Paul called legalism "a different gospel"? Legalism is trying to attain or maintain your own righteousness with God by weak human efforts but...

"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Gal. 5:4).

It's simply not doable, being justified by the law. God's promises are true and you must be born again to enjoy all that He has for you. You must fully trust in Christ alone for your right standing with God …as you go the full distance with Jesus as Lord.

Christians can then walk in freedom by holding fast to Him and to the Scriptures, yes to what the Apostle John said, "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17).

"To this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Cor. 3:15-17).

Is your heart is full of bitterness towards others along with disrespect or maybe filled with self-condemnation? Could it be that you have been going about living the Christian life all wrong? Check yourself to see if you are really in Christ. God loves legalists, but He hates legalism. Please come to Him on His terms instead of your own and be set free so that He can make you into the effective witnessing person—the gracious fisher of men and of women that He has always intended for you to become. Let Him do the work in and through you!

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