Monday, December 3, 2007

Legalism

1. Strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, esp. to the letter rather than the spirit.
2.
Theology.
a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.

Romans 6

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Matthew 23

24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Romans 2:11-13

11For God does not show favoritism.
12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.


Right now my thoughts, like this entry, are random and not put together as well as I would like. I would have liked to have them all put together before I started writing but I have a feeling they will only come together as I start to write.
I have been thinking about the word "legalistic" because a lot of people who went to a church that I did and went through a break-up of that church as I did like to describe the church that way. They will admit that they were legalistic but I think they blame it on the church. I also think that many of them have tried to put themselves so far from that label that everything they do is "justified by grace" now.
Sight has been lost of the fact that although we are not under the Old Testament law where we are required to sacrifice animals or law where men are required to cut their beards just so we are under law that God never abolished when he saved us by sacrificing his son.
We are under that law because that law was given to show that we are sinners. We do not need to follow the law to go to heaven because then we would follow it by letter only. We follow it to please God but only because we know it pleases him and he has our best in mind. We will not lose our salvation because we gained it by faith and by grace, but grace and faith do not abolish the law. It is still there and if it is there to show us our sin it must be something that is written in our hearts when we are saved and something that we should follow.
I write this because I see so many situations that are justified now because we feel that God does not want us to be miserable. Murder, stealing, adultery, lying. They are justified so easily but we cringe to call them by their name because we know they are wrong. They become unrecognizable to us because we have told ourselves that is not what they are. This situation is different.

http://www.pluggedinonline.com/discernment/a0001825.cfm

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