Summary: We have been looking at what in means to be Bold in the spirit as christians . Last week we considered Boldly Seeking The Kingdom. This weeek we will look at being Bold concerning Liberty. This bring up two extreme positions. These positions are not new t
LICENSE AND LEGALISM
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. "
We have been looking at what in means to be Bold in the spirit as christians . Last week we considered Boldly Seeking The Kingdom. This weeek we will look at being Bold concerning Liberty. This bring up two extreme positions. These positions are not new they have existed since apostolic times. Each is critical of the other. Neither is biblically correct. Both are devastating to the cause of Christ. On the extreme right is legalism; while on the extreme left is license. There is between legalism and license the biblically correct position and that is liberty. Paul wrote to the church at Galatia to deal with this matter as the church at Galatia was caught up into the controversy.
I. Legalism – a mixing of faith and works
A. The Galatian Error - Legalism
1. Galatians 1:6 "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:"
2. Galatians 3:1 "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? "
3. Galatians 5:7 "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"
4. The church at Galatia had those who were guilty of mingling grace and works. They taught that in order for a person to be a Christian they had to believe in Christ by faith, but also had to submit to and observe the rituals and regulations of religion – i.e. circumcision, the Levitical Law. .
A. There are people (in churches) who do not want us to be free. They don’t want us to be free before God, accepted just as we are by his grace. They don’t want us to be free to express our faith originally and creatively in the world. They ... insist that all look alike, talk alike and act alike, thus validating one another’s worth. Without being aware of it we become anxious about what others will say about us, obsessively concerned about what others think we should do. We no longer live the good news but anxiously try to memorize and recite the script that someone else has assigned to us. We may be secure, but we will not be free. – Eugene Peterson.
B. Rigidity is the trademark of legalism, the archenemy of any church on the move. Let legalism have enough rope, and there will be a lynching of all new ideas, fresh thinking, and innovative programs. – Charles R. Swindoll (1934- )
C. Galatians 2:20-21 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."