Summary: How to defeat legalism
Good News- the end of rules
Religions the world over have one thing in common: rules
If we are honest rules both attract us with their ability to give us certainty about what we should do and repel us because we find they put limits on us which these bodies cry out to have removed.
To many people Christianity is just another religion with its on set of ’Thou shalt nots’ Paul seems to have another view altogether........
Gal 2:16 we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
2:19. -3:5 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain’if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith
Gal 3:10-14 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ’Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ’The righteous shall live by faith.’ But the law is not of faith, rather ’The one who does them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us’for it is written, ’Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’’ so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
3:21-27 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
TODAYS TALK IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL AS IT IS THE SAME BATTLEGROUND ON WHICH THAT EVERY HERESY AND EVERY FALSE RELIGION FIGHTS
IN ESSENSE THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO LIVE- ONE to AIM TO PLEASE GOD BY KEEPING RULES, THE SECOND IS TO COME TO HIM WITH EMPTY HANDS WITH NOTHING TO BRING BUT OUR NEEDINESS AND SIN.
Many a person is at least partially rellying on their own ability to use our obedience to rules to impress God. We feel at times that we can say ’well done’ pat ourselves on the back and feel that God is well pleased with us.
At other times we feel condemned......
There is a bible word for this depending on our own obedience to God to make us acceptable to him- legalism
Legalism KILLs us ’ we can be legalistic towards each other only accepting people who somehow ’fit in’ and obey all the rules that we have set for ourselves.
Legalism needs to be attacked in the strongest possible terms- as it is a persistent foe.