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Summary: The Holy Spirit helps us realize that a person living according to a lawful orientation is always looking for guidelines by which everyone’s actions can be regulated. A person living by Christ’s graceful attitude looks to the Spirit and the word of God fo

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Grace Living Lessens Legalism

Galatians 2:16 "Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law but only through faith and absolute reliance to trust in Jesus the Anointed One. Therefore, even we ourselves believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law or by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses because keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified declared righteous and put in right standing with God." (Amplified)

Illustration:

It helps us to understand if we consider His fatherly relationship with us. Leadership magazine tells the story of Rusty Stephens, a Navigators

director in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Rusty relates:

"As I feverishly pushed the lawn mower around our yard, I wondered if I’d finish before dinner. Mikey, our six year old, walked up and without even asking, stepped in front of me and placed his hands on the

mower handle. Knowing that he wanted to help me, I quit pushing. The mower quickly slowed to a stop. Chuckling inwardly at his struggles, I resisted the urge to say, ’Get out of here, kid. You’re in my way,’ and said instead, ’Here, son, I’ll help you.’ As I resumed pushing, I bowed my back, leaned forward, and walked spread-legged to avoid colliding

with Mikey. The grass cutting continued, but more slowly and less efficiently than before, because Mikey was ’helping’ me. Suddenly, tears came to my eyes as it hit me: This is the way my heavenly Father

allows me to ’help’ him build his kingdom! I pictured my heavenly Father at work seeking, saving, and transforming the lost, and there I was, with my weak hands, ’helping.’ My Father could do the work by

himself, but He doesn’t. He chooses to stoop graciously to allow me to co-labor with Him. Why? For my sake, because he wants me to have the privilege of ministering with him."

What a beautiful analogy! God has chosen to use us to help Him. Paul wrote, "We are God’s fellow workers" (1 Corinthians 3:9, NKJV).

1. LEGALISM RESTRICTS FREEDOM - The Holy Spirit helps us realize that a person living according to a lawful orientation is always looking for guidelines by which everyone’s actions can be regulated. A person living by Christ’s graceful attitude looks to the Spirit and the word of God for guidance. Ask the Lord to help you avoid trying to regulate peoples’ lives by more rules, regulations and procedural guidelines. Trust God’s Spirit to guide people through His mercy, grace and truth.

2. LEGALISM DISTORTS GOD’S GRACIOUSNESS - The Holy Spirit convicts people who are living by the law as they often are quick to judge others by their rigid standards. People living by grace leave real judgment up to the Lord’s sovereign wisdom. Ask the Lord to help you be less judgmental and more gracious, merciful and trusting of God’s judgments.

3. LEGALISM MANIFESTS UGLY PHARISAICAL THINKING - The Holy Spirit exposes people who are living by the law as they are often Pharisaical in their thinking, attitudes and actions. People living by grace realize that every good thing they have been given freely from the Lord so they are humble and contrite in heart. Ask the Lord to help you be more humble & contrite.


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