During a conservation with a Deacon of a Baptist church recently, the topic of legalism came up. He said legalism was hurting the church and I agree. That’s a simple observation of a major problem among Christians and major denominations. Let’s take a look.
What is legalism?
“Legalism refers to any doctrine which states salvation comes strictly from adherence to the law. It can be thought of as a works-based religion. Groups in the New Testament said to be falling into this category include the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Judaizers, and Nicolaitans.“
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Matt Slick from CARM does an excellent article on the forms of legalism in Christianity. In part he points out: “In Christianity, legalism is the excessive and improper use of the law (10 commandments, holiness laws, etc). This legalism can take different forms. The first is where a person attempts to keep the Law in order to attain salvation. The second is where a person keeps the law in order to maintain his salvation. The third is when a Christian judges other Christians for not keeping certain codes of conduct that he thinks need to be observed….(Read more)
He points out the obvious behaviors that the Bible speaks clearly of such as pornography, adultery, lying and fornication. Even soothsayers and witchcraft.
This past few months I have seen Christian after Christian attacked by Christians. Those who worship on Sunday are attacked by several denominations. Those who eat pork are attacked by those who don’t. Those who choose to celebrate Christmas or Easter are attacked by those who don’t. Even pronunciations of hell and damnation to those who are different about legal issues or worship different. Name calling and damnation does nothing to promote Christ or our purpose to make disciples of all. In fact the heathen, the pagans and all other religions are laughing and mocking us. Time to understand. Watch:
I am not a teacher, preacher or theologian my blog is about warning and that is what this post is about. We were warned against legalism and judging others based on law and not faith. It’s time to understand the freedoms Christ gave us when he said “Come to me all you who are heavy laden. For my yolk is easy and my burden light. ”
We don’t have time to divide we are living in dangerous times. Satan and the antichrist just loves to divide the body of Christ. Rebuke him.
“What I say to one I say to all, watch. “