Saturday, 7 March 2009

Blinded by the Light 4 Legalism - The Solution

We have already quoted James' comment about the word of God being a mirror (James 1:23-25). We need to go back continuously to looking in that mirror. We need to remind ourselves who we are and where we stand in Christ, so that we will not forget. Paul urged the Galatians:

It is for freedom then that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal.5:1)

Paul qualified, if anyone did, for worthiness by the works he did. He described himself as "a Hebrew of Hebrews" and "as for legalistic righteousness, faultless." (Philip.3:3,5) And yet, once he discovered grace, he realised that it was all worthless.

I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ. (Philip.3:8-9)

James talked about faith and deeds, but put them in the right perspective:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? (James 2:14)

The kind of faith which saves, is the kind that produces the deeds. In other words, the things you do are the result of your faith, not the cause of it. We should remember that "God looks on the heart" (1 Sam.16:7). He does not need us to prove anything to him.

If we are bound up in "doing the right things", it is not the things we do that need to change, but our attitude. We need to understand with out hearts and not just our heads. For example:
  • We have "every spiritual blessing in Christ"
  • We are "holy and blameless in his sight"
  • We are "adopted as his sons"
  • We have "redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us"
  • The Holy Spirit is "a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.
There is an old saying: "There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more, and there is nothing you can do that will make God love you any less." Try reading, Ephesians, Galatians, and Romans chapters 6, 7 & 8. Then act on that!

Previous posts in this series:
Legalism: The Truth, The Trap
Further posts to come in this series:
Magic Formulas: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Answers to Everything: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Scripture Twisting: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Superstition: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Elitism: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
The Need to See: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution

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