Thursday, December 01, 2005

Legalism

I'm sad to say that the church is getting away from the teaching of obedience. By calling it "legalism" pastors are preaching against God's law as a prescription for how to govern our lives. We are under grace it's true, but that does not take away from our Lord's teachings:

Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. Ex 12:24

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Ex. 19:5

The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. Deut 6:24

...be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today. Deut. 11:32

Be care to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you. Josh 1:7

And there are dozens more at least.

And lest you say, that's just the old testament. Jesus says:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matt 28:19-20

Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. Luke 11:28

If you love me, you will obey what I command. Joh 14:15

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. John 14:21

It is clear to me that even though Christ paid for our sins, we are still required to obey the law. We do know that we are not ever going to be capable of keeping the law in its entirety while on this earth, but that does not mean that we should give up trying. As pastors today forego the Westminster Confessions teachings in the nineteenth chapter, they will say that the laws only purpose is as a mirror, and not as a moral standard to guide our lives, and not as a means to restrain the wickedness of all man. We are freed from the curse of the law, but not of the duty to God to obey.

People today, even Christians, treat God's law as a burden to obey, but have completely forgotten the blessings that come with obeying Him. Throughout His Word He teaches of the joy of the law, of the blessings that He pours out on those that obey Him. In the law we see the perfection of His character and also the perfection of what life could be. We don't just obey God because we are grateful that He saved us, all that's part of it, but we also obey because it is the best way, the perfect way, the only way that we should live.

VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of
the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing and
enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of
God, revealed in the law, requires to be done.

5 comments:

Kristen said...

Amen! Wonderful post!!

Moms4Psalms said...

AMEN and AMEN!

We obey out of love for Him. Not to gain salvation, but because WE LOVE HIM! :o)

Lori said...

Yay! I love how the Christian blogosphere seems to always work together in themes. I completely agree.

Duchess of Fife said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies!

Lori, glad you dropped by! I'm way behind in emails, but we'll have to compare Scotland notes some day. I remember wearing my wool sweater and cuddling up next to my oven to stay warm - in JULY!

TulipGirl said...

And yet. . . we are completely dependent upon God's grace to live in obedience.

That's one of the common prayers in our home. One of my children will sin against another. We walk through repentence to the Lord. Making it right with a brother. And praying for grace to obey.

Legalism easily creeps in when we become confident that we can obey and do the "right" things apart from the Holy Spirit enabling us to do so.

We can't obey without grace.