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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Legalism

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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2012
Joplin, Missouri


a-servant: Tit 2:11-14
(11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
(12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
(13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
(14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

You are right. There are those who have taken the terms grace and freedom and used them as a cloak for a licentious lifestyle.

Jud 1:4
(4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

But these men, as far as I can tell, have not truly partaken of the grace and love of God. If I have truly partaken of God's grace, if I have truly received a revelation of His love for me, and if I have truly experienced freedom in Christ, then I will love Him and desire to do His will.

The first definition of legalism that I referred to is often used by those who want to take advantage of the grace of God in order to follow their own desires. But that is like a person shoplifting, and on the way out the door calling me a legalist as I stand in line to pay for my purchase.

If we really experience the grace, forgiveness, joy, peace, and freedom that comes from Christ, we will be forever changed and our heart will be to follow the Lamb wherever He goes.


 2012/6/23 11:58Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435



I was talking with a sister about what you wrote, and she said this is the key to all:

1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

1) these that received him,

2) to them gave he power

3) to become the sons of God

'Become' means 'not yet', born-again is just the beginning of a relationship for those that at that time received him

Now power is given to them

That power has a purpose and a direction

and that purpose is to become the sons of God

 2012/6/24 19:08Profile

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


dear aservant, when did Jesus give us power to become the sons of God?when He went to the cross is my answer and as we believe into Him we are born again. do a word study on john 3 15,16 and you will find out that we do not brlieve on or in but into Jesus.jimp

 2012/6/24 19:57Profile

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3708


John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

You have to be born of God by the incorruptable Seed of the Father, which is Jesus Christ the living Word. The power comes with the gift of the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ by His Spirit that dwells in us forever with the Holy Spirit Comforter Teacher. Power comes with the birthing, He is the only One that has the power of life and death, also in His own life the same power of resurrection.

oh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

This is the same power of life in Christ as when we are crucified with Christ and yet we live by the power of His resurrected Spirit that now lives in us.

Becoming sons of God by Grace upon Grace, Faith to Faith, by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ taught by the Holy Spirit learning precept upon precept the word line upon line. This is the power of Jesus Christ given Him by His Father to give to us to fulfill the Word of God.

Colossians 1:25-29 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

IN Christ: Phillip


 2012/6/25 5:07Profile

Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4807


a-servant wrote:

" Basically we are self-sufficient, and would never give up our own understanding, which is the part in us that terms the word 'legalism', instead of trusting only the God of the Bible, that not only does not use that term, but introduces His understanding of the whole subject to us."

This is true. How can we learn to love unless we submit to the Holy Spirit? How can we know the mercy of God unless we ourselves, through experiencing His chastening, show mercy to one another? How can we extend grace unless we first have through the Spirit put to death the flesh?

A legalist is one who, in his mind knows the law of God, but has not found the way to satisfy the law of God. Thus a legalist develops a spirit of condemnation and not love.

Jeff Marshalek

 2012/6/25 7:14Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5863


One of the best illustrations regarding legalism I have ever read or heard, from Chuck Smiths' "Why Grace Changes Everything."

"Those who have read the classics are probably familiar with the story of Ulysses. During his travels, this ancient adventurer heard stories of the island of the
sirens - deadly enchantresses who made such beautiful music that any sailors passing by would turn their ships toward shore and be dashed upon the rocks. No one had ever heard the song of these sirens and lived. This sounded like a worthy challenge to a daring man like Ulysses. He decided to become the first to
hear this music and survive.

In order to achieve his goal, Ulysses put wax in the ears of his crew and instructed his men to tie him securely to the ship's mast. As they rowed past the island of the sirens, the seductive music began. Ulysses began to strain against the ropes, struggling to get loose so he could swim to shore. He cursed at his sailors to turn the boat toward the rocks, but the wax prevented them from
hearing his cries. Ulysses continued to fight against his bonds until the ship moved out of range and into safety. Ulysses had heard the song of the sirens and lived - yet ever after he was haunted by the memory of the beguiling music.

Greek myths also tell of another ship that passed this island and yet survived. As its crew was being drawn by the deadly melody to disaster on the shoals, a gifted man on board named Orpheus grabbed a lyre and began to play. The music of Orpheus so far surpassed that of the sirens that the men turned away from the rocks and sailed to safety, enraptured by these new, exquisite melodies
that gave life.

When we face the pull of temptation, most of us can relate to either Ulysses or Orpheus. For some, the siren song of the world has an almost irresistible attraction. They find themselves bound in place by the law, yet struggling
against the rules when enticed by the power of the flesh. Their only hope is in the law that holds them back.
The joy of oneness in Christ far surpasses anything the world or the flesh can offer.

But there are those who have heard a new song - the music of heaven in their hearts. They discover that the love of Jesus Christ is so strong and satisfying that, although the world is still attractive, they gladly leave it behind so they may be powerfully drawn into His beautiful presence. They don't have to be tied or bound. They aren't struggling against restricting ropes. They have discovered
the glory of walking with God in intimate fellowship.

The joy of such oneness in Christ far surpasses anything the world or the flesh can offer. The allure and attraction of sin has lost its power. Those who have
discovered this kind of fulfillment don't need laws. Instead of slavishly following a regulation that says, "Now, don't bash your neighbor's head in!" they have no desire to do so because their heart has been touched by the love of God. They simply want to see their neighbor saved."


 2012/6/25 15:40Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


Obviously the best of our understanding is only worth anything, if we can agree with Paul on his humble standing in the new creation that made him say things like:

"I'm still walking in the process" - and don't regard myself as arrived yet, or I will be in danger of falling away quickly, all paraphrased form the original:

Philippians 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

So 'to become' means in other words : "we may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus"

"may" - let's do a word study on that, and be convinced that the result will be the exact meaning of the author's intention to speak truth, and nothing but the truth.

Philippians 3:16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

 2012/6/25 19:09Profile

Joined: 2009/7/1
Posts: 75

 Re: Legalism

I find the original post comforting. Legalism was the very sin I had to confess to when the Spirit worked on me, and that enabled me to fly to Christ. It's much better to come out and admit your filth than try to whitewash it and have the tombstone removed before the bar of God when it is too late.

 2012/6/25 19:34Profile

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