Sunday, July 10, 2011

Legalism and License

Just finished listening to a sermon by Chuck Swindoll from his 4th of July service.  His subject was freedom in Christ, and he used the circumcision issue in the early Church to suggest that we don't need to let legalists tell us how to live our lives... That there is nothing we need to do to compliment the free gift of salvation... Not baptism, not nothin'... except possibly attending Church... and maybe financially supporting radio ministries.  (Ok, he didn't say that)

So we believe and are saved, and that's that.  What a legalist Paul was to suggest that we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling!  Legalist!   Jerk!  Why fear?  Why tremble?  Don't need to!  We're saved by grace! 

If the Apostle Paul went to Sodom and Gomorrah his message would not be about grace.  He would tell them to believe on Christ, come out, and be separate... Which is the same message he would have for the Church in the United States.  Paul would not be shocked by our culture.  He would be shocked by the extent to which believers embrace it... And willingly pollute themselves with it.

There are too many believers that call themselves the Bride of Christ, that have never actually made the commitment.  They date Jesus on Sundays, but crawl into the world's bed the rest of the week.

Swindoll would be calling me a legalist about now.


Delta said...

You liberal!

Uh, no, wrong word. Oh! I got it! You libertarian! No...wrong again. Wait a minute. AH! Now I've gotten it!



Grammy said...

Okay, now I'm confused...are we allowed to dance or not???

Oh, this is treacherous territory. I don't bellieve that my good works, no matter how many or how sacrificial and life-changing they may be earn me the right to go to heaven. That's like telling Jesus there was no need for all that dying on the cross business for me. I can manage on my own. I am a sinner who has no hope but to be saved by the grace of God through the blood of Christ. My good works are filthy rags. On the other hand, living a smugly satisfied and worldly life and counting on just pleading the blood of Jesus over our shortcomings like some magic wand seems unthinkable. This is the problem I have with going around decalring people saved or unsaved and here's where the fear and trembling comes in for me. Somehow works are a reflection of what you love. I think we need to look fearfully into the mirror of our works (lifestyle) and think humbly about what is reflected. At the heart of it we most need to pray to love Jesus more. That's what we fundamentally lack...we just don't love him enough. I know that the reason Mother Teresa abandoned herself to her works of charity was that she was madly in love with Jesus. That was always the reason she gave.

And let's not even get started on the whole business of election.

Malott said...


Well said.

Because we are the "rich" of the world, I think it's very, very important to seek the heart of God in all matters.

It's no sin to be rich, but it lays a thousand traps for us... worldliness, independence, pride, arrogance... materialism.

Characteristics of the Bride of Christ:
1) She wants to be a beautiful Bride... A life of purity, meaning the world is not mixed in.
2) Rich Prayer Life... We talk to those we love.
3) Hunger for scripture... Hunger is the perfect word choice here.
4) Dead to this world... Any interest is filtered through and seasoned by Bridegroom.

I'm sure there are more.