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Sin and Legalism

Posted on November 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

First of all, I am a Gentile, not a Hebrew! Although I am “grafted” in, by the grace of God and His Christ, I am not a grafted-in “new Hebrew,” as much of organized Christianity claims, nor do I belong to any of the twelve tribes of Israel. I was not given the law at the mount, nor am I a partaker of the covenant that God made with Moses and Israel. I am, as Paul said, a “revealed son of God” in the dispensation, or “mystery,” that God has revealed to the powers in this age. I am a “new creation” in Christ, as Paul said! Why then would I want to place myself under the law that God gave to Moses and the Hebrews? God gave Moses the law to show His people how far they had fallen short of His glory. Read Leviticus and see how impossible it is for a mere human being to meet the righteous requirements of God by his or her own effort. Two thousand years later, when Christ gave the sermon on the mount, people were overwhelmed at His teaching. Why? Because, even with Christ’s coming fulfillment of the law, they couldn’t adhere or attain to his teaching: unconditional love (agape), faith in God, service to others, a personal relationship and trust in the Father! “The law came in that grace may abound even more.” This is why the law was given to the Hebrews. God wanted them dependent on Him, so He could be their God and they could be His people. God knew that humanity couldn’t observe the least of His laws without stumbling, as they most certainly did and still do! We should be aware of Leviticus, as well as all other scripture that reveals God’s righteousness and why He sent Jesus to die for us, but we should never allow that knowledge to turn us back to an existence that Christ died to set us free from!

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.” Galatians 3: 24

As believers, we are part of the “mystery” of this age, which is revealing the “manifold wisdom of God,” according to Paul. If we have been foreknown, chosen and called by God (Romans 8: 23 on), then we are beyond the drudgery of focusing on sin and the law. This is not to say that we should be cavalier about what God calls sin, as Paul said, “may it never be!” But our power to resist sin, unlike a Hebrew, comes from “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” I need only be diligent to turn (repent) from and confess my sins to God and brothers in Christ, and then fall on His grace, which covers all of my sins-past, present and future. Paul said, “Not looking back, I press on towards the goal and the prize of the upward call of Christ.” Here is our accountability before God: pressing on, trusting and believing, in faith, that “if God is for us, then no one can be against us.” “There is-therefore-now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Christ died once and for all of us and our sins and unrighteousness! To add any amendment to these scriptures is to deny Christ and his sacrifice.

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Galatians 2:21

I existed, for almost seventeen years, in a life entrapped by man’s religious doctrine. Much of this doctrine (not all), was legalistic, which only caused, in me, guilt, confusion, fear, anxiety, anger and a false sense of separation from God. I was always being confronted with my “sin-life” and made to feel helpless, because the person at the pulpit always seemed to have answers that didn’t respond to my questions about God, myself and salvation. The message, for all intents and purposes, from the pulpit of organized Christianity always contained the emphasis on self help and will, “You must overcome your sins or God will not be able to bless you!” I always thought to myself, “If I have to deliver myself from sin, then why was Jesus crucified and resurrected?” “If I’m responsible for my salvation and blessings from God, then I’m lost and Jesus died needlessly.”

“The powers, the principalities, the spiritual forces of wickedness and the rulers of this dark age, as Paul described the enemy, have done their job for almost seventeen hundred years. These contrary-to-God forces, have clouded the truth of the cross with the desires, fears and religious traditions of man. Most of this disruptive work has been accomplished, unfortunately, from inside the Body of Christ, and has taken the form of what Christ said he had come to fulfill.

“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years…” Galatians 4: 9-10

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5: 1

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” Galatians 5: 18

The bible tells us that we are made in God’s image-not the reverse! It also tells us that we are led by the Spirit (and therefore, not under law) who was sent to “lead us into all truth.” The scripture didn’t say man would lead us into all truth, but that the Spirit of God would! Organized religion, in order to maintain control and exist, must make God, to some degree, in the image that religious man believes he needs and desires. The major way (one of many) organized religion accomplishes this goal is through fear. What better tool to use than the sins (weakness) of the congregation and thus the threat of separation from God for all eternity, which is the complete opposite of the truth?

In God’s reality and truth, we are more than forgiven, we are justified in His eyes and not by our own works, good or bad, but by our faith in His Son, alone! The emphasis on sin (legalism), self holiness and all other religious dogma will only lead to a lack of Knowledge about, as well as a personal relationship with, God! Listen to the Spirit that God sent to each of us to lead us to His truth, and if anyone is teaching contrary to this truth, then depart from their company, as Paul warned the Galatians!