Slaying The Dragon of Legalism. Because Grace Didn't End With Salvation.
Terry,I just came across your site and I see you've been giving messages for a long time, so I realize that there must be a lot you have said about legalism in the past. So I'm not sure on your definition of legalism, but I'm sure that anyone who follows your blog does understand your understanding on legalism. Anyway, so I just have to jump in here and we might be on the same page, I don't know. But I found this message a little confusing. Mainly because you didn't really have a clear definition of legalism. Legalism is anything that a believer does to rely on their own righteousness for their salvation and or justification. Legalism stems from a person not understanding that their has been no one righteous, not even one, that all have fallen away. Or that our righteousness is as filthy rags. We are saved by grace alone through the righteousness of Christ only and not by any works of ours, lest any man should boast. When we start to believe that we need to obey the law for our salvation, then we enter into legalism. The gospel is that we are saved period! Through the person and work of Jesus Christ we are saved. No ifs and or buts. If we say with our lips and believe with our hearts, then we are saved. We are adopted as heirs to the throne. We have access to God through Christ and we can boldly approach and worship God where ever we're at and pray to him and know that he hears our prayers and is with us. But..... God calls us to pursue his righteousness. Jesus says that he has not abolished the law. As born again believers we have a love for God's law and His righteousness. Jesus calls us to a life of obedience. For who so ever will save themselves will pick up their cross and bare it daily. We must keep in step with His spirit daily. We must have a love for His law and righteousness and pursue it daily, this is how we fulfill the greatest commandment, to love God and our neighbor. By not sinning against God and or our neighbor, for the wages of sin is death. Meaning that, even though we are saved, sin still effects us. When a believer sins, he is still saved but their are consequences for his actions. Therefore, we must keep in step with His spirit and ask Jesus to give us strength to help deliver us from temptation and sin daily. Again, not for our salvation, we cannot lose our salvation based on our righteousness, we are saved. But because of sanctification, because of our obedience to God's holy law, because this is how we love God and our neighbor, because this is how we put on Christ and keep in step with his spirit. Sure we'll never be perfect and we will fall and stumble. But when we do, we grieve the spirit and their are consequences for our sinning. So we must ask for forgiveness, we must repent or turn from our mistakes and keep on trying to lead a life that is pleasing to our Lord.
I have noticed that when ever the questions or statement as above are made to most pastors or evangelical preachers. They have no response or an emotional no scriptural back up. It is the same as participating in Christmas or any other pagan holiday. Where does it say it is ok to participate in these rituals. It is clear that we shall not many times over
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