Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


Do you have a question about the Bible? Do you have a question about some doctrine or why we do what we do? Click here to send us your question and we will try to give you an answer as soon as possible.
December 31, 2011
Many people like to label those of us who believe the Bible as legalistic. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What is legalism? With regard to religion, it is the belief that salvation is gained through good works. One could also make the application that a strict adherence to rules is required. With that in mind, am I a legalist? Absolutely not.

First, salvation is by grace through faith. There is nothing we could ever do to earn our salvation.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Knowing that salvation is not according to anything one could do, it is impossible to use this definition to label me as a legalist.

As far as a "strict adherence to the law" goes, we have a schoolmaster in the law which shows us our need for salvation. Once a person is saved, we are made free from the law. As one who is saved, I enjoy the freedom to do whatever I wish. However, knowing I am free from the law and having been saved from the fires of hell (the fire I deserved), I willingly serve my Lord and do as He wishes. How can I know what the Lord wants for me? I can look to the Word of God.

Now that we see who the legalist is not, who is the real legalist? The real legalist is the one who looks for loopholes, the one who lives his life according to the exclusions and omissions from the Word of God.

When the Word of God is so clearly against the use of alcohol, the legalist will point out that there is no clear "thou shalt not drink beer."

When the Word of God is clear about worldly associations and entertainment, the legalist will say there is no clear commandment saying, "Thou shalt not listen to (supposedly) Christian rock." The legalist will point out that the Scriptures do not specifically prohibit going to movies, wearing pants (or other immodest apparel).

The legalist would point out that the Bible does not directly say, "thou shalt not date."

The legalist would point out that the Bible does not say, "thou shalt not go lay naked on the beach nor go with those who would lay naked."
**I know, some of you are saying you don't go to the nude beach, but the Bible gives a clear definition of "naked" and that standard is met at every beach.**

The legalist would point out that there is no clear prohibition against the abuse of drugs and tobacco.

When the legalist dilutes the Word of God into any of the corrupt versions, they may even claim there is no prohibition against women or sodomite preachers.

When we look at those who would twist Scripture or take things out of context to thwart God's Word or to suit their flesh, we also see a clear example of the true pharisee. The pharisees did not know Christ, but they knew the law. I am amazed at how well today's pharisees (let's use the modern term for them: liberals) know the Word of God when it suits them, and ignore it when it does not.

The point is, I am not the legalist. I am not living by a strict set of rules. It is the the modern pharisees, the liberals who are always looking for a way to escape the will of God who are the legalists. It is these modern pharisees who twist and ignore the Word of God to suit their own flesh.