You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4
The doctrine of legalism does not justify, therefore anyone who would add the word and to the sentence, “Salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christ,” is essentially proclaiming that Christ’s work on the cross was insufficient and their actions likely demonstrate, “I must do more than Christ did to be saved.”
Think about it, if you were able to achieve righteousness by your own effort, then of what use is the cross? You might as well toss out your
hallelujahs (praises to God) and begin shouting, “Hallelu-me” instead. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But how many of us do religious things because we believe we have too? How many of us feel we must do good works in order to counteract the bad things we have done? How many of us are in churches where extra requirements for salvation are preached?
Paul would say of this flawed doctrine:
This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. Galatians 5:8
I suspect that a little legalism creeps into every Christian’s life. We can correct the disorder by continually being in God’s word (so we can read the truth) and consistently being in prayer (so we can hear the truth). It should be our regular practice to ask the Father to search our hearts, to guide our steps, and protect us from the wolves (false teachers) along our path.
Knowing the truth helps us to see the lie before stumbling into it and to reject deception understanding that just a smidgen defiles. Additionally we will abandon the desire to impose man-made regulations upon others and will flee from anyone desiring to impose them upon us.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-8
- What do these verses say about God?
- What do they say about us?
- Are there changes we should pursue?
- Galatians 5:2-12 (markallenwhite.wordpress.com)
- When the gospel is not the gospel. Galatians 1:6-10 (thenoiseinmyheadtoday.wordpress.com)
- When God is in Charge 2 (livinginthereign.wordpress.com)