Legalism Versus Standards... a Message from the Messenger
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The confusion of this is very apparent in the churches today.
Satan has successfully pulled the wool over our eyes with the accusations that Bible Believers are those who are the LEGALISTS.
This message written for my daughter clears the air!
• To My Daughter
• Salvation By Works
• Believing The BOOK
Legalism Vs. Standards
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." [I Thessalonians 2:13]
For this reason, I thank God without ceasing, because, when you, my daughter, received the word of God which you heard of your daddy all your life, you received it [the word of God] not as the word of men, but as it is in the truth the word of God, which effectually worked in you [Christ in you] to bring you to where you are today. [I have paraphrased and personalized this verse for you.]
Salvation By Works
As your daddy, I am have asked you to remember how you received the Spirit by the hearing of faith. [Galatians 3:2] Also, I am asking for you to remember that as you received the Spirit by faith, you are to keep going on in your life by this same faith. "And the just shall live by faith" [Galatians 3:2]
Clearly the so great salvation of Hebrews 2 is appropriated by faith [and not by works].
This is where the religious multitudes stumble. The Christian Church denomination [or Church of Christ] teaches that without water baptism, a person will not be saved. They are known as Campbellite’s [or water dogs]. [The Roman Catholic Church, of course, teaches this very same thing.]
What is even more confusing is what many say keeps them saved, even if they came first to Jesus Christ by faith.
They are the ones who "having begun in the Spirit" are now trusting in "the works of the law" [Galatians 2:10].
The Methodists, the Nazarenes and the Charismatics fall into this group. Just throw out anything they say about a believer having to maintain works in order not to lose his or her salvation.
Believing The BOOK
Just believe The BOOK, my daughter. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" [Ephesians 1:13,14]. "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." [I Peter 1:5a]
Now, my daughter, in regard to The LAW, there has been much confusion placed into the hearts of true Christians by those who do not understand The LAW or its purpose. Remember in Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments represent the core of the Law [Deuteronomy 10:4].
The purpose of the Law is given in Galatians 3:24. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
If you are in Christ, you are no longer under the law. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law for us [Matthew 5:17].
Now does this mean the Law is gone or destroyed?
The "till all be fulfilled" in the next verse [vs.18] has not yet occurred.
The answer is found in the first chapter of I Timothy in verse nine. "Knowing this, that the law is not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine."
The law is still in effect for those without Jesus Christ.
Now with all this said, please try to understand, my daughter, there are those who claim that any born-again believer with a separated walk ... is a legalist [or under the Law]. Nothing further from the truth can be found!
The true legalist is identified by the Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians as being false brethren who try to bring the believer back into the bondage of the Law. These false brethren think the law is necessary to maintain their salvation [Ephesians 2:4].
This epistle shows that even Peter was misled by the Judaizers in their dead-beat legalism by trying to keep the Mosaic Law.
This is the faith plus works error!
Now having identified the true legalist, you can see that the born-again Bible-believing Christian can never be truly termed a legalist.
A legalist is all external. He is all on the outside. He is not truly set free from the bondage of sin because he is trusting in his works to maintain his salvation.
I have gone through all this explanation because many professing Christians accuse the Christian that has Biblical standards as being a legalist. I wants you to realize that no matter how hard the name calling gets for the true believer of Jesus Christ [who gets saved by faith, and is kept by faith] that you can not be a legalist. God would never level a charge like that on such a person.
Get it down! If you have been saved by faith, you are kept by faith [and not by works] it doesn't matter what anyone else says. It only matters what God says!
Remember, it is faith plus nothing else for salvation.
However, the works in Ephesians 2 and in the book of James are works that are a result of a person being in Christ Jesus. It is a basic principle: what happens in the heart will show up on the outside of a man, woman or child. The inner man will be shown by the outer man.
Now let me illustrate, using John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the plight of Christian and Faithful when they enter into the Town of Vanity Fair, which is the world, by allegory.
“Now these pilgrims, as I said, must needs go through this fair. Well, so they did; but behold even as they entered into the fair, all the people in the fair were moved, and the town itself as it were in a hubbub about them; and that for several reasons for ---
First, The pilgrims were clothed with such kind of raiment of any that traded in that fair.
Secondly, And as they wondered at their apparel so they did likewise at their speech, for few could understand what they said; they naturally spoke the language of Canaan, ---
Thirdly, But that which did not a little amuse the merchandisers, was, that these pilgrims set very light by all their wares, they cared not so much as to look upon them; ---.”
John Bunyan's book teaches the lost Biblical truth of a separated life of holiness, and of the need to show it forth in our life both inwardly and outwardly:
1. By our clothing...
2. By our speech...
3. By our lack of interest in the things of this world.
The Christian is not to look like, or think like, nor act like the world in his [or her] walk, attire or practice.
"I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world" [1 John 2:14-16].
... Bible 1611 - King James Bible Study
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