Legalism is a very powerful tool the devil has been using to put people under condemnation, and condemnation is the root of most sin especially cycle sins. Legalism can be self or people imposed . legalism puts people in bondage to be self righteous and when they fail(which is usually the case) people feel unworthy. There’s a very common type in christian circles this set of legalism that people adhere to in order to try to earn salvation, grow spiritually, or judge the outward appearance of others.
A sampling of these include praying long hours, fasting or reading prescribed daily portion of the bible. Of course these are all great practices, but they shouldn’t be done with the intent of earning some form of spiritual superiority. Legalism could manifest in believing we have greater access to God because we serve diligently in ministry or the church. Unfortunately, people begin to think they are christians and God loves them because of their works, any failure will lead in frustration and condemnation to an extent failing to pray.
It reaches a point where we begin to believe our prayers are heard quickly because we haven’t committed any significant sin lately and we are praying for long hours and fast often. The Unspoken mindset is that we can fill our spiritual bank accounts with good behaviour, deeds or works . With legalism love is not the motivation but attempting to earn God’s favor, which we already have in Christ finished work.This type of legalism focuses on status, pride or self gratification that accompanies regulations set by oneself or others. It’s makes one not depend on God’s ability as it turns focus on ourselves. It robs us of the Grace of God.
This focus on our strength makes us become selfish righteous and when on is self righteous they fall from Grace. Every time a person who is in such a position messes up they feel unwanted, condemned and useless. Eventually, they begin to move in sin cycles.Actually anyone trying to earn salvation or grow in Christ through legalistic teachings or beliefs doesn’t possess true joy they live in a small world where those who don’t think exactly like them are filtered out and believe they are lost. When one lives a legalistic life they look down on people struggling and even think some people can’t be saved. They look down on people struggling with addictions, despite most have their skeletons too just that they are hidden in their closets. Some even look down on their fellow christians.
BUT, it’s not suppose to be this way! You are worthy, loved, called,forgiven, Righteous not because of what you have done, what you will do or what you are doing, but because of Christ finished work on the cross of calvary. When we deeply understand and believe this even when we mess up we won’t run away from God but run to him because we know his love for us doesn’t depend on us but the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. And even as we fast, pray for long hours and study the bible we won’t do it to earn anything from God but because we love him because he first loved us!
Gal.3.1 – You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Gal.3.2 – I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
Gal.3.3 – Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Gal.3.4 – Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing?
Gal.3.5 – Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Thank you very much for reading. I have been reading a book Hod or Good by John Bevere, a chapter deeply enlightened me about this and I thought I should share my thoughts too.
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