GRACE NOT LEGALISM

30th January 2013 by Bill Davis
My Dad used to have a saying after my brother and I would shower, etc. after a hard day of fishing, hunting, or just being boys. He would say; “You guys clean up pretty good”. He would also ask us of our friends and especially girlfriends; “Pretty on the inside as on the outside?” Of course we knew what he meant. Jesus accused the Pharisees of being more concerned with outward appearances than what was on the inside.
Luke 11:39 New International Version (NIV); “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.”
Matthew 23:27 New International Version (NIV); “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
Often Christians focus too much on what is know as religious legalism. They focus mainly on the external activities of rituals and deeds (laws) while ignoring the condition of the heart. We should know we cannot fulfill all the demands of the law.
John 1:17 New International Version (NIV); “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
For us, God’s law is much simpler. Actually, there is only one condition under God’s law for salvation. You must come to the Cross asking for forgiveness and offering true repentance. Just trying to keep the laws, Legalism, is not what pleases God or brings eternal life with Him. This is totally contrary to grace. Grace teaches that God accepts all who come to Him in repentance and faith. God’s truth is on the side of grace, not the law? The law was given while grace came in the form of Jesus Christ. Jesus came and died a cruel death on the cross and paid the full debt of our sin with His own life. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are made holy and righteous by His blood; by the grace of God; NOT by any deeds of your own.
When you clean that cup; make sure you wash the inside as well. Don’t be like a beautiful tomb with flowers and grass on the outside while being filled with the filth of jealousy, hatred, envy, strife, lust and that of earthly desires.
Bill Davis

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