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GoldenEagle

III. Legalism: You May Have Legalism(And Not Even Know It)In Your Life

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This is not the OP. Here’s all 7 threads relating to Legalism I’ve started…

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This is the OP and subject/topic of this thread.

I was brainstorming with my wife last night about legalistic views/ideas and legalism. This was after someone I know pointed out that one might be legalistic and not even know it. Here's what we came up with.

Which of these hit home the most? Your thoughts? Anything to add to the list?

God bless,

GE

You May Have Legalism (And Not Even Know It) In Your Life…

galatians-51.png

1. If you believe God’s love for you depends on your efforts or what you do.

2. If you believe God’s love for you depends on how much you have done for Him lately and the love you have shown him recently.

3. If you fall short because in your mind you need to be a better person, you haven’t prayed enough, or you don’t have enough faith.

4. If you believe God is predisposed to be angry with you because you are a sinner and let’s face it He knows you can do better.

5. If you know God’s law but don’t have a personal relationship with Him.

6. If you focus more on your fellow Christians church attendance, tithing, version of the Bible, outward appearance rather than getting to know others and accepting them where they’re at in their walk with the Lord.

7. If you have grown accustomed to living by the expectations of others, especially those in positions of authority or those in your local church, as this is essential to your life.

8. If your sense of worth is based on the opinions of a Christian leader, your reputation, your church membership, or a group’s opinion of you rather than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

9. If you are more concerned with your reputation than with heart change in your life conforming to Christ.

10. If you tell your children not to do something at church or around other Christian families that you allow in your home or elsewhere.

11. If you believe that what people wear, skirt length, swimsuit type, tattoos, piercings, hairstyle, length of hair, etc. is a clear indication of a person’s spiritual maturity and character.

12. You look at people’s lives and instinctively judge them rather than see them through God’s eyes – a work in progress for those who Believe and potential children of God for those who do not.

13. You believe you’re standards somehow make you superior to others.

14. When you miss a service or program at your church, even with a legitimate reason, you feel guilty.

15. You’re so loyal to man-made tradition you don’t think any significant change could possibly be from God.

16. You believe you’re church/denomination is the only group really focused on teaching God’s Word.

17. You believe that those who have been divorced are less valuable in the eyes of God and you feel superior to them.

18. You believe that how your kids turn out is solely your responsibility and the measurement of your success or lack there-of as a Christian parent.

19. You believe that even associating much less discussing ideas with those different than you is sinful compromise.

20. If you believe that the expression of spiritual gifts (provided by the Holy Spirit) is evidence of one’s personal walk with God.

Edit: For clarification the working definition for legalism on this thread is taken from here:

What is legalism?

http://dictionary.re...se/legalism?s=t

noun

1. strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.

2. Theology .

a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.

b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.

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It's A War Zone

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18

So I Turn To The LORD Of Armies Alone For The Victory

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25

And I Rejoice~!

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6. If you focus more on your fellow Christians church attendance, tithing, version of the Bible, outward appearance rather than getting to know others and accepting them where they’re at in their walk with the Lord.

When I think of legalistic people, the spirit of this point seems to be the key I notice - being more concerned with the other people following your measure of holiness rather than "eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners."

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1. If you believe God’s love for you depends on your efforts or what you do.

(All are ESV References)

Eph 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:37-39

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

What other passages come to mind to refute this idea #1?

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A few things resonate with me as far as the "legalistic" tag goes, so I'll list them:

6. If you focus more on your fellow Christians church attendance, tithing, version of the Bible, outward appearance rather than getting to know others and accepting them where they’re at in their walk with the Lord.

I agree with what Neb said for this one. She hit the nail on the head. I'll also add that I have seen more Christlike love and acceptance shown at a 12 Step recovery meeting to someone returning after a relapse (they got drunk or high) than in some churches I have visited or attended. They would be judged and condemned in many of those churches. They would be asked to leave in at least one that I remember. How cold is that?

11. If you believe that what people wear, skirt length, swimsuit type, tattoos, piercings, hairstyle, length of hair, etc. is a clear indication of a person’s spiritual maturity and character.

Same as what Neb said for #6. I believe that as we grow in Christ some of those listed in this one will probably change with time. I know my behavior has changed as I have grown in Christ. Everything listed in #11 is behavior and behavior comes from the heart. Only Christ can change a heart, and as He does the behavior will change.

There is a good use for this one though. Show up at a new church in (clean!) blue jeans and a t-shirt on Sunday morning and see how you get treated. You'll know whether #11 is a problem in that church in less than 10 minutes, maybe as long as 20. If they freak out, you have time to go to the next church on your list and not miss the next service. Saves time finding a new church. :)

19. You believe that even associating much less discussing ideas with those different than you is sinful compromise.

This is another one where I've learned things from recovery meetings. They are one of the few places where folks from all walks of life, religions (or no religion), lifestyle, etc. will actually talk to each other about their common problem, usually drug or alcohol addiction. All the screaming, politics, etc. gets left outside in the parking lot during a meeting. Kinda how church is supposed to be, huh?

20. If you believe that the expression of spiritual gifts (provided by the Holy Spirit) is evidence of one’s personal walk with God.

I've long since lost count of the number of times sincere people have looked me in the eye and told me I wasn't saved because I haven't spoken in tounges. :laugh: They completely overlooked the other gifts operating in their own church at the time!

I could go on, but this is long enough. :laugh:

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6. If you focus more on your fellow Christians church attendance, tithing, version of the Bible, outward appearance rather than getting to know others and accepting them where they’re at in their walk with the Lord.

When I think of legalistic people, the spirit of this point seems to be the key I notice - being more concerned with the other people following your measure of holiness rather than "eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners."

I agree Nebula. I think it's an attitude and heart issue. :thumbsup:

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A few things resonate with me as far as the "legalistic" tag goes, so I'll list them:

6. If you focus more on your fellow Christians church attendance, tithing, version of the Bible, outward appearance rather than getting to know others and accepting them where they’re at in their walk with the Lord.

I agree with what Neb said for this one. She hit the nail on the head. I'll also add that I have seen more Christlike love and acceptance shown at a 12 Step recovery meeting to someone returning after a relapse (they got drunk or high) than in some churches I have visited or attended. They would be judged and condemned in many of those churches. They would be asked to leave in at least one that I remember. How cold is that?

I read this yesterday… “The real miracle that happens in a spirit filled church is not healing or speaking in tongues or prophesying, it’s people loving each other.”

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On a more personal note:

1. If you believe God’s love for you depends on your efforts or what you do.

2. If you believe God’s love for you depends on how much you have done for Him lately and the love you have shown him recently.

3. If you fall short because in your mind you need to be a better person, you haven’t prayed enough, or you don’t have enough faith.

4. If you believe God is predisposed to be angry with you because you are a sinner and let’s face it He knows you can do better.

7. If you have grown accustomed to living by the expectations of others, especially those in positions of authority or those in your local church, as this is essential to your life.

8. If your sense of worth is based on the opinions of a Christian leader, your reputation, your church membership, or a group’s opinion of you rather than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I still struggle with some variation of these.

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I read this yesterday… “The real miracle that happens in a spirit filled church is not healing or speaking in tongues or prophesying, it’s people loving each other.”

Amen!

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Wow! I feel like God really led me to this today, I really want to thank you for putting this up!

Yesterday I found out that a friend of mine had passed away (possible suicide), I was very heartbroken because I don't think she was saved. I have shared the Gospel with her before but she said she had tried out Jesus before and it didn't work for her. Anyways, after her death I have been questioning my own salvation. I wanted to start a thread about it, but I felt ashamed a bit. Yesterday I told my fiance that I realized that even though I had been born again I wasn't saved. I told him I knew this because God desires obedience, and I don't feel like I have the fruit of the spirit as much as a TRUE christian should....mostly because I get stressed out with my kids and have unholy wrath....and a food idol. He kept trying to assure me that I was saved and quoted scripture. I know WORKS don't get us into heaven alone, but at the same time I know that if someone doesn't have any works (good fruit) they probably aren't saved, that is where I got my conclusion from. And I also think that only a small amount of christians are going to Heaven so I feel like I would be less qualified next to the others.

Some of the points hit home with me, ecspecially the first few about wanting to please God, I think about that alot, I really really want to please God. And also, I tend to think that if a woman is dressed like a hooker she probably isn't saved, or if they are cussing, doing drugs, obese, or drinking all the time then they probably aren't saved. Tattoos don't bother me because I was so close to getting a christian tattoo when I first became born again. Yah, I have a tendancy to compare myself to other people, and to boast as well, I have been trying to work on these.

I feel like God has an abundance of Grace, but that if I keep messing up all the time that maybe I'm not saved to begin with. I wish there was an obvious way to just know if you are saved.

Shalom

Natalie

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