If you've been invested, over time, on any Christian Forum, then you have come to the realization, that about 30% of the people who use a Christian Forum are sincere, and sincerely interested in learning more, growing more, and want to use a Christian Forum, for these reasons. But then, you have the other 70% who live on these forums, with no desire to learn, but only a desire to fight, create chaos, and if possible, create confusion within someone else's belief system, regarding their Salvation.
And the worst of these offenders, are Legalists. And you need to protect yourself from their poisonous heretical bible twisting mania, as it can infect you, and truly harm your walk with the Lord , and more.
Lets get to it.
So,... Your New Testament explains that you are to "Discern", .. And this is related to life situations, personal desire, purpose in life, but it also means you are to do it with other people and certainly with other Christians.
The scripture that supports this is : 1 Corinthians 2:15.
Saint, being able to discern will keep you safe in life, and will keep you from being led into dark theology that many on a Christian forum would have you believe, to your hurt.
Now, how do you discern if a person is a Legalist? Well, here are the classic signs.....
First, this heretic will live and obsess on the Old Testament, and also on only 3 books in the new Testament.
1. Hebrews Chapters 4...6....10.
Next, this heretic will try to convince you that you can Lose your Salvation. They will be found on a Christian forum, or anywhere, trying to do this to other believers.
They will start Threads, they will endlessly rant and post, always using the Old Testament, James, Hebrews, and Matthew.
Pay attention to this.
You'll begin to discern it.
Next, they will always talk about works, commandments, enduring to the end, dead faith, holding onto your faith, and never will they be able to deal with Pauline Theology, or believe that Salvation is completed.
They will never accept Grace without the condition of WORKS being added to it, to "keep you saved".
"Yes, i know that Jesus shed His blood to save us....BUT, here is the rest of the commandments, enduring to the end, holding unto your faith, confessing your sins.....that you must DO< to STAY SAVED">..
Discern this Saint, as you will be hearing all about it, very soon.
Now keep in mind that the Legalist, does not believe that God & Christ will KEEP THEM SAVED.....so, their entire Christianity is a bitter, joyless, self effort to do it for themselves, and this is why they are endlessly trying to convince you that you need to be doing it also.
They believe that you can lose your salvation, because they find it impossible to TRUST that God and Christ, will keep them Saved.
They read Philippians 1:6, that explains that God started their salvation IN THEM< and will complete it.....and they refuse to accept this, as they are convinced that they need to keep themselves saved, = "Self- Righteousness".
They read Hebrews 12:2, that says that Jesus started their Faith and will complete/perfect it, and they refuse to accept this, and instead will try to keep themselves saved by "holding unto their faith".
Understand, that Faith does not save you.. but rather God SAVES YOU thru your faith.
Faith is not the Savior.....The Savior is Christ on the Cross.
Faith does not save you, but rather God giving you His righteousness, and HAS, if you are born again, makes you acceptable to Him, is what is saving you, right this very second.
So, i mention that you are to discern any teacher, and the best way to discern them, is to find out what they believe about Salvation, and in fact, if they even understand it.
Consider that if a person does not understand God's Grace, (Salvation), then how can they understand anything else in a New Testament.
As obviously, if you dont understand Grace, The Atonement, Justification by Faith, then how can you understand anything else that matters, regarding the New Testament, and "sound doctrine"?
Our New Testament, tells us to "establish our Hearts, with Grace"...Hebrews 13:9
This means to nail down, what Paul has taught us as "sound doctrine" regarding "Justification by Faith", so that you are not led astray by heretics.
Rest assured that if you are ever going to grow in Grace, and receive more revelation and New Testament understanding, then you have to study, not read, but study, Paul's epistles.
And not just a little bit....
As this Apostle, is the only one that Jesus chose to personally give to you what you know that is "Church Doctrine"
Everything that a real student of the word needs to know, that matters, that is the "main thing", "sound doctrine" "church doctrine" ...= you will find and discover by studying the words of Paul.
Paul is the only apostle who told you to "be a follower of ME, as I follow Christ"... 1 Corinthians 11:1
IN 2nd Peter, Peter says that Paul's letters are "scripture", and equal to the Torah. (OT).
Imagine an apostle saying that another apostles letters are equal to SCRIPTURE, the word of GOD. But that is he wrote, as that is a fact.
This is why most of our NT< is composed by Paul.
So, this is one more way for you to discern a Christian's soundness, and accuracy, and truthfulness, regarding what they believe. Notice if they are of the understanding that Paul's Theology, and His Epistles matter most to the believer, regarding understanding what God wants you to know, ...."sound doctrine"..."church doctrine".
Legalists, have a spiritual blindness toward's Paul. They will twist one or 2 verses of his verses to try to teach you that you can lose it....but, they have no grounding in his Theology, are not familiar with his letters, and will never be, as Paul is the one that explains in Galatians 1:8 that they and their theology, are "cursed of God". And Saint, when you run into one of these, and they are foaming at the mouth to try to get you to doubt your eternal security, and they are only too happy to TRY to convince you that you can lose you salvation.....you remember what i have told you in my 3 Legalism Threads, and you can discern these heretics and protect yourself and your family.
Now, its a good idea if you discern me.
You should try.
See, i have no fear of this, and welcome your examination.
Here is what i do......I give God and Christ full credit for saving me and keeping me saved.
I give them full credit for Salvation.
I would not dare pretend that i can save myself or keep myself saved by my works, or anything that i can ever do, such as keeping laws, confessing sin, or keeping commandments, or enduring to the end, or any of this phony baloney, self righteousness.
I know who the Savior is, and its not ME.
I would never try to talk you out of your salvation, or cause you to have doubts about your salvation being completed, "in Christ".
I would never have you living your Christian life, in fear, worried that you might go to hell if you don't do certain things and maintain a certain lifestyle.
See, God didnt save you because of what you would or would not do LATER, after you are SAVED....He only saved you and keeps you saved because of what Jesus the Christ did for you on a Cross that has Redeemed you, for eternity.
So, now, also discern my understanding of Salvation, as i explain it simply.
The issue is RIGHTEOUSNESS.
We dont have any, of ourselves, ours is "filthy rags" according to Paul and the book of Romans,.....and this condition that we are born into, is called...."LOST".
"Lost", means, in Christian Terms, that our unholiness has created a disconnect and a division between us and Holy GOD.
So, to solve this disconnect, and to build an eternal bridge between Himself and us, He offers a means, whereby we can have His very Righteous, for ourselves.
And this Righteousness, is "Christ's righteousness".
Without it, we are lost and bound for hell.
But with it, we are delivered from Eternal Judgment , = hell = Lake of Fire.
So, God wrapped Himself in Human flesh, was born of a Virgin, and Jesus as God and fully man, was manifested in the flesh to save us. 1 Timothy 3:16
"Save us", means, God as Christ lived a holy life AS A MAN, sinless, which resolved the issue of the Law, that was judging us as unrighteous and lost.
On the Cross, shedding His Blood, ...God as Jesus the Christ, bore our sin's and removed the law from its capacity to judge us in eternity.
Christ rejectors will face God as Judge, and the Born Again, meet God as their FATHER..."abba".
God then, (as we hear the Gospel and believe in Christ), takes our sin and lets Christ die for it, and He takes Christ's righteousness, and imparts it to us, gives it to us, so that we become Born again, new creatures, and have now the very Righteousness of Christ, as OUR Righteousness.
And from that moment, (born again) God never again imputs our sins to us....Romans 4:8, and we are "accepted in the beloved", we are family members, for eternity, and nothing can change this, because its all provided for us, and given to us, and kept for us for FREE.
So, in this Thread, which is the sister Thread regarding the one i wrote to you yesterday, .. in this one i want to drill down deeper.
Now, we are talking about "Legalism" which is not a word found in the NT, yet, Paul wrote an entire letter to the Galatians, that is talking to, and about, Legalism....Legalists.
This means, that even early on, in the history of Christianity, you had the Father of Church Doctrine writing about Legalism, as this is an issue that is so common.
Most of you know, that Paul, and no other Apostle, was given by Jesus The Christ Himself, 99% of the advanced revelation that the Church came to understand as "sound doctrine", and "Doctrine for the Church". So, its fitting that Paul would be the one correcting the heresy that is "Legalism" as this twisted theology has been ruining Christians and creating havoc for about the last 2000 yrs, give or take a day or 2. This heresy "legalism" is in direct opposition with "justification by faith", and so, we understand why Paul would say of it, that it is an "Accursed of God" theology, and cursed is the person who teaches it and preaches it......Galatians 1:8
Ok, lets find out who is a Legalist here, as this is another means by which you can begin to escape the mental process that has led to the theological breakdown that you have, if you are a Legalist. After all, if you are a legalist, you don't realize it, as that is the nature of deception.
If you KNEW you are deceived, you would not be deceived....now would you?
So, who is a Legalist? This is simple to understand.
A legalist is anyone who believes that you can lose your salvation.
This means that if YOU believe that you can lose your salvation, or anyone you find on forums like this one, who is totally devoted to no other pursuit then to try to convince you that you can "lose it". These are the enemies of Paul's theology, enemies of Grace, and the enemies of sound doctrine.
And there is one other situation that qualifies you completely, as a Legalist.
A Legalist......has "Fallen from Grace"...or another way to understand it, is, they-you, have left Grace, and are now pursuing self-righteousness.
And again, what is "self - righteousness"? Its the belief and pursuit of "saving yourself" by deeds, works, commandment keeping, sin confession, etc........both before you are saved, and after you are born again. So, unbelievers and believers can both be "Fallen from Grace", but only a believer can be born again.
And what is the principal issue that a Legalist is suffering from inside their mind and within their theology?
Its very simple,...they are not trusting in God- Christ Alone TO KEEP THEM SAVED, and are themselves trying to accomplish this with works, deeds, commandment keeping, sin confession, enduring to the end, holding onto their faith"....etc.
= ALL SELF EFFORT.
So, a Legalist who is born again, started out trusting in Christ for Salvation, but somewhere along the way, they stopped BELIEVING that God and Christ will KEEP THEM SAVED.
Then enters their "self righteousness", which is to be understood as, "trying to keep self right, with God, or working to make Self right with God".
This is the same mistake, same Spiritual fail, as found within any other religion, as all religions have one thing in common, which is....."trying to connect with God, thru self effort".
So, a Believer who is doing this, the Legalist, has fallen from Grace.
Grace is the REALITY AND THE Understanding that God thru Christ saved you and Keeps You Saved.
GRACE, IS Salvation.
Grace, Is Jesus The Christ.
Grace, Is the Blood Atonement
Grace, Is Eternal Life.
Grace, Is Redemption, Justification.
Grace, Is Eternal Security
So how does not trusting in God & Christ to ...KEEP YOU SAVED.. insult God and The Blood of Jesus? Well, realize.....that someone has to get ALL the credit for Salvation, and Salvation is not just having your Sin forgiven.....Salvation brings you into Heaven after you die, or are raptured. Salvation makes you an "Heir of God and a Joint Heir of Christ".. Salvation, "seated you in Heavenly places RIGHT NOW", Salvation has made you "bone of Jesus bone, and flesh of Jesus Flesh", Salvation has put you "IN Christ", Salvation has "translated you from darkness to Light, made you a Child of the Light", Salvation has given you "Eternal Life"", and Salvation has recreated your new Identity "in Christ" so that "As Jesus IS in this WORLD....right now...so are all the Born again", as "all things have become NEW", and that is including YOU, if you are born again. You're new ID is "In Christ"...Colossians 2:10, "Complete in God & Christ", and GOD expects you to see yourself as HE sees you, as these scriptures just showed you.
So, all that is some of what salvation did for you, and so who gets all the Credit for making all this happen for you and to you, and that includes getting you into Heaven thru Rapture or death?,?
A.) God and Christ.
B.) Not you.
So, its insults Both of them, when a person sets that aside (Falls from Grace) as ALL THAT IS GRACE..and starts pursuing works, commandment keeping, confession of sin, enduring to the end, Holding unto your faith", as your reason- means of, in your Legalist's mindset = Making your self right with God (self righteousness) to keep yourself saved.
This insults God and the Blood of Christ when you do this...when you stop trusting God thru Christ to KEEP YOU SAVED, and you start believing you can LOSE IT, then start doing all sorts of works, to try to keep yourself saved.
So, if you believe you can lose your salvation, then this means you are a Legalist who has turned-fallen from Grace, turned from trusting God to keep you saved, and in doing so you are now insulting God by trying to keep yourself saved.
Now here is the verse that a Legalist refuses to believe, and by not believing it, they turn to works and worry and trying to stay saved by whatever means they can keep doing, and doing, and would try to convince you that you need to be doing, also, to "stay saved".
Here is the verse.:
Philippians 1:6. " BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS (FAITH) = God who began your Salvation IN YOU< will be FAITHFUL to COMPLETE IT".
And that is not you, if you are a Legalist.
And if you believe you can lose your Salvation, then you are refusing to believe this verse and trust "God who is faithful to complete your Salvation", and by your turning to your "self salvation" attempts, thru all that you are doing to try to accomplish it for yourself, you are insulting the very God and Christ that you say you are following.
And you are doing this because you have Fallen From Grace, and you are taking the FULL Credit for Salvation away from God and the Blood and Christ, by refusing to BELIEVE That God will complete your Salvation.....Keep You Saved .
So, that is Legalism. Its the mental trap that creates a Circular belief system inside the mind that causes you to BELIEVE that you can lose your Salvation. A Legalist then starts trying to resolve this, by works and effort.. And THIS BEHAVIOR and Belief system take over and denies God full credit due for your Salvation,....... = by trying to finish your Salvation, when in fact, its already finished on the Cross, and will be completed by God, and is given as a GIFT to the World.
So, Legalist, you are to live holy, and abstain from the appearance of evil, and you are present your body and life as a living sacrifice to the One who bought you with a Bloody price, and you are to always, be doing this. That is your Christian Discipleship... Thats on you.
But you are to never set Grace aside, and the Blood Atonement aside, and try to keep yourself saved.. As you can't.......as only God can do this for you, thru Christ, and did.