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How to recognize Legalism

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Posted (edited)

Lets define "legalism" as defined by Paul, as Webster is not using the NT as context.
"Legalism" is Galatians 1:8  ""there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let them be accursed. """"

Notice that Legalism, taught or preached, "perverts" the Gospel.  It subverts the Blood Atonement.  It actually attacks the Cross, by denying Jesus full credit do for saving you and keeping you saved.  It offends God, and that is why he curses the person and the message.

Legalism, is the teaching that "faith + works" is what saves you and keeps you saved.   And this "gospel" is a perversion of the truth.  Its actually a denial of the Lord's words..spoken from the Cross = "it is Finished"....meaning The Blood Atonement.....Salvation.

Let me explain it more clearly....

This verse is referring to a person (Legalist) who is preaching a gospel that is a blend of Jesus, the Cross, and their Works. (commandment keeping, enduring to the end, holding onto their faith.....etc, etc, etc.)
Legalism, a Legalist, will give lip service, = a false presentation of the Gospel.
And the way they always do it, is by adding 10 commandment keeping, and lifestyle, as a PART of the Blood Atonement.
In other words, the Legalist, who is usually not actually born again, but is very apt at speaking "christianese", and uses bible verses, and goes to different Christian fourms to annoy and create chaos......will always defend the LAW and 10 Commandments as "necessary" to be saved, instead of giving FULL CREDIT DUE, to the One who died on the Cross, who HIMSELF is Grace and Salvation.

Here is how you spot a lying legalist on a Christian forum.
Its so easy.
THis is how they "sound".

"Yes, i know that Christ is the savior......BUT".

"yes, i know that Jesus saves......BUT"

See that "but"? That is the sign of the Legalist.
They can never EVER agree that Jesus and the Blood of Christ is all that God accepts to save you and keep you saved.
They can't agree with this, because they do not believe it.

A Legalist, will always, add WORKS, 10 commandments", TO THE CROSS, and then they will all add LIFESTYLE, as well.., as this is how they are "working out their own salvation".
The gospel of the legalist, is "faith + works".
The Gospel of God is "The Cross".

See their problem?
Its a BIG One.

A legalist sounds like this when they teach or preach....>."""now we know that Jesus saves, but, you ALSO have to ..........1. 2. ....3. 4.. 40.....do all this""

See all that?
THAT IS Galatians 1:8
THat is "cursed of GOD" theology and PERSON, because it is adding to the Cross, self righteous works, and this denies The Lord His full credit due, for Salvation.
This offends God, who is Jesus on the Cross, and that is why there is a literal CURSE on anyone who teaches or preaches that ... "The Cross + Works, commandments, lifestyle" is the Gospel.....is Salvation.

How do YOU discover if you have fallen from Grace, and you are become a legalist. ??
Very simple.
You just answer this simple question.
Q.) Do you believe that Jesus Christ keeps you saved?

I didnt ask you if He saved you.
I asked you if you believe that He KEEPS You saved?

A Legalist is not being honest if they say yes, because a legalist believes that enduring to the end, keeping your faith, living a holy life, keeping the law and the 10 commandments, is what is keeping THEM saved., so that is why they preach this cursed of God gospel to others.
So, be careful reader, as a legalist has deceived themselves, so, that is what they will also offer you.

 

 

 

B

Edited by Behold
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Galatians never mentions a definition of legalism, so the OP is the personal opinion of the one who wrote it, and it is not Biblical.

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3 hours ago, Firm Foundation said:

Galatians never mentions a definition of legalism, so the OP is the personal opinion of the one who wrote it, and it is not Biblical.

FF, what word would you like to use for those who do what Jesus said was wrong in terms of replacing God's law with man-man tradition and works.

Is it just the word "legalism" that bothers you or what it means?

Jesus said that people do this:

Mark 7:6-9 = "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

There are still people today who do this - perhaps unknowingly.  Grace isn't enough for them, but especially in the views of other people and their behavior.  Traditions of their church or community must be adhered to in order to STAY saved or to boast just "how saved" you are  It's all a show.  It was with the Pharisees and with people today.

It's rampant in all kinds of churches.  And it's never about themselves.  They are the perfect ones.  It's always about someone else and how they, in defiance of church tradition, are unworthy.

I'm not particular about what word we use.  Legalism or another word.  What word would you use to describe it?

 

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1 minute ago, Jayne said:

FF, what word would you like to use for those who do what Jesus said was wrong in terms of replacing God's law with man-man tradition and works.

Is it just the word "legalism" that bothers you or what it means?

Jesus said that people do this:

Mark 7:6-9 = "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

There are still people today who do this - perhaps unknowingly.  Grace isn't enough for them, but especially in the views of other people and their behavior.  Traditions of their church or community must be adhered to in order to STAY saved or to boast just "how saved" you are  It's all a show.  It was with the Pharisees and with people today.

It's rampant in all kinds of churches.  And it's never about themselves.  They are the perfect ones.  It's always about someone else and how they, in defiance of church tradition, are unworthy.

I'm not particular about what word we use.  Legalism or another word.  What word would you use to describe it?

 

The Pharisees were guilty of saying one thing while doing another, nullifying God's commandments with traditions, and worst of all, rejecting Jesus.  I think we can simply deal with these 3 issues.  

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On ‎5‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 7:41 AM, Behold said:

 

Hi Behold,

A very important subject for so many are being deceived today. For me I see that when someone comes on the forum and asks how to be a better Christian, some people are writing a list of things to do. Now the Pharisees were good at that and we know what the Lord told them about their outer seemingly good but inside was like `dead man`s bones.`

So, to me, anything that points away from looking to the Lord by the Holy Spirit, is taking some one off into `works,` trying to do things (legally) instead of learning to listen to the Holy Spirit. That is the big issue, as always, for it is always easy for the flesh to DO things and tick off the list and `feel` good about yourself, thinking they have `legally` done everything required. That is a false foundation.

Learning to listen and obey the Holy Spirit is the key. And what we `hear,` will not be in contradiction to His word. As we submit to the training of the Holy Spirit our inner desires will be to `feed` upon His word, to praise and thank Him daily, to repent often from attitudes that are highlighted.

If someone does the `list` thing, then all those things will be a chore, something to tick off, but will never feed the inner man as the intent is wrong - for self justification.

Marilyn.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi Behold,

A very important subject for so many are being deceived today. For me I see that when someone comes on the forum and asks how to be a better Christian, some people are writing a list of things to do. Now the Pharisees were good at that and we know what the Lord told them about their outer seemingly good but inside was like `dead man`s bones.`

So, to me, anything that points away from looking to the Lord by the Holy Spirit, is taking some one off into `works,` trying to do things (legally) instead of learning to listen to the Holy Spirit. That is the big issue, as always, for it is always easy for the flesh to DO things and tick off the list and `feel` good about yourself, thinking they have `legally` done everything required. That is a false foundation.

Learning to listen and obey the Holy Spirit is the key. And what we `hear,` will not be in contradiction to His word. As we submit to the training of the Holy Spirit our inner desires will be to `feed` upon His word, to praise and thank Him daily, to repent often from attitudes that are highlighted.

If someone does the `list` thing, then all those things will be a chore, something to tick off, but will never feed the inner man as the intent is wrong - for self justification.

Marilyn.

 Marilyn,

 

Yes i see.

I agree.

 

Here are a few more ideas...

Why would someone go to Jesus, trust in Christ, then later decide that this isn't quite enough to get them into heaven. ?????

This is the Legalist....of whom, some are saved, some are not.  But for those who are, what they can never seem to realize is that......on our best day as a believer, on our very best behavior.... when we are "prayed up", and "walking in the spirit", and "Living for the Lord".........just how holy IS ALL THIS, as compared to the Sinless Son Of God ?   Just how good is our BEST, as compared to God's righteousness? 

So, when a believer realizes this....... then, their spiritual eyes are now wide open, and they are no longer playing self righteous games within themselves, by actually having the  audacity to consider that they could even be affiliated with God's holiness, based on their very best "Christian" behavior, as if there is anything we could ever do that could be esteemed (by God)... as even similar to God's Holiness.

The legalist is playing this self righteous game within themselves, and with others.  They do it on forums like this one.

Could pride be more stinking in the soul of a person who pretends that they are capable of being "holy enough" to be accepted by God, ither BEFORE they are SAVED or AFTER?  ???

This is Legalism.   Its pride, and its not a very good smell.    Paul refers to it as "dung", in Philippians 3, and he is talking about his own Pride.

Paul is explaining that he is "blameless in the Law".....and then connects His linage to the Holy One, and then he just gushes out with self loathing, that he could have possibly ever believed that a human being, could come to actually believe that their is anything that they could do, (works, lifestyle)  that would CAUSE a HOLY God to accept them.....

Such is the theology of the Legalist, as they go forth trying to keep themselves saved by what they DO, to try to do it.

Philippians 3:8

 

 

 

<B><

Edited by Behold
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The people that hold to OSAS believe they save themselves with a decision and a confession.  The only ones who truly don't believe they do anything to save themselves are pure Calvinists.  That is why they accuse OSAS believers of trying to save themselves, which I suppose makes them prideful.  OSAS is just Calvinism made over making salvation about a prayer.

 

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The problem with the term legalist today is its being applied to someone who says does or teaches others to obey Gods commands. 

Mat 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The truth about these legalists in Galatians is that they Taught certain OT laws were still binding on Christians today, they thought that Gods promises only extended to the Jews, and gentiles must be circumcised before they could fully experience salvation.   They didnt deny faith in Christ was necessary but said it was not sufficient and they must add to faith the observance of law. 

now this is another gospel and a far stretch from what the OP says " This verse is referring to a person (Legalist) who is preaching a gospel that is a blend of Jesus, the Cross, and their Works. (commandment keeping, enduring to the end, holding onto their faith.....etc, etc, etc.) "

these people came with a whole other gospel.  The Op's statment is in contradiction to scripture.  here is one example:  Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

now I could go on and on picking the OP to bits with scripture.  but i do not need to.  one example should suffice to say the OP seeks to call certain people who preach apostasy is possible, which the bible says and warns against, legalists... seeks to lump them together with people who tried to say faith in Christ is not sufficient.  when the bible tells us plainly,

Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

someone who believes apostasy is impossible... please explain these two verses from hebrews 10.  how does this fit in with apostasy is not possible? 

I find it really sad when I can read a post and scriptures just keep popping up in my brain that says the exact opposite of what I am reading. 

the whole purpose of this thread is slander.  even from one who has been asked nicely several times to stop it. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cletus said:

The problem with the term legalist today is its being applied to someone who says does or teaches others to obey Gods commands. 

Mat 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The truth about these legalists in Galatians is that they Taught certain OT laws were still binding on Christians today, they thought that Gods promises only extended to the Jews, and gentiles must be circumcised before they could fully experience salvation.   They didnt deny faith in Christ was necessary but said it was not sufficient and they must add to faith the observance of law. 

now this is another gospel and a far stretch from what the OP says " This verse is referring to a person (Legalist) who is preaching a gospel that is a blend of Jesus, the Cross, and their Works. (commandment keeping, enduring to the end, holding onto their faith.....etc, etc, etc.) "

these people came with a whole other gospel.  The Op's statment is in contradiction to scripture.  here is one example:  Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

now I could go on and on picking the OP to bits with scripture.  but i do not need to.  one example should suffice to say the OP seeks to call certain people who preach apostasy is possible, which the bible says and warns against, legalists... seeks to lump them together with people who tried to say faith in Christ is not sufficient.  when the bible tells us plainly,

Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

someone who believes apostasy is impossible... please explain these two verses from hebrews 10.  how does this fit in with apostasy is not possible? 

I find it really sad when I can read a post and scriptures just keep popping up in my brain that says the exact opposite of what I am reading. 

the whole purpose of this thread is slander.  even from one who has been asked nicely several times to stop it. 

And they have forgotten , that while the law is not made for a righteous man .  it can be used as correction and reminders .

If not , why did paul quoate the fifth commandment when he said CHILDREN OBEY YOUR PARENTS .    KADOW .    GOT THEM .  

While we don't seek the law to justify us for both of us knows full well ONLY Faith in CHRIST justifies ,   we know How to apply correction when correction is necessary .

If using the law to correct  or remind is a legalist .  LOOK OUT PAUL who himself spoke so much about not seeking to be justified by the law .     HE USED the fifth commandment .

IN fact surprise , surprise ,   he used more than that .   What did paul say ,   LET HIM he who stole steal no more . OH NO , OH NO that is using the law ,  OOOPS .

WE GOT them.     No murderer JOHN says has enternal life , OH NO ,  thou shalt not murder ,  he is using the law .  WE GOT THEM NOW .

I knew it would come .     LET the warners warn and leave them be .  THEY do as they do for the sake of the church .

OH no , paul said not to commit adultery ,  OH NO he is a legalist for the law says not to also .   WRONG the law was on his heart .    OOPS .    we got major problems . 

Edited by frienduff thaylorde
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Cletus had the definition SPOT ON RIGHT .    Behold failed massive .     

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