Acts 15:1Â Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day–things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
Colossians 2:20-21 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
Revelation 22:18-19Â I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life, and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
By Doctor Erwin W. Lutzer: Legalismâ€ is the wrong use of laws or rules. For example there is a form of legalism that uses rules or commandments as a way of salvation. Such laws in and of themselves might be good and proper, but they cannot save a soul. Thus, Paul warns against the view that salvation can come about by keeping the law,Â
This is another one of those topics that have over time taken a lot of prayer, bible study, and thought on my part. One day I was talking about legalism practiced by another person, at least as I saw it, when a friend of mine, said something like, â€œthat’s legalism in him to you, because he is not practicing your legalismâ€. That really got me to thinking, which brought me to Jesus saying in Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? I should have done a better job of engaging my brain before I said anything. Thank God for a friend that is willing to lay the truth on me. Legalism like traditions was probablyÂ planted in my life from the time I was old enough to hear and understand what my parents, pastors, teachers, relatives, and even friends told me. Of course as young person I am sure a lot of erroneous teachingÂ was accepted by me as the truth. Recognizing my legalism failures and eradicating them from my life is an ongoing work. My Lord is working on me, but I don’t always get the message. There are many ways to practice legalism, the Jews added to the laws given them by God. Some new Jewish converts claimed new believers had to be circumcised to be saved. I am saved by grace according to God and do not have to do anything else, but because I am saved, I want to do things for my Savior. Paul encourages me with his words that I do not need to pay attention to those that judge me with their legalistic ideas. Based on what John tells me at the end of Revelation, legalism is very serious to God, and those practicing it will face His wrath. Practice again is a Key word here. The following statement I have used several times because it encourages me. God knows my heart and does not expect me to be perfect in this life. I believe He will keep working with me until He brings me to perfection in Him.Â Â
Lord, you know how tough this battle is, please help me in it.