10, November 2010

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Legalism or Grace? (1)

‘..do not set aside…grace…’ Galatians 2:21 NKJV

Imagine going to the emergency room and being asked to leave because you’re bleeding all over the floor! Jesus encountered that legalistic mindset when He healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath. ‘Indignant…the synagogue ruler said…"There are six days for work…come and be healed on those days…"’ (Luke13:14 NIV) Observing the law was more important to him than the people he was supposed to care for, Max Lucado says: ‘All…religions can be placed in one of two camps: legalism or grace. A legalist believes…if you look right, speak right and belong to the right group, you will be saved…The outside sparkles…but something’s missing…Joy. What’s there instead? Fearthat you won’t do enough. Arrogancethat you’ve done enough. Failurethat you’ve made a mistake. Legalism is…slow suffocation of the spirit, amputation of one’s dreams…enough religion to keep but not nourish you…Your diet is rules and standards. Legalism…doesn’t need God…It’s the search for innocencenot forgiveness…a systematic process of defending…explaining…exalting…justifying…[It] turns my opinion into your burden. There’s only room for one opinion…and guess who’s wrong? [It] turns my opinion into your boundary. Your opposing opinion makes me question not only your right to fellowship with me, but your salvation. It turns my opinion into your obligation. Christians must toe the company line. Your job isn’t to think, it’s to march…Salvation is God’s business. Grace is his idea, his work, and his expense. He offers it to whomever he desires, when he desires. Our job is to inform…people, not screen [them].’ Paul writes, ‘Do not set aside…grace…for if righteousness comes through the law…Christ died in vain.’ (Galatians 2:21 NKJV) Thank God ‘He saved us because of His mercy…not…good deeds we did…’ (Titus 3:5 NCV)

SoulFood: 1 Chron 19:1-23:20, John 9:24-41, Ps 115, Pr 25:26-28

10, November 2010

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