Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Understanding Legalism

Legalism is not salvation. No one wants to be a "legalist". And you probably realize that if I am a legalist, I am lost—I need to find my salvation in Christ, not in the law.

What most people don't realize is that nearly every Christian is a legalist! (What?!) This is because there are at least three different kinds of legalism. Many of the most vocal against legalism have merely traded one type of legalism from another. Have you?

If you are a Christian, there's a very good chance you are a legalist. We mainly think of legalism as "salvation is gained through good works"—but that's merely one type of legalism. And in reality, that concept tends to be not so popular today. The other two types of legalism are far more widespread!

Three Types of Legalism:

  • Type I: Salvation by good works: Under the Law

  • Type II: Salvation by legal transactions: Salvation That Doesn't Save.

  • Type III: Salvation by the death of … The Law: Wrong Savior!

It doesn't matter which trap of legalism I have fallen for: if I am a legalist, I am lost and need Christ.

As you look at these three types of legalism, ask yourself, have I fallen for any of these? Have my friends fallen for any of these? Have I lost sight of my true Savior and the real salvation He offers? If there's any doubt, refocus your attention on Christ and the genuine salvation that He is offering!


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