Calvary Baptist Church Red Bank
Modern-Day Legalism (Part 1)
September 13, 2020
Main Scripture Reference(s)
Galatians 4:8-20

Modern-Day Legalism (Part 1)

September 13, 2020 / Galatians 4:8-20

We have seen how legalism in Paul’s day added works to salvation, but that is largely not what modern-day legalism is in the church now. Legalism for us applies in the area of how we perceive our sanctification and how we portray our spirituality to others.

I. The of Legalism

  • These are things that a legalist might say:
  • 1. God’s love for me depends on what I do.
    2. Meeting the expectations of others, especially those in my congregation or in positions of authority, is very important.
    3. I try hard to obey God and it irritates me that others think they can get away with avoiding the same level of dedication.
    4. My main goal in life is to try to gain God’s favor by doing things that will impress him.
    5. My sense of spiritual well-being is linked to a Christian leader or membership in my church rather than a personal relationship with God.
    6. I tell my children not to do something in church or around other Christian families that I allow in my home.
    7. I believe my way is the best way and that most other Christians may be sincere, but are sincerely wrong.
    8. I sometimes worry that people might take advantage of grace if it’s preached too much – people might think they can do anything they want.
    9. After being around Christians for a while I feel drained – weary of putting up a false front.
    10. It’s not possible that someone with lower standards than me could love God as much as me.

II. The  of Legalism

  • The word “legalism” is not in the Bible, but there are clearly outlined in the Bible.
  • Definition #1: Focusing on God’s laws more than a with God.
  • Beware of a religion that is all and no godliness.
  • Definition #2: Keeping standards without a truly submitted .
  • Many grew up in church, but not in Christ.
  • Definition #3: Promoting personal and a distorted view of God and His .
  • Legalism acts like Jesus’ wasn’t enough and we need to tack on some good .

III. The about Legalism

  • It’s a spiritual . (9)  Paul says they are regressing rather than progressing.
  • It’s an to works. (9)  Whatever a person’s god is, they become enslaved to it.
  • It’s an of man. (9)  It’s worried more about what man thinks than what God knows.
  • We can either make Christianity like every other world religion of routine and ritual, or we can step into the intimate presence of God.

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