Legalism is Attractive because It’s Easy

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to put up a fence between you & your neighbor instead of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to follow parts of the law instead of the whole law.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to trust yourself and your innate “goodness” instead of trusting God and his real goodness.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to conclude you have it all together instead of realizing you’re truly spiritually bankrupt.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to think we can earn our salvation instead of reckoning with the reality that an innocent one was bruised for our transgressions.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to consider yourself better than another instead of realizing we are all not what we are supposed to be which bolsters humility.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to imagine that God is more like a doting grandfather instead of a righteous, holy Father who truly must honor all that is honorable.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to give yourself to a lie instead of giving yourself to the truthful one.

Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to believe that God’s love is conditioned by our obedience instead of believing that there’s an unending wellspring of tender mercies found in Jesus Christ.

John Piper writes “Whenever happy confidence in the sovereign power of God for our own lives and the lives of others grows weak, legalism creeps in. We inevitably try to compensate for loss of dynamic faith by increased moral resolve and the addition of man-made regulations. But wherever joyful confidence in the power of God is waning, the flesh is waxing. Which means that the morality we had hoped would save ourselves and the regulations we hoped would purify our church fall victim to the massive power of the flesh and become its instruments of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.” Beloved, the gospel is both good and stout medicine. It’s good because it truly mends our brokenness and lack of true righteousness. It’s stout because it is a painful remedy that aims to relieve the dying of their last self-righteous breath.

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One response to “Legalism is Attractive because It’s Easy

  1. Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easier to repost a Facebook photo than it is to take care of your sick Facebook friend when he has the flu.

    Legalism is attractive because it’s easy. It’s easy to imagine that God is a vending machine where we can put in short prayers and church attendance, and receive grace and salvation and happiness and joy in return.

    Jesus speaks on this very issue in Matthew 5. James Packer tells us that in a long-standing tradition, “The rabbis of Jesus’ day…supposed that [God’s] law had only to do with behavior patterns…and that keeping it meant no more than conforming to those outward patterns and rules.” Jehovah noticed this pattern in the Israelites over five centuries before Jesus’ biological birth. A major theme of Isaiah’s prophesy is the pattern of Israelite worship in which the Israelites do indeed treat Jehovah like a cosmic vending machine. But through Isaiah, Jehovah tells the Israelites that their empty ceremonies and supplications will not continue to procure them the divine security and blessings they became used to.

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