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The 5 Warning Signs of Legalism

Many Christians are bound by legalism.  Are you one of them?  The trouble is that legalism can be very deceptive.  You can be caught up in it and never know it – unless you see the warning signs.  I hope this will be both a challenge and a blessing to you.

1. Elevating works over position.  Do you worry about what you can do to please God?  The correct answer is – nothing!!  It’s the blood of Christ that makes me acceptable to God.  Nothing I do can make Him love me any more or any less.  While works can affect my rewards and blessings, they will never change God’s love and acceptance of me if I’m in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

2. Seeing yourself more of a slave than a son.  Yes, we do serve God and are expected to obey Him in all things.  But the way we obey is as mature sons and daughters.  As spiritual children we learn servanthood.  It is the training ground for our growth in Christ.  The purpose of servanthood is so that we can walk in maturity.  The Lord desires sons and daughters to represent Him to the world.  (Galatians 4:1-7)

3. Relying more on your confession than God’s grace.  I believe in the confession of Scripture.  Rehearsing and memorizing it is an important part of the believer’s life.  Just as important is the reason we do it.  The purpose of confessing God’s Word is to increase our faith in Him.  But ultimately, it’s not my confession, but the power of God that will bring about the changes that I need.  (II Peter 1:3)

4. Giving more time to studying Scripture than to intimacy with Christ.  Scripture study is very important – it is one of my passions.  I couldn’t live without it.  But, spending quality time with the Lord is even more so.  Jesus rebuked the Scribes and the Pharisees for diligently studying the Scriptures, yet not going to the Christ that they pointed to.  It’s not enough just to know about Christ.  I need to have an intimate, personal knowledge of Him that only comes from time spent in His presence.  (John 5:39-40)

5. Being confident more in the comparison with others than abiding in Christ.  Comparison is a deadly trap.  the problem is that I can always find someone less committed than me.  It gives me a false sense of security because I’m no worse than anyone else.  On the other hand, I can spend my days feeling worthless, because I look at others who are farther along than me in the faith.  I can’t base my self-evaluation on someone else’s life.  My goal is not to be better than you, but to be like Christ.  (II Corinthians 10:12)

Question: Have you battled with legalism?  How have you overcome it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Legalism, Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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The Road to Damascus

Acts 9:3-6
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.  “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

We all make mistakes.  The unfortunate thing is, that sometimes we compound these mistakes by going off into a totally wrong direction.

In this section of Scripture we find that Saul (later to become Paul the Apostle) has become self-deceived.  He thought that by persecuting the church, he was in the center of God’s will for his life.

It took a wilderness journey and a voice from heaven to knock him off his horse and break through his defenses.  Apparently there was no other way to get through to him.  He needed to be shaken up in order for God to get his attention.

As we spend time in the wilderness we should be open for the Lord to wake us up and turn our lives around.  Every once in a while God has a life altering event waiting for you just around the next corner.  We need to be prepared and open for these heavenly interruptions.

As you go before the Lord today, make sure that you reaffirm your intention to obey Him no matter what comes your way.  Let Him know that you will remain true to Him even if it calls for you to change your plans.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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