by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Guard Against Legalism (11 of 23)
Series: Colossians - The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ
Stephen Whitney
Colossians 2:16-19

Legalism is defined as: ''Strict adherence to the law.''
From a religious sense it is the attitude that keeping certain rules and regulations will win you God's favor and grace.

The Pharisees in the NT believed there were 613 rules in the OT which God had given for the Jews to keep. They went on to add to these 1,521 more regulations which they believed would help the people keep the 613 commands of God.

Legalism causes a person to believe:
They can be made right God by keeping the law.
They fail to realize they still have a sinful nature.

They receive God's grace by obedience to rules.
They don't understand that grace is a gift.

They are better than others because they keep the law.
The result is pride in what they do to please God.

Chuck Swindoll, in Grace Awakening wrote, ''One of the major enemies of vital Christianity today is legalism. It is a killer.
Legalistic people with their rigid do's and don'ts kill the spirit
of joy and spontaneity of those who wish to enjoy their liberty.
Legalism drains the life out of a church.''


Therefore - as a result of Christ dying for our sins we have been set free from having to keep the law to be righteous with God.
The debt we owed was paid with the blood of Christ (:14).

Pass judgment (KJB judge) - Gk. to be guilty of a crime.
To paraphrase John Calvin, ''Men should not make us subject
to keep laws which Christ has abolished by his death.''

If we are really set free in Christ then we are not under the law.
Galatians 3:24-25 The law was our tutor to bring us to Christ,
that we might be justified by faith. But after faith had come,
we are no longer under a tutor.

Legalism was expressed in two areas - eating and ceremonies.
What they ate and drank.
The OT had dietary rules about what they were allowed to eat.
Levi ...

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