by Jim Perdue

This content is part of a series.

The Lie of Legalism (8 of 13)
Series: Jesus First
Jim Perdue
Colossians 2:16-23

From the flashing red signals at a railroad crossing to the skull and crossbones on a bottle of rubbing alcohol, warnings are a part of daily life. Children must be taught to heed warnings, and adults must be reminded not to get too accustomed to them. Warnings are a matter of life or death.*

The spiritual life also has its dangers and its warnings. Paul had already warned about the false teachers (Col. 2:8). And now, he warns us to watch out for The Lie of Legalism. READ TEXT

What is legalism? Legalism is the religion of human achievement. It argues that spirituality is based on Christ plus human works. It makes conformity to manmade rules the measure of spirituality. As long as you wear the right clothes, say the right words, look the right way, and condemn the right people, you are righteous.

This is how it goes. I have here a deck of cards. I'm going to play a little game. Don't worry, I know some of you are nervous that I'm playing cards in church! This will be quick and I promise no money will be exchanged. Pick a card. Now I will pick a card. If my card is higher, I win. If your card is higher, I win. New game. Let's play go fish. Do you have any 6's? No, well what do you have? OK, give me that. Here, hold these for a second. UNO! I win again! Isn't this great. I'm winning at every game we're playing!*

This is how legalism works. It makes shallow people feel spiritual because they're winning at a rigged game. They invent the game, deal the cards, set the rules, and decide who wins.

This is the way they act spiritually. And Paul addresses it head-on here in Colossians 2:16-23. He says, ''Let no one pass judgment on you…let no one disqualify you.'' Paul reveals three lies of legalism.

Minor things are actually major issues: 16-18


The first lie of legalism is that minor issues are really major issues. Legalism makes a mountain out of a ...

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