You can’t get something for nothing….. The Best Things in Life are Free. Which is it?
Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it didn’t cost something. The greatest thing in life, salvation, is absolutely free. But it cost Jesus His life.
Salvation is by grace. But some people want to hold us hostage. We call them legalists. Legalists either want you to obey certain rules before you can be a Christian, or they make you obey certain rules after you are a Christian. So this Sunday I’m going to show the difference between a religion of grace and a religion of law keeping.
Legalists always cause trouble. They emphasize that salvation is by faith plus keeping laws. In Corinth some were teaching that a believer’s faith is perfected by obeying the law of Moses. Even today we have a groups of ‘evangelical’ Christians who are encouraging people to obey the laws of Moses.
One group is called ‘The Hebrew Roots Movement.’ They celebrate the Jewish holidays, like Hanakkah and Passover. They don’t eat pork or shellfish. They worship on Saturday and use some of the apocryphal books. They call Jesus, “Jeshua.” Many of them don’t attend a church, but have church in their home. This is a dangerous teaching and is contradictory to New Testament teaching. For one, nowhere are Gentiles commanded to keep Jewish laws, including the 10 Commandments. For another, the law cannot save you or even make you a better person.
Legalism is very popular since human nature enjoys achieving religious goals instead of simply trusting Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to work. It is much easier to measure religion than true righteousness. Legalism has a way of inflating the egos of people. But when you emphasize the grace of God you must tell people that they are sinners and cannot save themselves.
How did can we refute the doctrines and practices of legalists? The same way Paul did – by showing the surpassing glory of the ministry of the gospel of the grace of God.
This Sunday, February 17, I begin a 3-part sermon series called “The Message and the Messenger” from 2 Corinthians 3-5. 2 Corinthians is Paul’s most personal letter and he opens his heart to defend his ministry and the Gospel against those who attack him. This week my sermon is simply called “Grace and Law” from 2 Corinthians 3.
Join us this Sunday @ 10:30 a.m.