IS GOD LEGALISTIC?
This is a follow up article to my previous one entitled, "Eight Things Forbidden by God."
Some people, it seems, do not understand the difference between living by a set of rules because you HAVE to and living out of obedience because you WANT to.
There is also a misunderstanding regarding living in obedience to God, not to earn salvation, but because of it.
Then, a distinction must be made between using grace to live any way one wants to and using grace as a motivator to live a life pleasing to God. God's grace is never to be an excuse for living in violation to His law.
So, you see, it doesn't have to be a legalistic list of "do's and don'ts, should's and should not's", but rather a list of commands, or prohibitions that are obeyed because a person's "want-to" has become what it should be. The law of God is in their heart. God's "rules" are not even thought of as rules, but as principles by which to live a godly life, and any true believer in Christ will certainly want to do that.
It is like the Ten Commandments. Do we need them? They are still applicable today, however, people who are truly born anew by God's Holy Spirit are not going to want to, or have it in their heart to violate them.
According to Matthew 5:13-16 Christians are supposed to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. One of the ways we fulfill that is by keeping His commandments.
Another thing to keep in mind is "to be above reproach..." (Phil. 2:15) "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do."
(I Peter 1:15)
Furthermore, we must have uncompromising convictions about what we believe and are involved in. (Romans 14:22 and I Timothy 3:9)
With all of this said, it still gets back to the original premise: if God says we should not do something, then we should not do it, period! We should not WANT to do it. God's grace will also give us the conviction, the living "beyond reproach" and the correct "want-to's."
If a person doesn't like the commands given in the Bible, he or she should take it up with the author. His name is God.
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