Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Signs of Legalism

In a bit of blog surfing the other night I came across some one's testimony of coming out of legalism into grace. Part of her testimony includes hearing a message on legalism by C.J. Mahaney and she listed his signs of legalism as follows:



1. You are more aware of and affected by your past sin than you are the finished work of Jesus Christ. You are paralyzed by condemnation.

2. You are more aware of areas in which you need to grow than of the cross – you are more aware of what you are presently doing than of what Christ has done for you, and whatever you are doing, you feel that it is not enough.

3. You live thinking, feeling, and believing that God is disappointed in you and not delighting you.

4. You assume God’s acceptance is dependent on your obedience, so you make a list of things to do, often Biblical directives. But beware – the study of the Bible is never a basis for God’s acceptance of you, nor are any other spiritual disciplines.

5. You consistently experience condemnation. The way out of condemnation is actually to be unaware of our sin and to be totally aware of what Christ has done for us.

6. You have an undue concern for what people think, motivated by pride.

7. You lack joy.



Number 5 really stood out to me and it strikes me I can't imagine him saying this anymore...maybe I'm wrong... But I felt good in some ways about this because I don't feel so crazy! C.J. really did have some excellent teaching on legalism and I myself have benefited many times from his passionate preaching, particularly on grace and justification. I thank God for him and pray that God would bless him, pouring out such floods of grace and love on him that he would be utterly overwhelmed...

Well, enough of my sentimental reminiscing...but sometimes it's good to remember the places and times God has led you through and how he's used it all to refine you and make you who you are.

4 comments:

Joel Brueseke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joel Brueseke said...

That's a great list. Unfortunately I think that many Christians are living by that list, thinking that they're experiencing God when they're really experiencing nothing more than "self." I'm hoping and praying that this wonderful message of the unconditional love and grace of God will sink deep into the hearts of His people!

As for the reminiscing... The pastor of the church I went to from 1996-1999 preached solid grace all the time, and fortunately my wife and I usually got a tape of his hour-long messages, so every once in a while I'll stick in one of those tapes. It's wonderful, life-giving, encouraging grace teaching, and it also causes me to reminisce about those days...

Coralie said...

How awesome. As a new parent, I'm struggling with how much the church focuses on legalism in parenting, and then they wonder why the church gets dry and "religious" within three generations.

lydia joy said...

Yup, that list was me!! Hmmm......

Good to see you blogging again!