Legalism: a Smokescreen


(The following is from a booklet written by DR. MIKE ALLISON)

Is the term
"LEGALISM" used as an excuse to circumvent the Bible doctrines of separation?

Is the term
"LEGALISM" used to intimidate those who preach and practice a valid scriptural principle?
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Many sincere Christians feel the matter of holy living is strictly between the individual believer and God, and no one should set standards of dress and conduct.

Other equally sincere Christians believe it is right and necessary to maintain definite standards.

One group calls the other "compromising", while the other group answers with the tag of "legalist".

In this booklet, Dr. Mike Allison discusses the problems. He clarifies the issue of Biblical definitions and gives guidelines for proper Christian attitudes.

Legalism: a Smokescreen
We have an interesting but sad thing that has happened among evangelical churches these days. An exodus from standards for living has taken place. Preachers now preach that standards are a matter of "personal conviction." "If you think something is wrong for you, it is wrong. If you think it is all right, then it is all right."

It has become a common occurrence to hear preachers denounce those who preach standards by calling them 'legalists." A preacher from California recently cried out, while preaching on Galatians 5:1-5; "I hate legalism" (referring to those who preach about standards for living). Another chided preachers for making such a big deal over "regional convictions."

If I am against something they are not against, I am branded a legalist. If I am against something they are also against, we are "separatists."

Legalism has become the compromiser's excuse to circumvent the Word of God. This is a phrase often used by those who think right and wrong is simply a matter of personal choice. "I'm not convicted about it yet." Statements like this sound spiritual; they please the ears of those who have been wanting to indulge in things Christians have stood against for years, but demonstrate a lack of Bible knowledge concerning the law and its importance to the child of God.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines legalism as a "strict adherence to the law." However, theological legalism would have a different definition. Theological legalism is a strict adherence to the law as a means to be saved or keep salvation. Simply, any addition of works by man to the finished work of Christ to bring or keep salvation is legalism.

I. THE PROBLEM WITH THE LAW

The book of Galatians was written to combat theological legalism. Following Paul from place to place were groups of men who taught that simple faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ was not enough to be saved. They taught that circumcision and strict adherence to the law were essential to salvation. Many in the Galatian churches had…

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Questions for Bible Believers (updated, clarified & revised)

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
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In this verse, the Bible tells us clearly that Christians are to "be not drunk with wine". I have several questions to ask ourselves.

1. If this means it is OK to drink so long as we don't get intoxicated, how can we follow this command without actually breaking it? Would we not have to first get intoxicated to find out where the line was?

2. Who would be more strict about drink? God or the government?
http://www.askaboutalcohol.ie/alcohol-and-driving/
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3. Since this verse specifically says "wine", Does that mean it is OK to be drunk with hard liquor or beer? Would this apply to marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs or not?

4. According to this verse, can a Christian be "filled with the Holy Spirit" while they are drunk?

Email your comments… [email protected]
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Will We Repeat History?

I have had people tell me that history is not reliable because it is distorted,
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therefore they throw out all history. Personally, I think this is a foolish mistake. All history is indeed written, to some degree, from a biased point of view. We should never accept history as being infallible like the Bible, but by studying it and knowing history, we can see where the world is heading. We can avoid the mistakes of the past. If we do not know history, we will be bound to repeat it. Read the rest of the article…

Is a “Little Anger” OK?

(Below is an excerpt of an email from Dr. S. M. Davis who has brilliant, helpful sermon counselling videos)

I had given my message on “
ANGER THE DESTROYER” at a church and was standi
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ng at my table in the church’s foyer. A man came walking up to me and with an Angry Spirit (that he didn’t know he had) said, “Well, I heard everything you just said and I still think a little anger is alright! The difference in you and me is that you raised all girls and I had a houseful of boys and if you don’t get angry with boys sometime they won’t do what you want them to do! You have to have anger if you’re going to raise boys!”
Wow! Where do I start in answering that?!
I assured him that I knew what it was like to use anger when…
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Jesus Did, or Didn't, Do Enough On The Cross?

Recently I received a question about a verse in Colossians 1. If the verse is read alone, one would perceive it to say that the Apostle Paul had to sacrifice to add to Jesus’ work on the cross.
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This fact would mean that His sacrifice for our sins was not enough. The verse to which I am referring to in Colossians 1:24 in which the Apostle Paul states "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:”

When approaching a verse like this, one must first realise that there are difficult verses in the Bible. The Apostle Peter stated in
2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” So there are going to be… Read the rest of the article…

Is the Septuagint a Corrupted Text? Answer: Yes

What is the Septuagint?

(
Read more about the Septuagint here)
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The Septuagint is a Greek version of the Hebrew Old Testament text, translated between 250-160 B.C. Modern scholars believe that this is a superior text and used by Jesus and the Apostles, but these are all assumptions. What do the facts truly say? Read the rest of the article…

Brilliant Bible Reading System

Recently I came across a brilliant, life changing,
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Bible reading system. I have been so impressed with it that I wanted to write about it and tell others on the church blog. It is probably one of the best systems to get to know your Bible from front to back, inside and out. It is called...
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Only One Life...

In 1860 a child was born to a wealthy English family and his name was C.T. Studd (Charles Thomas Studd).
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C.T.Studd was saved during a revival meeting in England and known as a cricketer, but he was most noted for his missionary work in China. Following is an inspirational and convicting poem that he wrote during his lifetime.


Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before…

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Modern Day Pharisees

With even a casual read through the Gospels, you will find a group of individuals called the Pharisees. They continually pop up
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here and there and most of the time challenging Jesus’ teachings. It is a common belief that the Pharisees were the ones who strictly followed the Bible and the Biblical laws. I would dare say that many of the Jews at the time of Christ also believed this to be the case. According to the Bible, what the Pharisees did was twist......
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Depressed Christians

Depression is a genuine thing that many people face, even Christians. Several different things can cause a person to suffer depression in their life. Throughout the Bible, you will find great men and women, from King David to the Apostle Paul, who faced times of depression in their lives, as did Charles Hadden Spurgeon.

The following quote by Charles Haddon Spurgeon is from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1881, vol. 27, p. 1595:
"I know that wise brethren say, 'You should not give way to feelings of depression.'...
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If those who blame quite so furiously could once know what depression is, they would think it cruel to scatter blame where comfort is needed. There are experiences of the children of God which are full of spiritual darkness; and I am almost persuaded that those of God's servants who have been most highly favoured have, nevertheless, suffered more times of darkness than others. Read the rest of the article…