WHAT IS LEGALISM?
by John T. Webb
Some who visit here may get the idea that we believe it is necessary to strictly observe the "Old Testament" "Law." While there is a bit of truth there, please allow me to explain further.
It seems that the term "legalist" is applied only TO those who appear to practice legalism BY those who are against it (which is NOT to say that I am FOR it). I don't think that I have ever heard of anyone who believes that God's commandments are still in effect calling themselves legalists. I am sure that there are those who espouse the belief that strict adherence to the Law will gain one entrance to heaven, but they somehow manage to use different terminology.
As far as our beliefs go, there is not, and never has been, a way to "work" one's way to heaven. We are justified by FAITH! Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses (Heb. 11), etc., were justified by FAITH! -- through the GRACE of God, which is, by the way, mentioned in the "Old" Testament (much more than this one time) as much as antinomians would have us believe that the OT is for Law and the NT is for Grace, and that the OT God is a God of wrath while the NT God is a God of love.
HERE is where some of our basic beliefs on GOD'S INSTRUCTION BOOK (i.e., Torah=Instruction) FOR LIFE can be found.
Today's "grace only" Christians somehow seem to pick and choose which parts of the New Testament they wish to observe. They would have one of the most revered passages, the "Great Commission," stop after "...teaching them." Our Lord's COMMAND is to teach them "to OBSERVE (i.e., OBEY) whatsoever I have COMMANDED you." This is just one of MANY verses which speak to our duty to OBEY GOD, not just rely on "grace."
A few examples of reasons in the NT to observe the "Law":
Matt. 19:17 If you will ENTER INTO (eternal)LIFE, keep the commandments.
Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. [i.e., that we are not to keep HIS commandments.]
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
1 John 2:3-4, 6 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. ... He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Rev. 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
John 7:49 But this people who knows not the law are cursed.
Rom. 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Rom. 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Rom. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom. 10:4 For Christ is the end [i.e., goal] of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.
An example of what
the "New" Testament would be like
without the "Old" Testament
that Yeshua and Sha'ul knew
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Last update 28 January 2020