More of the Same?

I have been asked recently why I just keep beating the presumably dead horse called legalism. I do this simply because it is what so much of Paul the Apostles ministry became about. It amazes me how his defense of Grace is riddled throughout his letters to the church.  His attitude toward legalists at one point was so dramatic that he said that he wished they would castrate themselves! I write and preach and teach against legalism and for grace because even today on Facebook there was yet again another church condemning other churches simply because they had a different take on ministry than they did.  I saw this church pull out of context the same verses “remove not the ancient landmark”  and “ask for the old paths” that they seem to always use to support their legalistic “I’m always right all the time” remarks.

The sad reality is that there are so very many wounded Christians littering the landscape of our nation because once grace is gone, the broken will eventually follow.  I have seen firsthand what happens when a church abandons grace in favor of law.  Not even God’s Law, but extra-Biblical, or I should say unbiblical standards in place of the Holy Spirit and a vital relationship with Him.  I once spoke with a pastor that called himself Mr. Law, and he was proud of the fact!  How you can read Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians and come away with such an attitude is disturbing to say the least.

overflowing-glassWhat we need is grace.  An abundance of grace in our churches and in our culture.  We need to trumpet the goodness of God and the mercy that is new every morning.  We need to saturate ourselves with His goodness and fill our cups to overflowing with His amazing grace, so that all of the darkness and sin in our lives will be washed away and so that we will have something to share with the wounded around us.  We need to see Jesus as He is, transfigured and glorified, beautiful and wondrous and someone to be desired more than sin or pleasure or any other thing.

As pastors of churches, we need to trust that the Lord is IN His children.  We need to teach and preach to them the wonderful grace of Jesus that is more than a song, and more than salvation, but is actually a way of life.  May we grasp the power of grace itself in our lives, may we begin to understand the depth and height and width and length of the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.