Galatians 5 doesn’t mince words when it comes to legalism. It happens when we get so tied to the letter of the law that we forget to incorporate God’s love, mercy, and grace. It’s far too easy to let legalistic thoughts slip into my mind. Even a tiny little bit of that destructive yeast can spread through the entire batch of dough.
I must work very hard not to let legalism infiltrate my thinking. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were ruled by the law and Jesus didn’t like it one bit. He agreed that they knew the law well enough to teach it but they didn’t always practice what they preached. They oppressed their listeners with unbearable burdens and did nothing to ease those burdens. Legalism can lead to only doing good things for show (Matthew 23:1-5). I must refuse to give in to it! Compassion must be added in to the equation. Prayer and the Holy Spirit’s power also need to be mixed in. This is how burdens get relieved. When I add those things to the law, I am preserving the Truth of the Gospel.
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