Want To Be Set Free From Legalism?

Today, many Christians are either mixing law and grace or completely under the law. The law was given to Israel only. It was never given to 21st century Christians from a Gentile back round. More than that, the law of Moses and the 10 Commandments ended at the cross (Romans 10:4). Find out how get to unentangled from legalism and come in to the grace and freedom of God.

Transcript:

Want to discover your freedom in Christ, then listen in as Mike Stone and Kevin Smith talk about it today on Grace coach, Grace be with you. Mike. It’s been a while, but we are back here on a Sunday, and I know I’m excited to talk about our topic today, which is get untangled from legalism. This is like the go to podcast for anybody who is beginning to listen to our podcast or new to the new Covenant, this is like your starting point. This is the basics of the basics that we want to talk about today. And I’m excited about it because there’s so many times that we were just talking about going to Church or in Bible studies. And I know my mom’s going to be listening to this, but they had sent the document out afterwards. I’m not going to get to all the details, but when I read through it, it sounded good at some point. But the core of the message was legalism and just not understanding between the old Covenant and new Covenant. And I think that’s the crux of the issue. If you are not clear on where we’re at in the new Covenant with what Christ has done for us compared to what God did with the nation of Israel in the old Covenant, you’re never going to understand what Christianity is all about. It’s a revolution. That’s something you really have to understand. Jesus Christ was bringing a revolution to the world religion, to Judaism, of course, initially. But it’s for the whole world, every religion in the world, it’s a revolution, a new way of thinking. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Yeah. Well, let’s define legalism. And legalism is any attempt to gain acceptance or forgiveness from God through your own works or merits. And legalism and the word law, they’re synonymous. And so when we talk about legalism, we’re talking about how people get back under the old Covenant law that was given to the nation of Israel through Moses, and that is no longer in effect today. The punishment of the law that was given to Israel. And by the way, it was never given to the Gentiles to begin with. So you got to wonder how so many Christians from a Gentile background have gotten back under the law that was never given to them. It’s really something that has to be talked about, like you said. So here are five signs that you’re still entangled in legalism. And listen, nobody is 100% perfect with this. But let me go through the list real quick. Number one, you believe that God loves you, but that he doesn’t like you. And if you think about it, it’s almost like a guilty kind of love that God has to love me, almost like your parents. Maybe there’s a parent who loves their child, but maybe doesn’t like them. Or maybe somebody says, I love you but doesn’t really show that they like you. Yes. It’s so cliche. God loves you. But to get beneath that is does he like you? Does he like you for who you are as Mike Stone, who I am as Kevin Smith personally. And that’s what we’re saying today. God likes you personally in all of your foibles and all of the things that we struggle with. He likes us. And I really think in order to truly love somebody is that you really have to really like somebody to really love them. And that’s why the fact is that God not only loves you, but he also likes you a whole heck of a lot. The second reason why you’re still possibly entangled in legalism is because you’re not

Participant #1:
100% sure of your Salvation has anything to do with you being legalistic. Yeah, good question. I knew you would ask me that. Well, when we’re not sure of our Salvation, it’s really because we feel there are some sins or many sins or maybe one giant sin that I have done. I’m thinking about doing that I’ve done for many years as a Christian that is keeping me out of heaven. And so maybe I’m 90% sure or 80% sure. But it really comes down to not understanding that all our sins have been taken away. All of our sins have been taken away. Every single one of them is what you’re saying. That’s right. In order to know you’re 100% sure of your Salvation, you need to know that all of your sins have been taken away at the cross, 2021 years ago. It’s vital. Vital. Absolutely. Yeah. The number three reason why somebody might still be entangled or a sign that you’re still entangled is you praise others only for their good deeds. That’s a new one. We don’t really talk about that a lot. Yeah. And if you think about that, you’re kind of getting back to the law that was given to Israel and you’re starting to treat people the way you think that God is treating you as a Christian today. The fact is that’s how God did treat Israel. When the Israelites followed the law fully, they were blessed. When the Israelites didn’t follow the law and disobeyed the law, they were cursed. And so we bring that down to Earth in the way we treat people or think about people that were praising them for the good things. And then number four sign your still entangled is you condemn and judge others for their bad deeds.

Participant #1:
Yeah. And that’s a sure sign that you’re still under the old Covenant law that was given to Israel. It’s all about pointing fingers and the fingers. It’s both ways for the good things and the bad things. If you are doing your performance work and you’re working really hard at doing whatever you’re doing, then if somebody else is not doing it, you’re going to point that out because you’re self denial, you’re burning your rubber for God doing the works. So if they’re either doing it, you’re praising them for it. If they’re not doing it, then you’re definitely. How come you’re not getting up at 04:00 in the morning doing your Bible study in your prayer time? I’m doing that. How come you’re not doing that? Yeah. It’s because of the way you look at God, that you’re still under the law. You’re still mixing maybe the old Covenant and the new Covenant, and it’s causing you to praise others for their good deeds and condemn them for their bad deeds. And that’s because that’s how you believe God is looking at you. And that is just not true. Yes. So the fifth sign that you’re still tangled and there’s probably 100 signs, but we’re just going to talk about the fifth one here, that you read the Bible only to check it off your list. That’s a hard one, man. Those who have been a Christian for a long time, the Bible is synonymous to your Christian life. And actually, I do do that sometimes. I feel like I do catch myself on that. Whenever I say I should, I really catch myself and say, do I really have to do this or do I really want to do this? But it’s just again, these are also nuanced. It’s like you can look at it one way, but you got to just turn a diamond just a little bit, see clearly what the way to go is. And it’s not about I should be doing something. But if I want to read my Bible and it’s just a totally different perspective, that’s the way I look at a commitment of something. Maybe it’s a commitment in a relationship or a commitment with going somewhere or doing something versus wanting to do it. The Grace of God and the new Covenant, he changes our minds. He changes our hearts. And we do things because we want to, not because we have to. And if you’re catching yourself with what you said, Kevin, with using the word should a lot, it’s probably a telltale sign that you’re still under the law. Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I was in a Church service recently and the pastor talked about because of COVID and everything, everybody’s been not going to Church or watching the Church through Zoom online. And he made this big plea that we need to recommit to meeting together now. He had definitely scriptural backing for it. There is a version of Iowa says we shouldn’t forsake the gathering of one another and we shouldn’t. But again, is it a law? Is it being legalistic or is it something that it is such a highlight to your week, that Sunday morning time on Wednesday or whatever day you go to Church and you just like you’re there because you want to be. It’s a totally different Church service full of people who want to be there compared to people who are dragging themselves because they have to go there. I’ve been in those two things. I know I speak about our experience at Park Community Church in the early days, but, man, we loved going there. There was just a vibe in the air and energy. People just were, like, hungry and, man, those are some glory days. Yeah. And really, as far as relationships, when I hear the word commitment, it always makes me wary. Somebody might say a conversation that I’m committed to my wife. Well, the question is, do you really want to be with her? Not are you committed or not? I’ve never felt that I am committed to my relationship with my wife. I want to be in the relationship. And you could use that whole idea of wanting to do something versus a commitment in so many areas of our lives. So it’s definitely a telltale sign that you’re still under the law. So, Kevin, the question then is, once I find out that I fit one of these categories or a couple of them or maybe all of them, the question is, how do I get untangled? We have five ways to get untangled from legalism. Absolutely. The number one way or the first way is that I have to replace my bias, my thoughts, what I have learned about Christianity with his thoughts, with the word of God in context, because if I’m still legalistic and I’m still under the law or mixing law and Grace, that I really haven’t heard the full gospel message. Absolutely. And, you know, this is really the cool thing about our relationship with God is that it’s a renewing of your mind. It’s not like, okay, you’re going to go to Church and you’re going to have your mind renewed completely, forever. It’s a constant day by day, month by month, year by year, renewing of your mind. And the essence of it, for me at least, is that it’s going to draw you closer to God and just confirm his love for you. And that’s really at least in my experience. And I’m sure you’ll agree that that’s the end game for this renewing of your mind, to see more clearly God’s perfect love for us. Yeah, that’s Romans twelve two, do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And that transformation takes place through the word of God. And then it says, then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will. And yeah, when you take the word of God and you replace it with your old biases, your old thoughts, what you learned growing up, or maybe as an adult, as a Christian, and replace it with the Grace of God, with the complete forgiveness of God, with what you said earlier, the new Covenant, then you’ll be able to start seeing a renewal of your mind. And then you could test that and you can approve that God’s will is good, it’s pleasing, and it’s perfect. Yes. Another verse I love, Kevin, is Hebrews 412. It says, for the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and the attitude of the heart. That’s Hebrews 412. So in order to get untangled from legalism, you have to go to the word of God that is alive and active. Yeah, but some people would say, hey, I’m doing that and I’m still a little legalistic. I’m still having some of these signs that you mentioned earlier. I still think that God loves me but doesn’t like me. I’m still not 100% sure of my Salvation. Well, that’s because we have to read the word of God in context and mainly in the new Covenant that superseded the old Covenant. Amen. I love that last part of that verse in Hebrews 412. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. And really, that is where God meets us. That is where we can just sit in the midst of our funk, of our situation, of anything that is going on in this world. We have some dear friends of ours who just got COVID, okay. And she left his voicemail and she was coughing and hacking and I mean, she sounded like she was on desk doorstep. I’m kind of rolling here. I don’t know how to connect this up, but other than the fact I sent her a little short text message and said, Lisa West, I just pray that you will be reminded of every miracle that God has ever done in and through your life, because they have had one heck of a married life. We knew each other when we’re single marriage and kids and everything else. They have had a book. They need to write a book on their life. But it’s just remembering all those things and where your heart was in the midst of all these ways of life coming at you. But God is there. He’s right there with you, and he’s conforming your heart in the midst of the storms of life. Yeah. And he does that through the word of God. That’s the only way it’s through the word of God. So number two, how do I get untangled from legalism? You have to live in the new Covenant and not in the old Covenant and the law. And you can’t mix the two, as I mentioned before, a little bit of old Covenant, a little bit of new Covenant. And yes, God is the same God of the new Covenant and of the old Covenant. But the difference is that this new Covenant has superseded the old Covenant. Hebrews 813 you may read that. Yeah. By calling this Covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. That doesn’t get much more clear than that. And that irritates people who still like the law and still love the Old Covenant. They’re like, Where does it say that? Kevin? Another thing is that we mention this earlier. Most people do not know that the old Covenant and the law was given only to the people of Israel. Leviticus 26 46 says, These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the Lord established between himself and the sons of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai. Romans 214 says, when Gentiles who do not have the law. And so most Christians from a Gentile background still think that the law of Moses, the Ten Commandments, the 613 laws, which is how many there were in total, were given to them also. But that is not true. It was only given to Israel. So you got to wonder how so many churches today and so many pastors are teaching us to still be under the law. I think this is an important thing to be clear on is that we’re not saying the law is a bad thing. The law has got a purpose. And at one point, God did tell the nation of Israel to do all the things under the law. He gave them the ceremonial laws, he gave them the spiritual laws, he gave them the civil laws, all of these things. I mean, we’re just reading the City of Refuge, which was a really cool concept given back in the days of how barbaric the people were, that they had designated places, like six different places all around Israel. They call them cities of refugee people. If you killed somebody by accident, you could run to the city to get a legal jury of the situation. Instead of the person coming and venting the blood of their brother or sister or whoever father or mother, you go to the City of Refuge and be. So that was how God told them to live. But we go to the New Covenant and it’s a little different. The New Covenant in Roman says Christ is the end of the law. That’s more than a little different. Yeah, that’s black and white. Yeah. God’s relating to them one way, and now he’s relating to you a completely different way. So God is no longer relating to us. By the 10th Commandment, an example just popped in my head. If I’m a parent and I say to my son, Billy, don’t, what you’re trying to think of something you would tell one child, not the other, is kind of hard because I would probably be the same with both kids. I can’t think of something that I would tell one or not the other. Kevin here, I can’t think exactly of an example. But if you told one person one thing and then you told another person another thing and you did that for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that you’re talking to both of them. You’re saying to Joe, Go to your job and do this. I’m sorry. Say that again. I see what you’re trying to say. If you’re trying to make the nation of Israel one child and the other child. I would say it’s nothing more than God’s plan. This was God’s plan from the very beginning. That’s right. He used the nation of Israel in all of their holidays, their festivals, their new moons as foreshadowing of what he was going to make happen in and through Jesus Christ. It is amazing when you look at how many things they got just for whatever reason, we don’t have to defend it or justify it. He is God. He can do whatever he wants to do with whoever he wants to do. He can make one vessel for honor and one vessel for destruction. And we, as the vessels can’t say a dog on thing about it because he’s God. If he wants to use a nation of Israel to foreshadow what he did 2000 years later in Christ, he’s God. He created the Earth. He spoke the Earth into existence. Okay. He can do whatever he wants to do. So, yeah, there’s one way he dealt with one of his children one way, and he deals with other children the other way as a way to glorify his Grace. That’s the contrast you’re looking for right there, Mike, is that with one child, he didn’t have Grace with the nation of Israel. He had works he told them to do works in order to be in relationship with him so he wouldn’t kill them. Even in the book of Joshua, which studied that he was going to kill the nation of Israel because they weren’t obeying him. Okay. But in how he deals with us and the New Covenant, he’s not killing us because we don’t obey Him. That’s right. And the law in the New Covenant isn’t used to punish people, but to bring people to Christ in escalations 324, that the law was put into effect in order to lead you to Christ. Absolutely. The Royal law of love. Yes. Except. Yes. So, number three, how do I get untangled from legalism? You have to put your faith in what you believe. So what do I mean by that? You have to cure the word and put it into practice. You have to believe that the word of God is true. So what do I mean by that? If the word of God says that all of your sins are forgiven and he’s not counting your sins against you in Second Corinthians 518 and 19, then believe that and sit in the chair. Don’t just look at the chair and say, I know that about God, but when you do sin, you can thank Him, because when you start asking God for what you already have, you do not believe that he took away all your sins. It’s double talk. Absolutely. Let me read this second Corinthians 518, what you just mentioned. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the Ministry of reconciliation, that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Dude, there is so much wrapped up in that. Two versus powerful. It is powerful. But the question is, are we going to believe that? What is the evidence that we believe that we stop asking God to forgive us when we sit that’s evidence, that’s faith that’s sitting in the chair, when you start doing that, you start thinking him and stop asking God to forgive you. You can get free from legalism because you think that by you’re asking God to forgive you over and over again that he will accept you, he will accept that as a sacrifice, he will allow you back into his Kingdom. And if you don’t, he won’t, right? Oh, my gosh. Yes. Our sacrifices. Yeah. So that takes us into number four. Kevin, how do I get free and untangled from legalism? I again, have to stop asking God for what I already have. And what verses do Christians use to think that they have to ask God to forgive them over and over and over again? One, John one nine, if I confess my sins, God will forgive me. And if I don’t confess them, he won’t forgive me. So that is not a verse about confessing your sins. That is a verse about agreeing with God that you have a sin nature and all you have to do is read one John eight and ten to see that very clearly. And then Kevin, Matthew 612 with the Lord’s Prayer

Participant #1:
in just about every Church every week, they read the Lord’s Prayer. And that’s an old Covenant prayer before the cross. Just keep on reading after the Lord’s Prayer. And I believe it’s Matthew 614 15, that if you forgive your brother, God will forgive you. But if you don’t forgive your brother, God in heaven will not forgive your sins. But again, these are verses that Christians use to think that they have to ask God to forgive them over and over and over. And then the third verse that they use is James 516 that says confess your sins. And they usually stop there. But you can’t stop there because it says confess your sins to one another. That’s a great verse to highlight that. That is talking about a horizontal relationship, not the vertical relationship that we have got. And absolutely, we should be confessing our sins to one another, asking each other to forgive us and reconcile with people down here with our friends and our family. Absolutely, we should be doing that. And that’s because God has taken away our sins, has taken away the person sins who I’m in disagreement with. So why should I hold a higher standard than God? That would be ridiculous. So that’s why he’s saying confess your sins to one another. Amen just to be in community and relationship with each other and somebody you want to be in right relationship. It’s purely at a horizontal level. There’s no blood that’s being sacrificed for those sins. It’s merely a you’re forgiving another person and you’re extending Grace and mercy to them as God is extending Grace and mercy to you. Our vertical relationship is where we get that ability because he’s given us a loving and forgiving heart in the first place, that we can experience this Grace and mercy from God, then we can let that flow through us to other people. If we don’t do that, if we never receive that from God, and I would say even that we often will forgive other people the way we think God is forgiven us. That’s right. So if we’re not a very forgiving person to other people, more than likely we’re not really understanding what we’ve got from God. That is absolutely 100% true. And number five, Kevin, how do I get untangled from Legalism? Just believe it. Believe it and be happy. Hebrews four nine says there remains then a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For anyone who enters God’s rest also rest from their works. So why did God rest on the 7th day? It wasn’t because he was tired. It was because he knew in the New Covenant that he was going to send Jesus Christ in the world to take away all of the sins of the world and that we would be forgiven. Then he would offer life to anyone who believed in him. They would be made alive. And there’s a Sabbath rest. That’s the Sabbath rest that is given to us. And that’s why God rested on the 7th day. It was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ that was to come. Amen. Amen. I just want to say this because being happy is such a cliche statement in our society. So much of the world is looking for happiness, looking for

Participant #1:
happy. I don’t know how to say it, but I think you understand what I’m saying. What we’re trying to say is it’s not our goal. We’re not trying to have happiness as our goal. But what we’re saying is once you understand. Rightly, your relationship with God, it’s a natural outcome of that truth. So it’s like the difference between being happy and joyful. Your joy doesn’t depend on your circumstances. Bob George wrote a great book on victory over depression, and the subtitle was Living Above Your Circumstances. Right. And so our happiness and joy is from our understanding of what we have in Christ. That’s right. And that will never change. Now our circumstances in life will go up and down. Tomorrow could be a gloomy day on the circumstances of the world coming at you, but the circumstances of our world can never change what we have in Christ. Amen. That’s rock solid. Yeah. So I hope today our podcast, how to Get Untangled From Legalism, has helped you get untangled from Legalism and come into the Grace of God. That’s found in the New Covenant and if you do that, if you start to look to the new Covenant, some of these verses and just look into the Bible for the Grace of God, for the full gospel, the complete forgiveness of sins, the new life that is found in Jesus Christ, the fact that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you ever again. If you start doing that, more and more you will find yourself untangled from legalism which plagues so many people today. Amen. Amen. Amen. Let me pray for it. Father God, we want to honor and glorify you with everything that we have, everything that you’ve given to us with open hands. Allow you to use them. Whatever you give to us, the good things and the bad things in life. As the Apostle Paul said, whatever I have, maybe for your honor and glory. He went through so many struggles and tourmoils and beatings and near death experiences. Just pray that we can be like him and just be content with what we have in Christ for you are great, provider for protector Jesus name we pray. Amen. Amen. Thanks, Kevin. Thank you for listening to Grace, coach if you want to connect with us, we would love love to engage with you. Email us at thegracecoach@gmail.com visit our Facebook page or visit our website gracecoach.org.