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Devotional - week of July 15, 2001


THE DANGER OF LEGALISM

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh   Romans 8:3a.

Law-living is flesh-living. and therein lies the danger of legalism. The following passage reveals what flesh can do in our lives.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication … hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions … drunkenness   Galatians 5:19-21a.

We wonder why godly people fall into such sins as listed in the Galatians passage. We wonder why we can be so repentant and prayerful about our own sins but do not have victory over them.

Most, if not all, of the time the answer is in our legalistic approach to Christian living.

We engage in legalism when we conduct our lives by seeking to keep rules—as opposed to walking in the Spirit. We engage in legalism when we attempt keep the commands of the Bible through a set of rules rather than by walking in the Spirit. Or we engage in legalism when we attempt to keep man-made rules or we live by the one rule of seeking “to do our best for Jesus.”

The righteous requirement of the law will be fulfilled in those:

who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.   Romans 8:4b.

Do not be afraid to walk in the Spirit But do be afraid of walking in legalism—and in the flesh.