Index by Subject

Legalism

Binding Where God Has Not
(A Departure from the Divine Hermeneutics)

Proper hermeneutics demands respect for the authority of the word of God. Legalism, on the other hand, is a departure from the divine hermeneutics that really doesn’t respect the authority of the word.

Not all who use the term legalism understand what it is. Neither is everyone who is charged with being a legalist guilty. It is true, however, that legalism is real and alive. It was a problem in the first century and is still a problem today.

What is Legalism?

Many times when we contend for a “thus saith the Lord”, we are charged with being legalists. So, let’s first clarify what legalism is not:

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The Lord’s Holy Day

Our calendars are filled with many different holidays. Many of these are national holidays, such as, New Years, Martin Luther King day, Presidents day, Memorial day, Independence day, Veterans day, Columbus day, and Thanksgiving. There are others that are religious holidays such as, Yom Kipper, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas. And, from time to time, new holidays are added.

To many people a “holiday” is merely time off from work, time to shop or time to work in the yard. However, there is more to a holiday than that. Our word “holiday” is derived from “holy day”. The purpose of a holiday is “A day on which custom or the law dictates a halting of general business activity to commemorate a particular activity” (American Heritage Dictionary). It is sad when we have a holiday (like Independence Day) and some have no clue what the day is about. The same could be true of the Lord’s holy day, the first day of the week.

Let’s consider what makes a day holy and see how men have made holidays that are greatly contrasted with God’s holy days.

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The Gentiles and the Law of Conscience (Romans 2:12-16)

The Law of the Lord is Good!

Romans 2:12-16 says: For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Romans 1 had established that the Gentiles are in sin and need salvation. The point of chapter two is to show that the Jews likewise are in sin and need salvation just like the Gentiles. The point of the above verses (vv. 12-16) is an amplification of the point in v. 11 (God is no respecter of persons). So, his point is that God will condemn those who sin whether they be Jew or Gentile. Those who sin without the law (Gentiles), God will condemn. Those who sin in the law (Jews), God will condemn. Continue reading » The Gentiles and the Law of Conscience (Romans 2:12-16)

Solid Food: The Gentiles and the Law of Conscience (Romans 2:12-16)

Romans 2:12-16 says:

    “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

Romans 1 had established that the Gentiles are in sin and need salvation. The point of chapter two is to show that the Jews likewise are in sin and need salvation just like the Gentiles. The point of the above verses (vv. 12-16) is an amplification of the point in v. 11 (God is no respecter of persons). So, his point is that God will condemn those who sin whether they be Jew or Gentile. Those who sin without the law (Gentiles), God will condemn. Those who sin in the law (Jews), God will condemn. Continue reading » Solid Food: The Gentiles and the Law of Conscience (Romans 2:12-16)