Monday, January 5, 2009

Jesus teaches faith, not legalism

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. "Rabbi," he said, "we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you." Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God." "What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?" Jesus replied, "I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. John 3:1-6

Nicodemus is drawn to the carpenter, but he can't be seen with Him. Nicodemus is on the high court. He can't approach Jesus in the day. So Nicodemus goes to meet Him at night. He goes in the darkness. Appropriate....for legalism offers no light.

It's rigid. It's mechanical....and it's not from God.

Can I give you the down and dirty about legalism? Legalism doesn't need God. Legalism is the search for innocence-- not forgiveness. Legalists are obsessed with self, not God.

--Turns my opinion into your burden.
--Turns my opinion into your boundary.
--Turns my opinion into your obligation.

If you want to be in the group, stay in step and don't ask questions.

Nicodemus knew how to march, but he longed to sing. He knew there was something more, but he didn't know where to find it. So he went to Jesus.

May we truly see that Jesus has the answers for everything in life and may we come to see that His yolk is easy and His burden is light. He is not hard to follow. Legalism is hard to follow. Jesus is the source of contentment, peace, and acceptance. Legalism is the source of stress and rigid rules. Jesus makes it simple. We make it difficult. Seek Him today. Don't chase after what the world considers, "religion" or "spirituality". Jesus is the author of peace and contentment.

1 comment:

"Joyful one" said...

Here is a great site for more information regarding legalism.
It appears that there are endless possibilities for becoming a legalistic act. John 3:16 says it best.