James 2:10-11 "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said 'do not commit adultery', also said 'do not commit murder'. Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law".
One of the charges cast towards the direction of those who want to follow Bible authority is that we have become legalists, putting our trust more in law keeping than in the grace of God. A true bible student will learn that law keeping is fundamental to being in the grace of God. Many people want to allow "grace" to make up for what is lacking in ones life.
Usually this charge comes from those not willing to stay with book chapter verse teaching. It comes from those who do not care for a "thus saith the Lord" type of preaching. They have the mentality and attitude of the children of Israel we read about in the Old Testament.
The instructions to them was to be careful to do, keep, obey, trust, and stay within all the laws given to them. They were unwilling to do so, and look what happened to them.
As a Christian, we should be trying our best to learn everything that Jesus wants us to do, and do those things. The beginning of the plan of salvation starts with faith, but adds the works of God to reach that initial salvation. Adding to our faith, we have the requirement to repent, and we have the example to confess Jesus, and then be baptized for the remission of sins. After we have been saved from our sins, we look forward to our final salvation. That happens when we remain faithful to the Lord and keep His commandments.
By doing this, we are charged with holding to a works based salvation, and not allowing God's grace to save us.
The problem many people have is that they think that God's grace is all that is needed. The problem with that thinking is they fail to see that grace never works alone.
Many people show contempt for those who seek to teach that obedience to all of God's laws we are under is necessary. Accusations of legalism are abounding these days.
Primarily, when we teach that those who do not follow bible authority are wrong, they get very defensive, and pull the grace card out and attack us with the charge of legalism. For the most part, we want people to stick to the law. We would want our pharmacists to give us the exact medication the doctor prescribed. We would want the cashier to give us the exact change that is due us. We would prefer that the doctor did the correct procedure if we were having surgery performed. For the most part we demand legalism in just about everything yet many people make an exception when it comes to religion.
That is because many people want to do religion on their terms and do things the way they want to do it.
Now, this may sound a little crazy, but hopefully you will understand it. We know that law-keeping does not save. Yet we also know that we cannot be saved without law-keeping. We are saved by grace, but we are also taught that grace demands we keep the law of God.
Some people do not like the restrictions of Bible authority. So they lean heavily towards grace, and away from law-keeping. They learn to accept the idea that grace covers a multitude of sins, in fact they like to teach that grace covers all sins; whether we ask forgiveness or not for those sins we have committed. Some people even go so far as to say that grace shields us and we are incapable of sin. That teaching is no different than the once saved always saved theology of Calvinism.
Deuteronomy 11:1 "You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments".
Does this allow us to not keep His laws? No. In fact, it is to our best advantage to learn all of God's laws and do them. Take the time to read Matthew 7:21.
Keeping God's laws are necessary for us to get to heaven.
By Carey Scott
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