JESUS WAS A LEGALIST?
DEFINITION OF LEGALISM (1828 Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
…strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.
OBEDIENCE TO GOD IS FROM THE HEART (NOT CEREMONIAL) AND THE “FRUIT” (WORKS) OF A PERSON WILL PROVE THEIR REPENTANCE. ONE MUST “ENDURE ‘TIL THE END TO BE SAVED”….FINALLY.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were not legalists, at least not according to the dictionary definition of the word. In Mark 7:8-9, Jesus said:
“For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, FULL WELL YE REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, that ye may KEEP YOUR OWN TRADITION.”
Paul writing part of the God authored Holy Bible describes the Pharisees as “the most straitest (STRICTEST) sect of our religion”:
Acts 26:5 “Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest (STRICTEST) sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.”
Strict, yes. Legalistic (OBEYING THE LAW OF GOD THEMSELVES), not even close. THE PHARISEES PREACHED THE LAW OF GOD YET THEY KEPT IT NOT! They had great zeal for TRADITION like all do in rampany false “christianity” today, for the teachings of their fathers (DENOMINATIONS, and even the non-denominations, etc), for their own rules & interpretations, but not for the word of God (THE MORAL LAW). Jesus gave a clear example in Mark 7 of their CONTEMPT for the law of God. They had released the people from God’s command to supply the needs of their parents (AS SO MANY DO TODAY OUT OF FEAR OF SEPARATION AND RIDICULE FROM FAMILY, FRIENDS, ETC). You will not enter heaven if verses like Luke 12:51-53 and Matthew 10:34-36 do not come true in your life. Additionally, in Matthew 5, we find a series of “ye have heard it said, but I say unto you” statements. Jesus was correcting the misuses of God’s word and erroneous teachings of the Jewish leaders.
Matthew 5:19-20 “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven (SHALL HAVE NO PLACE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST HERE ON EARTH, NOT IN THE KINGDOM OF GLORY ABOVE): but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL EXCEED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, YE SHALL IN NO CASE ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (YOU WILL BURN IN HELL IS YOU DON’T OBEY JESUS’ LEGAL COMMANDS).”
Many cite Luke 11:42 as evidence of “Pharisaical legalism”. If someone tells you to tithe your spice cupboard, that’s surely legalism to the extreme! Watch what Jesus says:
WOES TO THE PHARISEES AND LAWYERS
Luke 11:37-44 “And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. 38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within ALSO? 41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, AND PASS OVER JUDGMENT and the LOVE OF GOD: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. 44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.”
AND THE LAWYERS ARE DOOMED TOO ALONG WITH ALL THE TRUE HERTICKS OF TODAY… ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE JESUS WAS NOT A LEGALIST TO THE EXTREME!
Luke 11:52 “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
Where did Jesus condemn tithing spices? He spoke out against their failure to focus on justice and love. He concludes they should focus on love, justice and tithing. All of these were part of the law of God.
GOD DELIGHTS IN RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT – THE FALSE CHURCH CONDEMNS IT!!! THE ECUMENICAL, POWERLESS, COWARDLY, HELLBOUND FALSE CHURCH SYSTEM THAT IS RAMPANT IN THE WORLD TODAY IS DOOMED… THEY HATE JUDGMENT… THEY HATE JESUS… THEY HATE THE PERFECT LAW OF GOD.
Psalm 37:27-30 “Depart from evil (SIN), and do good(RIGHTEOUSNESS); and dwell for evermore. 28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever(AS LONG AS THEY ABIDE): but the seed of the wicked (SINNER) shall be cut off. 29 The RIGHTEOUS shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh, and his tongue talketh of JUDGMENT.”
YOU MUST “WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS”
Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS (DOES NOT SIN), IS ACCEPTED WITH HIM.”
2nd Peter 2:1-10 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be FALSE TEACHERS among you, who privily shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they WITH FEIGNED WORDS MAKE MERCHANDISE OUT OF YOU: whose JUDGMENT now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto JUDGMENT; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the EIGHTH person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live UNGODLY; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of JUDGMENT to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and DESPISE GOVERNMENT (HATE THE LAW). Presumptuous are they, SELFWILLED, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”
Now, ask yourself again, is Jesus a legalist? Again, the dictionary definition of “legalism” is:
…strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.
JESUS CLEARLY COMMANDS:
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. 22 MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (YOU WHO DO NOT OBEY MY COMMANDMENTS – YOU SINNER).”
Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 11:28 “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
John 12:48 “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words (DOES NOT OBEY ME), hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, THE SAME SHALL JUDGE HIM THE LAST DAY.”
Proverbs 7:2 “KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, AND LIVE; and my law as the apple of thine eye.”
Daniel 9:4 “And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS”
John 14:15 “IF ye love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.”
John 15:10 “IF YE KEEP MY COMANDMENTS, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
John 15:14 “Ye are my friends, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU”
Time and again Jesus emphasized the need for people to OBEY the word of God. THAT SURELY IS LEGALISM BY DEFINITION. Jesus kept God’s law, and He expects you and I to do the same. If one understands legalism (AND I NOW PRAY YOU DO) to refer to any doctrine which includes Spirit-empowered commandment-keeping among the conditions of salvation, Jesus most assuredly qualifies as a LEGALIST as does the apostle Paul, for he too declared obedience made possible through conversion to be among the conditions of salvation (Rom. 2:6-10; 8:13; Heb. 5:9).
Romans 2:4-7 “Or despisest thou the riches of HIS goodness (THE MORAL LAW) and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after THY hardness and IMPENITENT HEART treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (THE HARDENING OF THE HEART IS GOD PULLING BACK LIGHT IN RIGHTEOUSNESS & JUSTICE WHEN ONE HAS NOT CHOSEN TO SEE OR HEAR THE LIGHT THEY ALREADY HAVE) 6 Who will render to every man ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 To them who by PATIENT CONTINUANCE IN WELL DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, ETERNAL LIFE.”
Romans 8:13 “For IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: but IF ye through the Spirit do MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE FLESH, ye shall live.”
DOES JESUS AUTHOR YOUR SALVATION?
Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM.”
Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven is PERFECT.”
LAST THOUGHS AND SO VERY IMPORTANT
FALSE “legalism” are humans trying to fulfill God’s requirements by their OWN unaided strength (WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT) which can only be ours through wholehearted surrender and proactive cooperation with God’s transforming GRACE which teaches us to life perfect and holy. Biblical righteousness by faith is not salvation apart from human effort. Rather, it is the fulfillment of the divine moral law which Jesus (and the apostles inspired by Jesus/GOD Himself) as the condition of salvation as I explained with much scripture (Matthew 7:21; 19:16-26; 25:31-46; Luke 10:25-28; Romans 2:6-10; 8:13; Hebrews 5:9; James 2:10-12) through enabling power of the Holy Gospel.
DO YOU HAVE THE “RICH MAN” SYNDROME? MOST WON’T GIVE THEIR ALL FOR JESUS AS HE COMMANDS
YOU MUST FORSAKE ALL – YOUR EXCUSES WILL NOT WORK ON JUDGEMENT DAY
The Rich Young Ruler was an honored member of the Jewish council… He was passionate about the teachings of Jesus like so many appear to be BUT he did not want to give his ALL! Most listening to or reading this break the very 1st commandment and have other “gods” (IDOLS) before Jesus (the ONE TRUE GOD). Your IDOL may be your family, $$, your job, organized sports, or any ungodly entertainment of the world (demonic Disney, hollywood, CCM, etc, etc). Jesus of course recognized that this young ruler was deceived with regard to his true spiritual condition as most are today. Jesus knew this ONE THING in particular, his riches, needed to go…
Luke 14:26-27 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.”
A promising young man, attracted to Jesus’ teachings, approaches Him and asks the most important a human could ever ask:
Matthew 19:16-17 “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.”
The Lord proceeded to tell this young man what was still required of him and how his way of living (WORKS aka FRUIT) still fell short of the MORAL LAW he claimed to keep:
“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me (Matt. 19:21).Tragically, this young man found the price of salvation too high, and thus “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (verse 22).
Matthew 19:21-22 “Jesus said to him, If you want to be PERFECT, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have TREASURE IN HEAVEN. And come, FOLLOW ME (YES, WE HAVE TO DO OUR PART AND OBEY/FOLLOW/”WALK AS JESUS WALKED). 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.”
“99%+” WHO PROCLAIM TO LOVE JESUS HAVE THE “RICH MAN SYNDROM” AND NOT ONLY FALL SHORT IN THE AREA OF GIVING BUT FALL SHORT IN SO MANY OTHER AREAS. JESUS’ WRATH ABIDES ON SINNERS:
GOD HATES THE SIN
Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all (SIN) ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness”
GOD’S WRATH ABIDES ON THE SINNER
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not (MEANING DOES NOT OBEY – A SINNER) the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH (ANGER/CONDEMNATION) of God abideth on him.”
ALL SINNERS WILL BE DESTROYED JUST LIKE IN TIMES PAST (NOAH, LOT, ETC)
Luke 17:26-30 “And as it was in the days of Noe (NOAH), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and DESTROYED THEM ALL. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and DESTROYED THEM ALL. 30 EVEN THUS SHALL IT BE IN THE DAY WHEN THE SON OF MAN IS REVEALED (THE SECOND AND FINAL COMING).”
YOU MUST OBEY AND WALK LIKE JESUS WALKED!
1st John 2:3-6 “And hereby we do know that WE KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. 4 He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT HIS COMMANDMENTS IS A LIAR, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: HEREBY KNOW WE ARE IN HIM. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, even as HE (JESUS) walked.”
1st John 3:3-10 “And every man that hath this hope in him PURIFIETH HIMSELF, even as HE (JESUS) is pure. 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him SINNETH NOT: WHOSOEVER SINNETH hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 HE THAT COMMITTETH SIN IS OF THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SIN; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
1st John 5:18-21 “We know that whosoever is born of God SINNETH NOT; but he that is begotten of God KEEPETH HIMSELF, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
CAN’T CLAIM IGNORANCE ON JUDGEMENT DAY
Acts 17:30-31 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but NOW commandeth all men every where to REPENT: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will JUDGE THE WORLD in RIGHTEOUSNESS by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
If you are not obeying Jesus’ legal commands, CLICK HERE to get to THE CROSS.
CLICK HERE for the teaching “GOD’S LOVE IS CONDITIONAL”
CLICK HERE for the teaching on the lie of UNCONDITIONAL IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS