Yet One More Word About Legalism

July 24, 2008

“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.” – Colossians 2:16

Jesus was attacked by legalists throughout His ministry. Perhaps the most outrageous example of this was when He healed a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees attacked Him because He had performed this miracle on the Sabbath. That’s right, Jesus was accused of law-breaking because healing was considered work, and Jewish law forbade doing work on the Sabbath.

Understand this about the Pharisees: they were the self-appointed judges. They were constantly looking to accuse Jesus Christ because they felt He was oblivious to their concern for their man-made rules and traditions.

While rarely as outrageous as those Pharisees, this type of legalism continues today. Some people serve as self-appointed judges—or enforcers—of man-made rules for godly living. This can happen in all religions. But it’s especially sad when Christian denominations and churches impose man-made rules that are imposters to real faith. The Bible states the rules fully and unequivocally. And with so many, how great it is that Jesus’ life shows us how to live them out completely. How great it is that Jesus sums them all up with the Great Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.”