Search This Blog

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Grow in His Grace

And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner.

—Luke 11:37-38



One of the most certain signs of legalism is misplaced priorities. The Pharisees were masters of this. You can see it in these two verses. Jesus had just been teaching about the eye as the lamp of the body and to take heed that the light in you is not darkness. This Pharisee missed the message, displaying his darkness. He focused on Jesus’ act instead of hearing His heart. 


The Pharisees never marveled at Jesus’s wonderful works. They were too busy looking for something to criticize (Mark 3:2). However, they marveled at Jesus not washing His hands. This was a classic example of the Pharisees’ inability to hear the message of the Father’s heart. Jesus marveled at them in Mark 23:24. “Blind guides,” He said, “who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”


Anyone who seeks to earn righteousness through keeping the Law is consumed with “doing,” while those who receive righteousness by faith confirm what Jesus has already done. This is a simple yet insightful difference. Understanding this difference can be life-changing. If we “do” deeds of holiness to get God to move in our lives, then we are like the Pharisees working under a Law mentality that is not faith (Galatians 3:12). When we believe and confirm what has already been provided through Christ, that is grace.


A person living under the Law and a person living under Grace may display similar works of holiness, but the motivations behind their works are the opposite. The Law places a person’s attention on his works, while a person under Grace focuses on what Christ has done for him. Someone with a legalist mindset will work to receive something from God, while a person living by faith works because he knows he has already received everything from God through the finished work of Jesus.


For example, 1 Peter 2:24 says, “By His stripes you were healed.” A legalist believes that if he pleases God with His deeds of holiness—with the works He does—then, perhaps, the Lord will heal him. A person living by faith believes in the substance of what the Word says Jesus has already provided by Grace. He believes Jesus’ finished work of healing is God's truth to be received.

Examining our mindset is the simplest way to discern whether we are under legalism or grace. If the motive for our actions is to be accepted by God, that is legalism. If we live entirely out of faith and gratefulness for what God has already done, that is grace. This contrast between legalism and grace is a powerful revelation, enlightening and empowering us to choose His Grace.


Grow in His Grace. Always examine your beliefs, convictions, and outlook. Legalism is very deceptive. It can creep in before you are even aware. Don’t focus on the outside for proof of your identity. Holiness and healing are from Christ within you. Hear Jesus’ heart. Look inwardly and believe who Jesus says you are.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Grow in His Grace

And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled tha...