Beware of the Pharisees Heart
For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
The Pharisees were the religious leaders of the Jewish people who went after Jesus in attempts to keep their control over the people. The rules were most important. We don’t have to earn God’s love by jumping through the right hoops. So, we don’t have to put our confidence in what we do. Our confidence comes from our new identity in Christ Jesus. Because of our new identity, we want and choose to obey God’s word. But there are some things that get in the way of obedience. Arrogance and pride consistently cause us to believe in our own press and act as though we are righteous by what we do. As a result, we drift towards self-reliance. When we understand that no actions can cause God to love us more, we are freed from the weight of earning love through effort.
A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
How do you know when you’re being legalistic? God doesn’t just want good behavior, He wants our hearts. Legalism is putting our faith in what we can do for God instead of trusting in what Christ has already done for us. The Apostle Paul learned this truth in his heart. Before he knew Jesus as his Lord, he took pride in doing what he believed was right in his own mind. As a result, he killed and imprisoned many Christians.
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Legalism is trusting in what you can do for God instead of trusting in what Jesus has already done for you. It’s following a list of rules and regulations to prove yourself worthy. It’s a trap that keeps you from relaxing in God’s grace. In other words, it’s not about our performance; it’s about His pardon given to us by faith through grace.
What is the Holy Spirit Saying to you through these scriptures?