Do you live your life trying to stay away from big sins... hoping that you don't step across the line into evil? Legalism loves the edges of the boundaries - trying to get close to the fire without getting burned. Learn to fear the Lord by taking on his desire for purity in your life. Read more...
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13 NIV
Why does God give you instructions? Why does he command you to walk in his ways… so that you can maintain legalistic righteousness? Is his goal to improve your character and work on your faults?
No, actually God desires something so much greater in your life. Purity. Titus 3:5 says, “he [God] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
You can’t make yourself pure enough. Jesus did that. Any effort you make at being legalistically righteous is a failed attempt. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, his purity becomes yours when you submit your will and life to him.
Walking in the fear of the Lord means to walk in the purity of Jesus… to walk as he walks. If this is not your goal, you will find yourself living at the edge of boundaries… trying to get close to the fire without getting burned. Purity gets traded for legalism when you live for the rule and not the relationship with Jesus.
Is there an area of your life that you tend toward legalism… and you end up living on the edge of sin? You are being called to fear the Lord by imitating the purity of Jesus. 1 Peter 1:15-16. Let this be your motivation and your joy.
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