(Discuss) Legalism

I’ve been greatly enjoying three different discussions about witnessing lately; which I plan to talk a bit more about this Saturday. In one of these discussions, I got to talking with Hannah from Becoming Lost about a particular video accessible on YouTube. Near the end (34:38), Leslie Ludy talks about “legalism”.

Depending on your past encounters with this word and the baggage of unique experiences that you carry, you may very well define legalism different than the next person.

Leslie Ludy’s point is that the enemy wants us to throw away devotion and commitment to Christ under the banner of “legalism”.

So legalism is often… used as an excuse not to be more devoted to Christ?

I see how this has been true in my own life – that I’ve justified my lesser devotion to Christ reasoning that if I deepened my commitment, it would become legalism.

I also see that legalism was a very real problem in the early Church, even though it doesn’t use that word. Just look at the first part of Galatians 3, for example.

So let’s discuss it together.

Is legalism ever a problem? When? How can we distinguish devotion from legalism?

Is legalism an issue in your life?

On the other hand, have you ever dismissed devotion under the banner of legalism?


Here’s a chance to get to know me and your fellow readers. Here’s a chance for us to get to know you.


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4 thoughts on “(Discuss) Legalism

  1. Jordy I’ve been thinking on this a bit since I listened to Leslie’s sermon. I was really convicted how often I think “I could never do that…that would be legalism” But I think usually what is legalism to us is really just wholehearted devotion. And if we realize we have started to just “go through the motions” we have to remember to rely on Christ’s strength and not our own like Leslie said the definition was. I know I have often used the excuse of legalism and so that message was challenging!

    I love your discussion posts and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! =)

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    1. Hi Hannah!

      Just “going through the motions,” as you said, does have a sense of emptiness to it, doesn’t it? And I suppose that’s what legalism is, having a certain religious appearance on the outside, but being hollow on the inside because it isn’t the Holy Spirit doing His work.

      What do I think… well I think it’s good to consider these things and to test ourselves to see if we are being faithful to what God has called us to (eg. to ask ourselves if whether we’re being legalistic). On the other hand, I think that it shouldn’t become our main focus. Instead, if we focus on knowing Christ (the type of knowing that Paul talks about in Philippians 3) then this small area will fall into place. That said, I want to say again that I do think it is important for us to consider these things and test ourselves.

      What do you think about testing ourselves and where the central focus should be even within the Christian life?

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      1. Yes, it does seem very empty! I think you’re right. Having a certain religious appearance and yet on the inside not letting God work in you. That’s just what Leslie said. Relying on us instead of Him.

        Yes, I agree! I think we shouldn’t focus so much on this and always wondering…am I being legalistic?…is this legalism?, but rather ask ourselves Does God want me to do it? Does he command it in his Word? And am I relying on myself to do this or Him? But like you said we should want to not be legalistic, but I think we should focus on doing things in His strength instead of ours. =)

        Great thoughts, Jordy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much for the discussion and for sharing your thoughts. I’m sorry it has taken this long for me to read and acknowledge them! I do appreciate your input. 🙂

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