USING THE WORD "LEGALISM" AS A LICENSE TO DISOBEY:
I see a lot of posts on facebook attacking Christians who are classified as being legalistic. I hear a lot of believers using the term "legalistic" as though they are spiritual giants obeying God in every way. Most of the time when I hear believers speaking about legalism they are using it to justify their own misuse and abuse of God's grace and Christian freedom.
These same Christians make comments like "There are only 2 commandments in the New Testament. Love God and love your neighbor as yourselves. They get these from Matt.22:35-40. Our Lord Jesus said that on these 2 Commandments hang the Law and the prophets. However He did not say that these were the only commands of the walk of grace for a believer.
Matthew 22:40 ESV On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
The New Testament is filled with commands for us to obey. What? God, are you being legalistic? And God would say NO. He is exercising His right to be HOLY and demand holiness and Christ-likeness from His children. By the way, being Christ-like is far more than just calling ourselves Christian.
After we are saved the Father desires for us to be Christ-like is word, deed, and thought. In doing so there are 1,050 commands in the New Testament. 1,050 commands that God told us to do or not to do.
Why did God command us to love one another? Because we are more prone not to do so.
Why did God command us to be cheerful givers? Because we are more prone not to do so.
Why did God command us not to provoke our children to anger? Because we are more prone to do so.
This was just three quick examples of the commands in the New Testament which we will cover in detail. Seriously, what are we going to do with these? We should think on these New Testament commands the next time we are tempted to throw the "legalistic" word around or think that just because we have been born again, and forgiven, we have arrived. Now we just sit on our blessed assurance until Jesus returns.
I have decided to list the commands of the New Testament in chronological order as best as I can determine it to be. I will not give them all, just a few to get us all started. If you have ever made the statement, "I don't know what God wants me to do", hold on, I am about to start you on a journey of 1,050 commands the Father wants you to do.