Why is the gospel offensive to the legalist?

Why is the gospel offensive to the legalist?

The Freedom and Assurance of the Gospel

I. The gospel is offensive to the legalist

The gospel is a message of freedom, assurance, and inheritance, but it can be offensive to legalists. Legalists see righteousness as a matter of law-keeping and are offended by the notion that Christ’s righteousness secures salvation and gives confidence in our relationship with Him. The legalist tends to focus on the demands of the law and finds it difficult to believe or enjoy the freedom that the gospel brings.

II. The gospel emphasizes inheritance as the positive focus

The gospel emphasizes inheritance as the positive focus, as we see in the Epistles. According to 1 Peter 1:3-4, we have been born again to a “living hope” and an “inheritance incorruptible” that is reserved for us. Romans 8:17 tells us that we are joint-heirs with Christ, and Galatians 4:7 reminds us that we are no longer slaves, but heirs of God through Christ. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of this inheritance, as we read in Ephesians 1:14, and He gives us a foretaste of the goodness and kindness that God has prepared for us in Christ, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:9. Our inheritance is entirely positive, and it is a powerful motivator for living a transformed life, as we read in Colossians 1:12-14. Legalists do not understand our position as sons and heirs who have everything in Christ. Instead they speak from the position of slaves that are attempting to earn the approval of their master as a “wage” (Rom 4:4). They believe the focus should be on making disciples and “radical transformation” and bemoan the laziness and sinfulness of Christians everywhere. However, the gospel presents an inheritance to us, which the source of transformation and joy in the Christian life.

III. The gospel is Good News that God has made peace with man and has good will toward man

The gospel is Good News that God has made peace with man and has good will toward man, but legalists tend to focus on God’s wrath towards sin and find it difficult to accept that God has made peace with man. The gospel offers believers the assurance that they are reconciled to God and have peace with Him through faith in Christ.

Our growth in the Christian life comes as we learn to stand fast in the liberty that we have in Christ, relying on the Spirit and enjoying the graciousness and goodness of God. in Christ.

Keywords: gospel, legalism, freedom, assurance, righteousness, inheritance

I. The gospel is offensive to the legalist

  • A. It announces freedom from the demands of the law (Galatians 5:1)
  • B. It places the demand on Christ, making believers free (Romans 8:2)
  • C. The legalist sees righteousness as a matter of law-keeping (Romans 10:3)
  • D. The legalist is offended by the notion that Christ’s righteousness secures salvation (Philippians 3:9)
  • E. The legalist is offended by the notion that Christ’s righteousness gives confidence and assurance in our relationship with Him (1 John 5:13)

II. The gospel emphasizes inheritance as the positive focus

  • Legalists generally view inheritance as something to be earned rather than a free gift due to justification (Romans 4:4) (Galatians 3:10).
  • B. Legalists believe the focus should be on making disciples and radical transformation of living in order to “earn rewards” which are actually things God gives us freely because of the redemption that’s in Christ. On the flip side, legalists fear that they will be punished if they do not do well enough to “earn rewards”. In actuality, God does not punish us for our sins or failures, even in service. But He does discipline us for our good to make us partakers of Christ and His holiness, and this has to do with training our senses to discern between good and evil and to know His voice from the voice of a stranger ((Hebrews 5:14), (Philippians 1:9-10), and (John 10:4-5, 16).).

III. The gospel is Good News that God has made peace with man and has good will toward man

  • A. Legalists tend to focus on God’s wrath towards sin (Romans 1:18)
  • B. Legalists find it difficult to accept that God has made peace with man (Romans 5:1)

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