Why Do They Insist on Cramming Law Down Our Throats?

To use the law to intimidate, shame, or drive fear into the hearts of other believers is to do great harm to the body of Christ. Yet we see it all the time – not only from pulpits, but we do it with each other, too.


Two reasons I can think of.

Because you have to really believe that you are free in order to allow others to be free. And in order to really believe that you are free you have to believe in radical grace. And in order to believe in radical grace, you have to believe you are a radical sinner. And therein is one of the problems. Most of us (including those in pulpit’s) don’t truly understand how bad our badness really is.

If our sin was minor, God would have sent a teaching CD or a book rather than His Son.

The other reason people insist on using the law as a weapon is summed up in one word: CONTROL. This needs no explanation except to say that contrary to what I said above, maybe some really do see how bad they are and so they use other’s sin against themselves to take the spotlight off their own.

Either way, as I have said elsewhere on this blog: don’t let them do that to you.

Questions: Who is manipulating you with the law? What do you intend to do about it?

If you’ve made a mistake, you don’t need to argue for your own righteousness. The Gospel frees you from having to bear the burden of defending yourself. Christ took the stand in the courtroom and declared you innocent!

Paul Tripp

Taking Part in Public Debates

Recently a friend of mine who is a pastor has been under “attack” by some theologians in the Reformed camp (of which I am a part). These theologians have been very vocal in their criticism. One in particular posted a blog post with a bunch of snide and silly questions (basically insults) and when called on it, wrote another blog post defending himself.

Those against my friend appear to be very angry. I don’t know if they are or aren’t but it appears so from the outside looking in. If this isn’t bad enough, Reformed people already have a bum rap for being arrogant and angry. This is not helping our cause.

If you understand God’s grace and His Sovereignty as these men say they do, then you don’t need to be right, and you don’t need to in control. The need to be right drives many of us to much sin.

I am not going to get into any more details here but I wanted to make an observation. 

Don’t Let Them Do That To You

The apostle Paul would not abide Pharisees. And he was one! He knew their kind and made no bones about what should be done.

Aside  from what he said in Galatians, here are some very powerful words.

Colossians 2:16-23

“So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.”

So, don’t let them do that to you!


Question: Are you being manipulated by a legalist? Are you the one doing the manipulation? What will you do about it?