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.

Why?

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?

Two Quotes from Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“We can put it this way–the man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself and no longer looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything he once was. He does not look at what he is now. He does not even look at what he hopes to be as the result of his own efforts. He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, and rests on that alone. He stops saying, ‘Ah yes, I used to commit terrible sins but now I have done this and that.’ If he goes on saying that, he has not got faith. Faith speaks in an entirely different manner and makes a man say, ‘Yes I have sinned grievously, I have lived a life of sin, yet I know that I am a child of God because I am not resting on any righteousness of my own; my righteousness is in Jesus Christ and God has put that to my account.’” ~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than the fact that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this–that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do, that you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will abound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.” ~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

I’ve often said, “you don’t have to BE a new creation, you ARE a new creation”. Well, as well, you are not what you do, you are what Jesus has done for you.

 

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?