Thursday, August 21, 2008
It was 1991. Our first Bible study. There was one woman in the group who was different from the rest of us. She had a lot of things she didn't do. Our thoughts? Stifling. Too legalistic. But, we were wrong. The word legalism is not in the Bible, but it is synonymous with "works of law." One author defines it as "a self-reliant effort to demonstrate virtue to man and God." In other words, it is believing we can get to heaven by our works. Legalism is not the good works that a Christian does as he relies on the Holy Spirit. So, it is not so much "what we do, but the spirit in which we do it that makes the difference." We can not be quick to assume that a person's actions are legalistic without knowing their heart. In the case of our friend, she was pursuing holiness, and we have found in her someone to imitate.