Churches Of Christ/Legalism


Hello and thank you for your time! At what point does obeying the commandments of God out of a loving heart become legalistic? In other words when one reads the New Testament, finds commandments and keeps them out of a loving heart, when would this become legalistic?

Thanks Josh, I will answer this question with a very short answer and maybe not the answer your are looking for. If I miss your point please reformat your question and I will try my best to answer.

No one can be or become legalistic by obeying God, or encouraging others to do the same. In the book of :
Ecclesiastes 13:12 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
So we see the whole duty of man here commanded by God. That is to fear God and OBEY God. Knowing that we are commanded to obey God. How can this obedience be legalistic?  And in another statement we hear the Bible say, 2John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
This sounds (by todays standards) very legalistic to me. But the keeping and teaching others to keep God's will and Commands is never legalistic. This is the work that God has left Christians to do, keep His commands if you love Him. And teach others to do the same (Matt. 28:19-20) And the devil tells us it is legalistic. But we know it is the love we have for others to share with them the words whereby they might be saved.

Thanks again, Dale  

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Dale Ferguson


I will answer any questions about MDR, church history, approved worship, church organization, baptism or any other Bible question relating to Christian living or worship.


I have studied these Bible subjects with many other men in the pulpits and with long hours of personal study. Most of the men I studied with are of the older schools of preachers. And my answers tend more to be from Bible scripture rather than Bible schools.

I do not belong to any earthly organizations. I am a member of the Body of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I am a Christian only.

As everyone, I believe the truth is to be found in the Bible and not in a man made institution. A mans ability to teach the God's truth does not belong exclusively to man's institutions of higher learning.

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