Legalism springs out of gospel forgetfulness.
Gospel math says I deserve nothing yet have received everything.
Legalist math says I deserve everything yet have received nothing.
I can’t think of anything more insulting to God. Essentially we’re saying, “God you’ve screwed me! You haven’t given me what I deserve!”
To which God gently replies, “You’re right. I haven’t given you what you deserve. I gave my Son what you deserve and I’ve given you what he deserves.”
BEING CONTINUALLY ASTONISHED
The Valley of Vision puts things in a helpful perspective:
O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
between my receivings and my deservings,
between the state I am now in and my past
between the heaven I am bound for and
the hell I merit.
I fight against legalism by constantly remembering the difference between my “receivings” and my “deservings.”
When I remember the heaven I’m bound for and the hell I merit, legalism is astonished out of me.
This article originally appeared here.