Embracing Grace Over Legalism: A Call to Authentic Faith

Matthew 23:15  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

My, my, look at what kind of preaching our Lord Jesus delivered! The most challenging messages Jesus ever preached during His earthly ministry were those addressed to the religious people of his day. Here, he specifically deals with those who seek to make to themselves clones. He mentions that their disciples are twofold more the child of hell than themselves. This is very strong language, intended to make a very strong point.

The point is this; when a religious system of beliefs based upon man-made traditions is propagated as Gospel truth when in fact it is not, what happens with each new generation of followers is that they get worse and worse. Have you ever noticed in our day just how vicious a newly-trained legalistic person can be? When someone has only been exposed to graceless, heartless, legalistic personalities, they generally end up doing one of two things. Either they forsake those teachings altogether when they have had their fill of them, or else they so adopt that mentality that they do in excess what their teachers did in moderation.

Any time the grace of God is misconstrued, nothing is left but mean-spirited, man-made dogma. The truth is, God’s grace needs no improvement. It is when we decide that God needs our help that His grace is misconstrued. That is why with each new convert of legalism comes a double-portion of hell.

Why does Jesus teach this so strongly? Here’s why; the grace of God, bought and paid for by His own blood, shall not afford to be tainted by another pointless effort made by fallen man. We shall be saved by grace alone, or we shall not be saved at all. If it could have been done without grace, then Christ will have died in vain. God will share His glory with no one, especially a self-righteous fake glory mustered up by sinful man. God’s glory is fully revealed through the complete work of Calvary. It is there and there alone that we receive His grace, as there is absolutely nothing we can do to either earn or keep ourselves saved. Any other Gospel is not the Gospel at all.

Friend, be sure that you have fully trusted in Christ and Him alone!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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