Christians and Legalism


It is amazing how many christians want to respond to the gift of salvation through grace by imposing rules on each other.

I was reading the other day a newsletter put out by a man who values the Old Testament scriptures and the insights they have for understanding the New Testament. He spoilt an otherwise good article by ending it with a long-winded diatribe against Christians who worship on Sunday rather than the Jewish sabbath.

God does not judge us by the laws we keep or reject. He judges by the condition of our heart towards Him and our standing with Him through Jesus Christ. This is such a big theme right through the Scriptures that you have to be blind not to see it.

Right from the beginning, the approach of the apostles was to avoid placing legalistic demands on the people. When the question arose of "Do we need to be Jewish to be saved?" their answer was a definite "No!" They wrote this to the Gentile believers,
 

The Holy Spirit has shown us that we should not place any extra burden on you. But you should not eat anything offered to idols. You should not eat any meat that still has the blood in it or any meat of any animal that has been strangled. You must also not commit any terrible sexual sins. If you follow these instructions, you will do well.
Acts 15:28,29

If the original apostles refused to place extra burdens on the believers, how dare we do that now?