Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Right Living Is Not Legalism


by Dr. Gerald B. Collingsworth

James 4:17 – “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

We have a sad phenomenon in churches today. There is a continuing compromise against right living. What preachers appear to be preaching is, “If you think something is wrong for you, it is wrong. If you think it is all right for you, then it is all right.” If I am against something that another preacher is not, then I am labeled as a bad leader and as a legalist. It appears that “legalism” has become the compromiser’s excuse to override the clear teachings of Scripture.

Who decides what is right or wrong?

II Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

Some are quick to say, “That is YOUR opinion,” but what we must consider is twofold. First, is there such a thing as RIGHT and WRONG? Second, WHO DECIDES the standard for right and wrong?

If one man’s opinion is as good as another, then there is no right or wrong. If there is no set standard for right and wrong, then the homosexual’s lifestyle is just as right as the pure child’s lifestyle. If there is no standard of right and wrong, then the doctor that performs abortions on demand is no more right or wrong than anyone else. If any man’s opinion of what is right and wrong is as good as the next man’s opinion, there will be chaos. The philosophy of Israel before her first fall was, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25

The standard for right and wrong is the Word of God.

         Psalm 119:128 – “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right;…”

Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

The entire eighteenth chapter of Leviticus is on nakedness. Although most Christians still consider bestiality as being wrong, they no longer consider homosexuality as being wrong or dressing improperly as being wrong. Many see nothing wrong with dressing scantily. Many see nothing wrong with mixed bathing, yet God calls it an abomination. How many cases of incest have taken place in homes where passions have been inflamed by immodesty among family members? How many boys and girls have been raised in homes that practiced immodest dress and now live lives of promiscuity?

There is an absence of heard prayer from the church-skipper.

Proverbs 28:9 – “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.”

The people who make a choice not to hear the preaching of God’s Word rarely take time to pray. The truth is we need to hear God’s Word preached often in order to increase our faith.  Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Do not throw away the rulebook just because you are already saved.

Romans 6:13-19 – Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”

Jesus set us free FROM sin; He did not set us free TO sin! Also, sin does not change from bad to good when we receive Christ. God did not throw away the Book and say, “Now that you are saved, you can do anything you want, and it won’t matter.”

May God awaken us to the fact that the Bible is the rule for standards.

May God awaken churches to put away false idols and to ask for the old paths.

May it happen soon so that God will heal our land.

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