More on Grace and Legalism

January 8, 2008 at 10:47 am (My ramblings)

Why is legalism so much easier than grace? I am finishing my Bible study on Becoming A Woman of Grace by Cynthia Heald. It has been a very good study for me as this is an area I struggle with. Is it all type A people like me who find it easier to keep the focus on the law and the do’s and the do not’s? What in the world is that all about??? Is it easier for us “strivers” to do instead of just be? Why?
I was thinking about Mary and Martha this morning. I am Martha but want so bad to become like Mary. I think if I was there, doing all that preparing and cooking and Mary was just sitting there at Jesus’ feet doing nothing, I may have walked up to her and bopped her on her head. I am sure I would have had a stinky attitude towards her because I would have been focused on me doing everything while she was focusing on her Lord. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. When Martha complained to Jesus’ (imagine that!) He said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
Wow, Mary made a choice to sit at Jesus’ feet. Martha made a choice to be worried and upset. Hmmm. Many things had to be done to prepare for all the disciples coming. I think, I, like Martha, was focused on making sure everything was perfect for them. I mean, who can blame her? She had to vacuum, dust, wash the linen napkins (you can’t give the Lord a paper napkin, I mean, really!) and probably made several trips to Walmart for last minute items. She was tired but she was focused on making everything all nice and perfect (and probably wanted a pat on the back) while Mary was just a sitting there. Hanging on every word of her Master. Mary did choose what was better. I pray that I can make the right choices today, just for today, one day at a time.

Here is an excerpt from the study from a quote from Jerry Bridges:
Under a sense of legalism, obedience is done with a view to meriting salvation or God’s blessing in our lives. Under grace, obedience is a loving response to salvation already provided in Christ, and the assurance that, having provided salvation, God will also through Christ provide all else that we need.
There is no question that obedience to God’s commands prompted by fear or merit-seeking is not true obedience. The only obedience acceptable to God is constrained and impelled by love, because “love is the fulfillment of the law.” God’s law as revealed in His Word prescribes our duty, but love provides the correct motive for obedience. We obey God’s law, not be loved, but because we are loved in Christ.

Well, that pretty much sums it up. I have been praying about getting this for some time now. My head knows it. I can’t do anything to merit God’s favor. My salvation, already taken care of. It is finished all right.

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