Legalism vs. God’s Word – Day 89

by ggerhauser

In Ezekiel there is a beautiful picture of how God’s Word works. “And He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.’ Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me” (Eze. 2:1-2, NKJV). God’s command came with God’s power: the ability to actually obey it. When God spoke, the Spirit entered into Ezekiel enabling him to stand. And in the same way, we can only obey God’s Word as we receive the Spirit that the Word is married to. This is the only thing that will save us from legalism (which is the Word without the Spirit). This is the only thing that will keep us from having a form of godliness but not possessing the power to obey. The Pharisees held firmly to the Scripture, but it was a distorted word. They divorced it from the Spirit’s revelation and enabling.  As a result, they could not stand and hear the words of Christ, the words that are Spirit and life (John 6:63).

The commands of God are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). They are not mere legal code. One command of God empowers us to keep all of God’s commands, and because we are born of the Spirit we have his commands in our hearts. When one lives by legal code (by mere rules and regulations) they do not live by the Spirit. But when we live by the Spirit, we live by a higher power than the written law, and naturally we fulfil the law. In the beginning every command  God gave enabled the heavens and earth to be and to do according to his good pleasure. When we see God’s commands in this light we will say with the Psalmist, “And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love” (Psalm 119:47, NKJV).

Prayer: Father, your word is different from all other words. It’s Spirit and Life. It revives and makes whole. It enables us to obey your commands. Your commands are not burdensome. Help me to see your your Word in a different light than other, in Jesus’ name.