Archives For legalism

dusty parlorThe Vital distinction between the Law and the Gospel

Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlor that was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had reviewed a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now when he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian had almost therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter to a Damsel that stood by, bring hither Water, and sprinkle the room; which when she had done it, was swept and cleansed with pleasure.

Christian: Then said Christian, What means this?

Interpreter: The Interpreter answered, This parlor is the heart of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet Grace of the Gospel (Jer. 17:9, Rom. 3:9-10).  The dust is his Original Sin, and inward Corruptions that have defiled the whole man (Our sin corrupts every aspect of our being, mind, will and affections Rom 5:12). 

He that began to sweep at first, is the Law; but she that brought Water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now, whereas you saw that so soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did fly about, that the room by him could not be cleansed, but that you were almost choked therewith; this is to show you, that the Law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from Sin, does revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it does discover and forbid it, for it does not give Power to subdue.

Again, as you saw the Damsel sprinkle the room with Water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to show you, that when the Gospel comes in, the sweet and precious influences thereof to the heart, then, I say, even as you saw the Damsel lay the dust by sprinkling the floor with Water, so is Sin vanquished and subdued, and the soul made clean, through the Faith of it, and consequently fit for the King of Glory to inhabit.

Application:  The Two Sweepers

What does the first sweeper represent? God’s Law igniting the Hearts corruption

Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

What does the second servant represent?  An evangelist spreading the good news of the gospel

Heb. 7:18-19;  Gal 3:10-11 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Thus the balance between the Law/ gospel are important to the Christian and his Pilgrimage to the Celestial City!

 

Pilgrim Admonished

Bunyan —  April 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

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 Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the things that I shall tell thee of. I will now show thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The man that met thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly because he savoreth only the doctrine of this world, (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church;) and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him best from the cross: and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man’s counsel that thou must utterly abhor.   (Pilgrim is Admonished in a pastoral fashion)

Gal. 6:12; 1 Jn 4:5   

1.     His turning thee out of the way 

2.     His laboring to render the cross odious to thee.  

3.     And his setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.

 

First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting

thereto; because this is to reject the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, “Strive to enter in at the straight gate,” the gate to which I send thee; “for strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” From this little wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction: hate, therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening to him.  Luke 13:24; Matt 7:13-14

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Secondly, Thou must abhor his laboring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures of Egypt. Besides, the King of glory hath told thee, that he that will save his life shall lose it. And he that comes after him, and hates not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple. I say, therefore, for a man to labor to persuade thee that that shall be thy death, without which, the truth hath said, thou canst not have eternal life, this doctrine thou must abhor.

Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the administration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.  Heb. 11:25-26; Mark 8:38, Jn. 12:25

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He to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the bond- woman which now is, and is in bondage with her children, and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai, which thou hast feared will fall on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be: ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his burden: Therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien, and Mr. Legality is a cheat; and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee. After this, Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, which made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were pronounced: “As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Gal. 3:10; 4:6f

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Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman’s arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him so far as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelist in words and sense as follows.

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Christian: Sir, what think you? Is there any hope? May I now go back, and go up to the wicket-gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man’s counsel; but may my sin be forgiven?

Evangelist: Then said Evangelist to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast com- mitted two evils: thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths. Yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good-will for men; only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, lest thou “perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.”

So Pilgrim is Admonished

Pastoral Instruction

Bunyan —  March 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

04_goodwill_shows_the_way

Evangelist: What doest thou here, Christian? said he: at which words Christian knew not what to answer; wherefore at present he stood speechless before him. Then said Evan- gelist farther, Art not thou the man that I found crying without the walls of the city of De- struction?

Christian: Yes, dear sir, I am the man.
Evangelist: Did not I direct thee the way to the little wicket-gate?
Christian: Yes, dear sir, said Christian.
Evangelist: How is it then thou art so quickly turned aside? For thou art now out of the
way.

Christian: I met with a gentleman so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might, in the village before me, find a man that could take off my burden.

Evangelist: What was he?

Christian: He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and got me at last to yield: so I came hither; but when I beheld this hill, and how it hangs over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.

Evangelist: What said that gentleman to you?
Christian: Why, he asked me whither I was going; and I told him.
Evangelist: And what said he then?
Christian: He asked me if I had a family; and I told him. But, said I, I am so laden with
the burden that is on my back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as formerly.

Evangelist: And what said he then?
Christian: He bid me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease that I
sought. And, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive farther direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would show me a better way, and short, not so attended with difficulties as the way, sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman’s house that hath skill to take off these burdens: so I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped, for fear (as I said) of danger: but I now know not what to do.  

Evangelist: Then said Evangelist, Stand still a little, that I show thee the words of God. So he stood trembling. Then said Evangelist, “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.” He said, moreover, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.

Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Woe is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right hand, saying, “All manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men.”  “Be not faithless, but believing.”  Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.

Pastoral Instruction:

Heb. 12:25    See to it that you do not refuse Him who is  speaking. For  if those did not escape when they  refused him who  warned them on earth,  much less will we escape who turn away from Him who  warns from heaven.

Heb. 10:38    BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;   AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.

Matt. 12:31   “ Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

John 20:27 Then He  said to Thomas, “ Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

The Dangers of Legalism

Bunyan —  March 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

 

Sinai

Mr. Worldly Wiseman offered a quick and easy way for Christian to get rid of his burden.   His way was carnal way of Legalism, a way that appeals to the flesh.  He directs poor Christian to Mr. Legality so that he can remove his burden.

 

Also his burden now seemed heavier to him, than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burned. Here, therefore, he sweat and did quake for fear. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly-wiseman’s counsel.  

 

Christian‘s burden grew heavier as he is overwhelmed with fear.  Outward reformation is never a suitable replacement for faith in Christ.  The Pharisee’s were guilty of focusing on the external while neglecting the heart.  Legalism leads to depression, pride, guilt, anxiety, frustration and despair.  More importantly, it robs God of His glory and deceives man to believe a false standard of spirituality.  It seeks to render useless the passive and active obedience of Christ! Gal. 2:21, 1:6-8).  Legalism is not the way of salvation!  Rom. 3:20 because by the works  of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.  You must look to the finished Work of Christ alone for salvation!  John 14:6  Jesus  said to him, “I am  the way, and  the truth, and  the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.  Repent of any Legalism in your life and look to the risen Savior!

 

Alexander Whyte  

“Watch yourselves well, for you all have a large piece of this worldly-wise man in yourselves…. It is a sure sign to you that you do not yet know the plague of your own heart, unless you know yourself to be a man more set upon the position and praise that come from God only.  Set a watch on your own worldly heart.  Watch and pray, lest you also enter into all Worldly-wise mans temptation”