Legalistic Christians do not deny Christ; they accept the new birth readily, however they earnestly seek to add something to Jesus. Jesus and good works, proper doctrines, religious programs, their own kingdom, common sense, church activities, discipleship training and many others. To add anything to Jesus, no matter how good and moral, is to exalt the “self-life.” Christians will undergo many painful sacrifices rather than take a place of utter helplessness and worthlessness before God.
The legalistic Christian has a desire to be of service to God to get souls saved; however, if our passion for souls exceeds our passion for Jesus, we’ve missed it. It is not a passion for men that saves men. The New Testament never mentions a passion for souls. Legalistic Christians want to promote service for God. Service will be futile and fruitless unless it springs from an overflowing heart. Not overflowing with good intentions, but overflowing with the Love of God. This love of God we do not have of ourselves, nor can we give it, no matter how much we desire to do so. We shall possess this love only as “self” has died, and this resultant void has been replaced by His love. Then we can absorb this love straight from the Lord Himself. The law which no man can fulfill is now fulfilled as vessels are cleansed of human programs and opened to dispense God’s pure love. “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” ( Rom. 13:10; top )
The promotion today in Christian circles is, “We must keep this going.” This is evidence of a partial surrender to God. God is rejecting works today that are a mixture of man’s program and a pure relationship to Jesus, because the work has as a source of inspiration something less than 100% God.
Some Old Testament leaders’ quotes reveal this clearly as they said:
Moses: “Who am I? I can’t.”
Gideon: “I can’t; I am the least in my Father’s house.”
Jeremiah: “Lord God! I cannot speak, for I am a child.”
Amos: “I was no prophet; I was a herdsman.”
Job (the most righteous man of his time) said: “I am vile.”
Isaiah: “Woe is me, for I am undone, a man of unclean lips.”
David: “Who am I?”
These admissions were necessary to prove they had learned that you do not do God’s work by self-effort, or self-wisdom.
There is no way we can conquer self or sin. This brings us to total submission to God that His Spirit can deliver us. God must do it all – God can’t do it all until all is expected of Him. All is not expected of Him until all human help is gone.
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