Simple obedience to what God requires of us-and presenting God’s requirements as law-is not legalism!! There are those who present what they call the love of God as opposition to the commandments of God, thinking God contradicts Himself being overwhelmed by His heart of love-allowing people to do as they desire, instead of as He commands. There are some who suppose it legalism who respect the law of the new covenant, insisting upon obedience to the requirements of God. The New Testament makes it clear that submission to the commandments of God IS the condition of eternal salvation! What seems to bug the dissenter most is the detail. We, who follow the law of God in exactness, demand it!! The divine oracles were never divided into important details and unimportant details. True, there are commandments in the New Testament that do not relate to us, the context would decide that, but who among uninspired men, can decide which command is important or unimportant?
David declared: “all Thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalms 119: 172 It is open rebellion to God question anything He had written! Talk of minor matters of the gospel of Christ being insignificant is atheism!! Complaining because someone, in the judgment of the complainer, is hung up over the details of the Scriptures is opposed to covenant we swore to when we confessed Christ!! Jesus said: “woe to you, scribes and Pharisees; hypocrites! For ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy. Do not follow after their work for they say and do not.” Matthew 23:1-3. The Pharisees were legalist, not because they were careful to keep the law of God, even the details about law, but because they added to the law. Hear Jesus: “ye have made void the word of God because of your tradition. You hypocrites, well spoke Isaiah the prophet of you, saying: “this people honor Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.” Matthew 15:6-9
We “speak where the Bible speaks’” we say, but sometimes “when the Bible is silent,” we speak anyway. We had surely better be careful not to add to that which is written, or take away from that which God has spoken. The apostle John, by inspiration wrote: “whosoever goes onward and abides not in the gospel of Christ, hath not God: he did abides in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. II John 9.
Some today are more worried about collecting a paycheck and not nearly as worried about checking in to heaven at peace with God! They define the love of God as compromise and never think of it, as discipline. They’re more interested in making sure that they word their teaching and preaching so exact that no listeners feelings will be hurt, but never worry about hurting God’s feelings! I have never been to a doctor’s office, been given a shot, where whether or not there would be pain, stopped the medicine from being given! It is the doctor’s duty to administer, according to his oath, the right medicine to heal and cure. There is no difference in that and preaching the gospel, if the gospel preacher spends all his time concerned about hurting somebody’s feelings he may start considering to spend a little time not hurting God’s feelings by rejecting God’s word! To cry foul, foul or legalism, legalism as a means of not carrying out the commission of Jesus Christ as he commanded, will never be accepted by God! That was the feature movie in Hell. Who could ever think themselves so important as to think they could make God change His word, just to satisfy them?