I like to preach about God’s grace. I know the choice Bible passages about freedom in Christ. I can tell some good stories about God’s grace.
But I must still confess something: “I am a closet legalist.” I like the idea of making rules and pressuring others to follow them. I can get enthusiastic about making rules controlling what clothes real Christians can wear, what movies real Christians can see and where real Christians can go, especially on Sunday. Given my way, I would make it harder to be an acceptable Christian. But Paul said, “such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Without an understanding of Christian freedom, I would be a legalistic Pharisee.
But, praise God, he can even work with a closet legalist and teach me about his grace. What we need is a personal demonstration that a relationship with Jesus is not about our earning his love, but how we respond to his love. Colossians teaches us how to respond in daily thankful, transformed living.
Father, thank you for helping us live to please you, led by your Holy Spirit. Amen.