1 Timothy 4:3-5 (NET) They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.
The reason Sheldon started attending that church where they taught license was because he grew up in one where they taught legalism. In his former church, they were so sin-conscious that they made the people perpetually feel condemned and unaccepted. They went as far as using the old Testament to proscribe certain foods and tag them as sinful. Remember, the believer is not under the law of Moses but under the law of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 9:21, Galatians 6:2).
There are two kinds of false doctrines out there. There are those that go on the side of license and the others that go on the side of legalism. Those that go on the side of license are usually laden with sexual immorality and high sounding nonsense. They use the grace of God as a license to continue in iniquity and trivialize sin. The other kind of false doctrines out there are those that go on the side of legalism. They are those who insist on rules and regulations as the way to be right with God. They don’t understand the righteousness of God but seek to establish their own righteousness by their own effort. They are as dangerous or even more dangerous than the license group. They do not walk by faith but by rules and regulations, and because of this, they do not walk in love but in accusations and condemnation.
Whenever you see two doctrinal extremes in the body of Christ, the truth is usually in the middle. Even though we are not saved by our works of righteousness, our faith produces in us works of righteousness(James 2:14, Ephesians 2:10). If it doesn’t, then it is not living but dead faith.
Whenever you see a teacher always talking about rules and regulations and threatening believers with going hell as a consequence for breaking his laws, be wary. Whenever you see a teacher always talking about the grace that covers sins and never talks about how grace empowers believers to be godly and do what is right, be wary.
Go into today remembering that the grace of God teaches people to deny ungodliness and fleshly lusts. Legalism teaches people to set aside the grace of God and rather depend on their ability to keep rules and regulations as the reason why they are saved. Legalism and license are two sides of the same evil coin of false doctrines.
Prayer: Father, please guide me from the virus of false doctrines in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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—Abraham Damilola Arigi
Yearly Bible Plan: Deuteronomy 32-34 (In Devotional Audio)
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