(P)eople throw this cheap term with a flexible definition around to slur those who believe there is only one way to worship God. By that definition, we are cheerfully legalists! We know that God accepted Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s. We know Jesus said that worship must be in spirit and truth to be acceptable (John 4:23-24). Since truth does not allow for a variety of ideas, Jesus taught there was only one way to worship God. And Paul must have been the greatest legalist of all time, for he cursed any angel or man who preached anything differently than he preached (Gal 1:6-9). Yes, we are legalists in this sense.
We do not believe a sincere heart covers for disobeying the word of God. David had a sincere heart moving the Ark of the Covenant, but God killed a man for it not being moved the right way. Moses had 40 years of faithful service as Israel’s leader, but God kept him from the land of Canaan for striking a rock for water instead of speaking to it. We see these examples in Scripture, and we choose to esteem every precept of God and hate every false way (Ps 119:128). Why not come be such legalists with us?
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