Is Your Church Legalistic?


For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. — Galatians 6:13

The one thing that is always true about religious legalists is that they are zealous. They passionately love their position and will go to great lengths to defend it. But the bottom line is that they are not concerned about God even though they appear to be. They are worried about their methods, systems, processes, and behaviors. And in doing so, they end up taking their eyes off God, giving attention to accomplishments focused only on themselves. And so they boast. They boast only about what they have done, not about God.

I am sure most of us get this. But let's remember, Paul is speaking about a movement that has infiltrated the church. He is confronting legalistic church leaders and their agenda within the church.

In our time, Paul might say that if our church spends too much time boasting about what it's done, then it might have a problem. So if your church and its leaders celebrate the vision, the band, the mission, and the activities a little bit too much, your church might have a problem. Or if attendees only talk about the pastor, the teaching, the music, and the style, then your church might have a problem. And guess what none of these things matter if they don't focus on the one thing that does matter. And the only thing that matters is Jesus. He is the center. We come to worship him. To sing about him. To learn about him. To serve him. To give to him. Jesus did all the work. He was righteous. He upheld the law. He provided the sacrifice. He gave eternal life. He sent the Spirit. There is no one or no thing that could ever do what he did. If we could have, we would have, but we couldn't, so we didn't.

So don't worship processes, programs, or pastors. Worship Christ alone. He is the only one who is worth it and worthy of it. Take some time today to turn your focus from everything but Jesus.

ASK THIS: What is distracting you from a focus on Jesus?

DO THIS: Refocus on Him.

PRAY THIS: Jesus, you alone are worthy of my praise.

PLAY THIS: In Christ Alone.


short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

28 thoughts on “Is Your Church Legalistic?

  1. Greg Ranweiler says:

    Would like to see next study on Job.
    Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow at First Baptist in Baxter.
    Greg Ranweiler 218-232-1360

    • Tom R says:

      I also vote for Daniel. A man with great faults and used to do great things.

      A man I can relate through of my faults and strive to be in his successes in praising God.

  2. Eddie Ackerman says:

    1 and/or 2 Samuel would be a good choice, if we are sticking with old testament books, if you are willing to break down a larger book for us Vince, I would love to see Genesis study, take us back to the beginning and explain the big and little plot points that STARTED our collective stories.

  3. Jack says:

    We lose focus on Jesus when we assume the next step is up. Joseph went down into the pit, down to Egypt, down to Potiphar’s house, down into the prison in fetters, then he was elevated to the palace of Egypt

  4. Tom F. Sr. says:

    Thanks Pastor Vince! I am so thankful for, and encouraged by, your passion for Jesus Christ. He is THE Author and THE Perfecter of our faith! Outside of Him, and His once for ALL time finished work, we have and are nothing! Yes, nothing! Press on my brother in Christ and endeavor passionately to remain humble in Christ Jesus.There is none equal to Him! All in for Him!

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