This is written by my brother in Christ and best friend, Nicholas Hawthorne:

I am writing this because God brought this subject to mind recently, and I really don’t know why. I just felt like I needed to write this. Honestly, if you are reading the you probably do love Jesus and we know Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” So if you feel something from this note, I hope it is just the Holy Spirit’s conviction and that you are set free from this spirit. Nevertheless, I will write:

I have noticed this spirit some call religion, some legalism has a big stronghold on many people today. Although I see its affects much differently then most. When you think of someone bound by this you think of someone who follows all these rules; they believe that will get them to heaven. Self-righteousness can often come with this mentality. Unfortunately, there is another side to this spirit. I see many people who take the name of Christ, and don’t want to be bound by religion/legalism, so to show that they aren’t they do things that break God’s heart. It seems like the same spirit to me, both these paths lead people away from God. Some people don’t want to strive for rules or deal with self-righteous people, at the same time people don’t want to see that God’s people are the same as the world. Neither is a true representation of grace either. Grace is sufficient, it is not something that is won by us, it is freely given and freely received. As a result of grace we have the ability to be something we could not before, Holy! We are called to be Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:15) through Grace, not in the same place as before!

I have been afraid before when I saw people sinning and wanted to speak up, or tell what I believe, because I was afraid I would be called legalistic or religious. That doesn’t matter though because I don’t live my life with sin in dominion over me because I am not under the law, but under grace! (Romans 6:14) As a result i don’t do what the world does. In the end legalism/religion have nothing to do with what you do. That is the problem with it. People strive for grace, and do works to try and get it, at the same People won’t live consecrated lifestyles in fear of being religious/legalistic!!! Would you call Samuel religious though, or John the Baptist legalistic because of their nazarite vows? I don’t think so. How bout Jesus, He followed the law just like the Pharisees… but it wasn’t about the law!! It was their hearts, they were proud!!! At the same time being consecrated, living Holy, speaking truth is not religious or legalistic, but something we were made to do through Grace!!!

-Nicholas James Hawthorne

  1. ryanmrhodes says:

    I love his point about John the Baptist and Jesus. Very good article!

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