Scripture used is from the Amplified version (which brings out shades of meaning present in the original texts of the Bible, instead of a word for word translation.)From this time forth Jesus words will be in red. The opening text is in King James Version that text will be Green in the amplified version, unless it is Jesus word, Blue will represent the Amp of text reference above. I am doing this in hope of better clarification July 12th Devotion
GROW IN GRACE Luke 11:38 - "And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner."LUKE 11:37-41
Luke 11:37-41 (AMP)
37 Now while Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee invited Him to take dinner with him, so He entered and reclined at table.
38 The Pharisee noticed and was astonished [to see] that Jesus did not first wash before dinner.
39 But the Lord said to him, Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside you yourselves are full of greed and robbery and extortion and malice and wickedness.
40 You senseless (foolish, stupid) ones [acting without reflection or intelligence]! Did not He Who made the outside make the inside also?
41 But [dedicate your inner self and] give as donations to the poor of those things which are within [of inward righteousness] and behold, everything is purified and clean for you.
A sure sign of the error of legalism is misplaced priorities, as we see here with these Pharisees. It is not recorded in Scripture that the Pharisees marveled at the wonderful works of Jesus. They were too busy looking for something to criticize (Mark 3:2). Mark 3:2 (AMP)
2 And [the Pharisees] kept watching Jesus [closely] to see whether He would cure him on the Sabbath, so that they might get a charge to bring against Him [formally].
But they marveled at Jesus not washing His hands. This is a classic example of straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel (Mt. 23:24).
Matthew 23:24 (AMP)
24 You blind guides, filtering out a gnat and gulping down a camel!
Those who seek to earn righteousness through keeping the Law are consumed with "doing," while those who receive righteousness by faith are simply confessing what has already been done. This is a simple and yet profound difference. If we are still "doing" acts of holiness to get God to move in our lives, then we are still operating under a "Law" mentality that is not faith (Gal. 3:12). Galatians 3:12 (AMP)
12 But the Law does not rest on faith [does not require faith, has nothing to do with faith], for it itself says, He who does them [the things prescribed by the Law] shall live by them [not by faith].
When we simply believe and confess what has already been provided through Christ, that's grace.
A person who is living under the Law and a person who lives under grace should have very similar actions of holiness, but their motivations are completely opposite. The legalist has their attention on what they must do, while the person living by faith has his attention on what Christ has already done for him. For instance, the Scriptures teach us to confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts, and we will receive from God. The legalist thinks, That means I can get God to heal me by confessing, 'By his stripes I am healed.' However, the person who understands God's grace will not confess the Word to get healed. They will confess, "By His stripes I am healed" because they really believe it has already been done.
Analyzing our "mind set" is the simplest way of discerning whether we are operating in true Bible faith or a legalistic counterfeit. If the motive for our actions is to be accepted with God, that's legalism. If we live wholly out of faith and gratefulness for what God has already done, that's grace. Grow in grace!
Dallas Staller, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Wommack Ministries, www.awmi.net
Michael Stanley, 55