Moralism A seductive false gospel. It is the teaching of a morality apart from God. It came from Christians who forgot what the gospel was. The Letter to of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians deals with this very issue. For Atheists and others who don't have Christ, moralism is as close to righteousness as they can get. It is sad that so many Christians spend their life frustrating the grace of God through moralism.
You may receive nice emails or watch nice movies where a nice person has a crisis and does a nice thing--all without Christ or with Christ as sort of a non-participant. This is moralism. Morality without Christ. Righteousness without Christ. Christ is our righteousness, as you will see.
The flip side or the false gospel of moralism is the false gospel of what has been called easy grace. It isn't grace at all, as you will see. This is actually the false gospel of permissiveness, the gospel of the wide way. "It doesn't matter what you do." "We are under grace not under law." "Go ahead and shack up with that girl." "Sexual sin makes no difference." "It doesn't matter if you steal a little bit." "Don't take the Bible so literally."
So is there a balance between these two? No. These are both doctrines of demons. A balance between them would also be a doctrine of demons. The gospel of moralism and the gospel of the wide way and any gospel between them are doctrines of demons. They are very seductive lies.
God is going in a completely different direction.
Here is what God is actually doing:
When you are born again by believing in Jesus Christ, this is your first righteous act. But you didn't do anything, did you? How can it be a righteous act? The same way that anything can be a righteous act. God does it, but He has a specific way of doing it. Whatever is not of faith is sin, Romans 14:23.
This applies to every righteous act. Nothing else is righteousness ever. First, God leads. God speaks. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My Voice." "Today, if your hear His Voice, don't harden your heart." Once you realize that God speaks, you begin to see that God reveals this fact a lot throughout all of Scripture. God speaks to us, leads us. We respond. At any moment, both your fleshly nature and the Holy Spirit are speaking to you. They are telling what to think, say, and do. Your fleshly nature will always lie and make sin seem glorious or fun or cool and make righteousness seem trite, silly, old fashioned, boring, and even wrong. When you ignore the voice of your own fleshly mind and listen to Christ, He speaks a vision of hope into your mind/heart/soul. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word (literally, utterance) of God, Romans 10:17. Faith is supernatural trust in God. It is actually the faith of God that is a gift to you--"lest any man should boast." Faith gives us access to grace, Romans 5:2. Hebrews 12:27-29 tells us that it is through Grace that we are able to serve God. Romans 5:18-21 tells us that grace reigns through righteousness. This righteousness is a free gift from God. Romans 5:17. That's what grace means, free gift. It is a free gift, and if we will yield our hands, feet, ears, eyes, and mind to this righteousness of God, then God will do His work through us, Romans 6:13. God does any righteousness that is done, and He works through His people.
Love is the fulfillment of the law, Romans 13:8-10. Sin is breaking the law, 1 John 3:4. God defines righteousness to us through the Bible. However, God must speak to us through the Bible. We can't figure this out or do it on our own. Whatever is not of faith is sin and faith begins with the Utterance of God. Love is what righteousness is and has many facets as 1 Corinthians 13 says. God is love. We cannot have righteousness without having God. We cannot have love without having God. In fact, righteousness is a free gift from God, Romans 5:17. The children of Israel made the mistake of trying to establish their own righteousness and so they missed out on this free gift of God's righteousness, which God was willing to give them at no cost, Romans 10:3. Trying to "put a little love in our hearts" or to live by a set of rules is futile.
If we try to live by laws and rules, we will either live in self-condemnation or we will live in self-righteousness. If we recognize the fullness of God's law, and we try to obey it by our own power or our own righteousness, then we will condemn ourselves because we will fall short. Far more often, we see people who modify God's law into a set of rules that they can fulfill. They lower the bar until they can fulfill their rules. That always brings self-righteousness and pride. God's law is clear; He speaks it into our hearts. Human beings cannot fulfill it without the process described in the Bible. This is the righteousness, the love, that is a free gift. This is the righteousness that is by grace and through faith. God does His works through us, and it is by the free gift, grace, and that grace is only available through faith. What actually happens is that God loves through us.
We need to ask God to help us to let Him love through us. For the person that I'm having trouble loving at home, at work, at church, Lord, help me to let You love this person through me. We can do the works of God if we will believe in Him to the point that we let Him work through us. When we try to generate our own love, it is like trying to generate our own good works. In fact it is exactly the same thing.
The reason that we must let God love through us has to do with the way righteousness and love operate, Romans 10:17. God speaks to us. We respond. Faith is born in us by the power of God. Faith opens the door to grace, Romans 5:2. Grace flows in and does God's works through us, Romans 6:13. Whatever is not of faith is sin, Romans 14:23. In other words, anything that we do that God did not lead us into and anything in which God did not do the work through us is sin. That narrow way is very narrow indeed, Matthew 7:13-14.
Sin corrupts the mind/heart/soul. It plants bitter seeds that spring up at times and trouble you. You reap what you sow. However, when God does His work through you, when you yield to the Holy Spirit, many of those old evil seeds are killed and new living seeds of holiness are planted.
Last updated: May, 2013
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