Legalism is defined as the “excessive adherence to laws or formulas,” and as its name implies, it is a rigidly constructed concept that does not consider variables that may require acts of mercy and kindness, even when the act may be judged as wrong or substandard. Unfortunately, legalism is the rule of engagement among both liberals and conservatives. Whenever stringent rules are established without mediatorial intervention, the rules eventually become harsh and condemning. The temptation for Eve in the Garden of Eden was to elevate mankind to the level of God through knowing both good and evil apart from Him. God said, “Man has become one of us,” implying that he can then establish stringent rules to govern his own behavior apart from Divine intervention. Whenever and wherever the power is in the hands of a feelingless people who can only reference established laws and lack the understanding of the purpose for laws in general, abuse will always be the consequence. Jesus made it clear that He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. He was referencing God’s intent for the Law in relation to sinful, lawless, and fleshly deeds. All was accomplished through our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. His life was lived in keeping with the meaning of the Law rather than the mere letter of the Law. He reminded His disciples by saying, “you have heard that it was said…., but I say unto you,” His life was the full expression of God’s intent. In that moment, He became our Mediator and Intercessor—both standing with us and for us before the Father.
Whatever view a people-group may have of Christ will determine their position. Some see Him as a Liberator from all oppressive forces, and they can then justify taking whatever means necessary to free themselves from oppressive forces. Another group may see Him as the One who is Righteous and executes Justice, where He develops a police state to impose strict punishment on those who are in violation of the law.
God became Man in the Person of Jesus Christ. Humankind then is given consideration, but not as an excuse for bad behavior. Forgiveness of sins is granted towards those who put their trust in Him. The incentive to please the Father is motivated by His love that resides in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed a prayer of forgiveness because of the ignorance of mankind. Then He instructed and imparted to them the wisdom and power to live differently. Without a Mediator, the laws that govern the life of the unborn is legislated without consideration given to the life of those who are born. The juxtapositions that cause many politicians, and now theologians, to express these contradictions expose the realization that the mission of Jesus Christ is not fully understood. Because of the expediency of national progression, slavery can be justified while the slogan can still be, “in God we trust.” The history of this nation has been sanitized as if it has always been for righteousness, but when its unrighteousness is in question, those truths are viewed as an evil ploy to undermine the heroes of the Founders of America. To be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ requires an honest assessment of who we are and where we are. Then the grace of God can be dispensed upon this nation as His message can be both heard and received by all.