Submitted by: Elder J. Smith
Related Scriptures: John 5:36-44, Ezekiel 22:1-19, & Psalms 40:5-10
Redemption is from YHVH alone; His will, His work, and for His pleasure. There is no work or activity that we provide in this miracle of salvation. Our participation is to submit to YHVH’s great authority, and through faith, receive the great gift of atonement through the blood of Yeshua (Ephesians 2:8-10). We cannot please Elohiym without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and we cannot know the Father’s will without the Holy Spirit purifying our character (Romans 12:1-3) through that same faith in Yeshua, our Lord and Savior. Even our obedience is the response of faith and trust. So, we can’t take any credit for the salvation given by the G-dhead. If we move into thinking that our human effort contributes to or is responsible for our salvation or righteousness, then we have now set our trust in legalism.
Legalism is the adherence to the letter of the law with no regard for the Spirit underlying the law. However, this is deception because it is selective and partial on what to observe while neglectful of being fully obedient and honoring to what is written entirely in the word of G-d (Habakkuk 2:4). When unbelief and sin is not addressed, the soul becomes a breeding ground for legalism. Even though it appears righteous on the surface, legalism is denial and rejection of the G-dhead. It denies that salvation is possible only by the Father. It attempts to nullify the need for atonement by the Messiah by appearing already righteous and denies the Holy Spirit by acting as if faithfulness is due to human power or will.
We see an example of this with the Rich Young Man (Mark 10:13-27 and Matthew 19:13-26). Legalism attempts to put a wall in between the Father and any who desire a relationship of trust and faithfulness with Him. Those who live by faith are the heritage of Avraham. Those who trust in legalism are actually Gentile and pagan, even if they are physically born of Israel (1 Samuel 17:26 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). But what great comfort we have in knowing that our Father, the Eternal Living One, cares so much for His children; that His desire has always been to bring forth daughters and sons, not just servants or workers.
Three Summary Points
Redemption is from YHVH alone; His will and His work.
Legalism is denial and rejection of the G-dhead.
YHVH desires daughters and sons, not just servants.