Legalism and Discipline

Discipline can elicit a harsh and immediate rebuke in many Christian circles because it is often equated with legalism. 

Legalism for the unaware is church speak for man-centered righteousness most noticeable in the Pharisees in the New Testament. 

There’s was an external righteousness of earning God’s love and approval. 

God’s Word forcefully and rightly condemns this way of living. 

Pharisaical legalism and discipline aren’t the same. 

One is based on the idea that your actions earn you God’s favor. 

The other is based on the idea that consistency and diligence are the pathways to spiritual growth. 

One concentrates on attaining salvation by works. 

The other concentrates on being transformed into the image of Christ.

Christians often hear the first message when the other is preached and it leads to frustration and heartache. 

The life God calls the Christian to isn’t a life devoid of work. It simply redefines its why. 

You are called to work hard, just not for your salvation.