In Which Sheila is Still Shouting "Grace, Grace!"

I saw this sign in front of a detox center for legalist women...not really, but it could be true.

Tim and I love the law of God, as given through Moses. It is the legalist who is anti-law; because she insists on her own understanding of the law, she ends up misunderstanding God's law, misapplying the law, which is, in fact, to be anti-law.

Friends, to truly love the law of God is more than a mere sentiment. It is more than reading the Old Testament and feeling good about it. To truly love God's law, is to invest significant time investigating it, understanding it, and being vigilant to communicate it accurately, and apply it Biblically.

Anything short of that, is sloppy scholarship, anemic passion, and misguided stubborness that masquerades as love for God's law, and that is to be a practicing antinomian, no matter what your creed is.

The law is good when used lawfully, the Bible says. Tim and I are completely passionate about the lawful use of something so precious and potentially powerful as the law. Therefore, we are to be counted amongst those who love God's law. Legalists do not actually love God's law at all - if you are even able to get past all the scholarly sounding rhetoric, you will find that legalists only love their own perceived performance of the law. The parts of the law they have been able to keep make them feel holy. They perceive God's blessings that have been in fact given to them unearned and undeserved - as being contingent upon their own "higher standard"...their own higher level of personal holiness. The law makes a legalist feel better about themselves, and definitely makes them feel better than you.

So tell me. Which person actually loves the law? The legalist? Or the grace-girl? (or grace-guy...whichever.)

See the difference? Hands down, no further discussion, the grace-girl is the one who actually and passionately loves the law of God, because she has carefully studied and zealously guarded the intent of the law, as communicated by God, both old covenant and new.

I use the female gender simply because "I are one" - and because to get the women using the law lawfully, is to get half the church using the law lawfully. Historically, there have been powerful women who have passionately supported the gospel of grace...and "devout" women who have stubbornly opposed the gospel of grace.

There ain't nothin' new under the sun. I've seen it before, with my own eyes. A woman with a firm superiority complex becomes a willing tool of religious spirits, and that woman will oppose all emphasis on grace. (At the very heart of it, this is exactly why Paul and Barnabas were opposed...)

Acts 13 says this, "But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region."

Yeah, I want to talk to the women. You better believe I do. Girlfriend, you can choose to be "devout and prominent" or you can be the righteousness of God in Christ - but you can't mix legalism and gospel. Every time you do, you will end up expelling others "from your region" - usually, in our age of propriety, you'll do it by being the one to leave.

Here is the sort of devout woman I want to be:

"Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures...And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious...attacked." (Acts 17)

Throughout history, for every devout legalista, God has raised up a leading grace-girl. I so want to be the grace-girl. I want to be persuade-able, tender towards the Gospel. I want to be God's woman, not my own version of God's woman.

(Which means, I will actively support the Pauls and Silases in my life, but that's another topic altogether...Jezebel cannot give honor where it is due, and she certainly can't stop controlling the men in her life, and she will ultimately never keep her mouth shut. She's convinced that she knows more.)

Oh my. I think I'll stop now. I've riled enough religion as it is. Few things are scarier than a woman who is devout for all the wrong reasons, who is unpersuade-able, and envious of the powerful women who embrace the grace message of the gospel.

I sort of understand. I'd envy me, too...not that I'm "powerful", but God certainly gives me every good thing I haven't earned and do not deserve.
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