On Moralism

Christians who are taught to act morally primarily to escape punishment or to win self-respect and salvation are learning to be moral to serve themselves.

They are not loving God for Himself.

They are not obeying him simply because of his greatness and because he has done so much for them in Christ. Rather, they are using God to get the things they want.

Question for Reflection

  1. What is your motivation for obedience?

Resources

Timothy Keller, Center Church, 67.

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7 Characteristics & Beliefs of Moralists

Moralism

In Matthew 12:1-21, the Pharisees interaction with Jesus over Sabbath regulations show their moralistic tendencies. Based on their interaction, here are 7 characteristics & beliefs of Moralists.

7 Characteristics & Beliefs of Moralists

(1) Moralists believe they can work their way to God (2; 7).

(2) Moralists believe they are free, but are really in bondage (2; 9-14).

(3) Moralists miss out on the teachings of Jesus and true salvation/rest (11:28-30; 12:18-21).

(4) Moralists are merciless (9-14; 20).

(5) Moralists are selfish (9-14).

(6) Moralists perform because they are forced (2).

(7) Moralists are strongly resistant to change (14).

Question for Reflection

  1. Are you a Moralist?

Resource

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Post adapted from my most recent sermon: Rest Not Works

There are No Self-Made Men in God’s Kingdom

Men at Work

Sam Walton – the founder of Wal-Mart – is a self made man.

He grew up during the Great Depression. His family was poor like most others. He had to pay his own way through College by working as a lifeguard. After college, he worked two jobs before serving in WWII.

Not until after the war did he catch a break. Using the money he saved, along with a loan from his father-in-law, he bought into a franchise, before opening his own store – Walton’s Five & Dime – and eventually Wal-Mart. His success as the owner of Wal-Mart earned him the title of America’s richest man.

We love stories like Walton’s. It motivates and inspires us. It drives us. That’s because it tells us if we work hard enough, we can become whatever we want. It’s the American Dream.

When it comes to our job, that way of thinking is fine, but we must set that aside when we turn to our relationship with God. Hard work doesn’t earn us success and acceptance with God. If we think that way, we are in trouble because there are no self-made men in God’s kingdom.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Resources

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Post adapted from my most recent sermon: Rest Not Works