Legalism Does Not Make You Holy – It Just Makes You *Appear* Holy

Join me as we discuss our reading in Galatians 1 & 2 and we look at how legalism does not make you holy.  It only makes you *appear* holy.  #Biblestudy #lonely #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

What is legalism? The word legalism has the word legal in it. So, legalism is trying to follow the law (or a list of rules) in order to get into good favor with God.

Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia because they were deserting the grace of God and returning to Moses’ law. He reminded them to not enslave themselves to the law when they have been set free through Christ!

Paul writes in Galatians 2:16

 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Join me on this week’s video, as we discuss our reading in Galatians 1 & 2 and we look at how legalism does not make you holy. It only makes you *appear* holy.

{If you are reading this in an email or feed – click here to view the video}

As I said in the video above, may we be on guard against legalism in our own hearts, in our own homes, and in our own churches.

When we come to Christ, he does not give us a list or a lecture – he gives us his righteousness and he makes us holy through his son’s death on the cross.

We are saved by:

By Grace alone (Sola Gratia)
Through Faith alone (Sola Fide)
In Christ alone (Solus Christus)
According to Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)
For God’s Glory alone (Soli Deo Gloria)

We should not pray, read the Bible or go to church to earn more favor with God.

We should not do good works, give money or dress a certain way in order to receive salvation.

Instead, because of God’s love for us and because of his free gift of salvation to us – as a result and an outpouring of our love and gratitude to him – we should love him and serve him and obey him and want to know him in a deeper way.

So enjoy your free gift of salvation! And remember God loves you so much. Keep loving, obeying and trusting in him.

Walk with the King,


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  1. Thank you so much for this Courtney. Being raised in the church of Christ it has been difficult to sort through what the Word says and the legalism of the church. Your studies are so helpful and I’m so thankful for you! Be blessed!

  2. These words spoke to me so much! I am a 35 year old pastor’s wife who likes to wear black eyeliner…and my faith has been questioned because of that. I have received a lot of pressure from church members to be a certain way…to be their idea of what a good Southern Christian wife is (I live in the Bible Belt). I’ve seen young people driven from our church for the way they dress. And it has all hurt me. These words are so true because they are coming from God. Thank you for posting this! God has spoken to me through this study so much this week! I am excited to continue on and hear what He has to say!

    1. Thankfully Audra our salvation is not predicated on what make-up we wear or don’t wear. I grew up going to a First Assembly of God Church and they had the rule that women couldn’t wear make-up of any kind. Thankfully our salvation is only predicated on Accepting what Jesus did on the cross for us by asking Him to come into our hearts and forgive us of our sin. He accepts us no matter what we wear. I commend you in being a Pastor’s wife. Our Pastor’s wife told us it is like living in a glass house and not for the faint at heart because every detail of your life is scrutinized. God called you in your position and He takes all your hurts and sorrows and He carries all that concerns you. He hears every word said to you and about you and He loves you beyond comprehension no matter what you wear and you are more than what others say about you or to you. I am praying for you. Just walk in forgiveness towards others and know that our Jesus takes care of you! Be blessed Sister and like Courtney always says, keep walking with the King! Your sister in Christ, Mary

      1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! It really meant a lot to me! Thank you for praying for me. I will pray for you too. We need all the prayer we can get, right?! I hope you have a beautiful weekend. <3

  3. Hi Courtney. Please respond to me! You said something that I was relieved to hear. I haven’t been to Confession for maybe 30+ years and I put pressure on myself to go and ask the priest to throw the book at me. I live a clean, good life but in 30+ years I can think of things I need forgiveness for. I keep putting it off. I am a Catholic but I don’t see how telling another human trumps me talking to God in Prayer. So please say it again for me – – I don’t need to go to Confession. So, Confession was “added” to the Gospel? It’s a man-made rule? THANK YOU! THANK YOU! PS: WE LOVE YOU!

    1. Dear Patricia, No you don’t need to confess your sin to a priest in order to be forgiven. All you need to do is give your life to Jesus. It is only through Him that we have forgiveness of sin. Here are some scriptures for you to read:
      John 3:16-17; John 3:3 about Being born again ;
      About sin causing spiritual death please read:
      Romans 3:23; and Romans 6:23
      About Salvation being a gift of God
      Ephesians 2:8-9
      Then to be saved: read Romans 10:9-10
      After reading those scriptures then repeat this prayer out loud! Dear Jesus, I have been a sinner and I ask You now to come into my heart and forgive me for all my sin and shortcomings. I want to make you my Savior and Lord of my life. I thank You for coming to die on the cross ✝️for me and for forgiving me of all my sins. In Jesus’s name. Amen. Now if you prayed that prayer you are a Christian and your sin is forgiven and removed from you as far as the east is from the west. God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin the moment we ask. He loves you and wants you for His very own.

      God bless you! I am praying for you, Patricia
      Love in Christ Jesus, Mary

      1. Thank You So Much for your reply, Mary! It was a welcome and much appreciated, generous post! And Thank You for praying for me! I pray for nearly everyone and I always wonder if anyone prays for me – and frankly, it’s doubtful. So your prayers are most meaningful! Thank You! I’ll pray for you too! Have a Wonderful Week!

        1. Did you have any other questions Patricia after reading all those scriptures?
          If so please be sure and ask. Yes I will keep praying for you. I hope that you read the scriptures and accepted Christ as your Savior. I love to help others know more about living in Christ Jesus for Christ Jesus! God bless you and hope you have a fantastic week. Your sister in Christ, Mary

  4. Dear Courtney, Your articles, and videos are always a right on time message. So many churches today are .legalistic. I grew up in an Assembly of God Church going with our neighbors to Sunday School and Church but didn’t get saved until I was in my thirties. I studied all sorts of religions in high school for my Senior year term paper and took Catholicism at a Catholic church ⛪near us. Then right out of high school married and divorced with 2 kids. Then studied and became a Jehovah’s Witness for 5 years. You talk about legalism. They go by a lot of rules being works oriented to be a good person but not going to heaven. That for them is only 144 thousand that go to heaven. The rest stay o n earth to clean up the earth. So when I came to the Lord I was not only religious but also very legalistic. So what you said was a refreshing reminder that faith in Jesus Christ is so important and it is only through His finished work on the cross that we are saved and justified.

  5. Patricia, Confession to a priest is not biblical, not necessary, not part of the Gospel. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross we have direct access to God. (Luke 23:45 The curtain in the temple tore in two just before Jesus died on the cross, symbolizing our direct access to the Father through the Son. Also see 1 Timothy 2:5) Truthfully, Catholicism adds much that the Bible does not say. Martin Luther had much to say about what they believe…yet oddly, Catholics & many Lutherans follow the exact opposite of what Martin Luther outed as unbiblical beliefs & practices. Keep reading the Bible and go with what God says.

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