They call it “The Galatian error“. When Paul wrote to the Galatians, false teachers were deceiving them. They mixed Jewish law with the Gospel of Christ Paul taught them. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.” Galatians 1:6 It’s a big fat misconception for believers who don’t know their true identity in Christ. The error robs folks of joy and the abundant life Christ promises. Oh, they’re saved and going to heaven. But their life on earth will lack fulfillment.
Some churches teach that man is not saved by grace alone, but by grace plus works. So, they believe, God does certain things and man does certain things in the sanctification process. Many believers think the emphasis should be on what man does for God, following a bunch of rules and regulations, not on what God has already done for man.
They believe in God’s grace, but they believe they must balance grace with a dose of law. Law and grace are oil and water. Because they mix law and grace they live their “Christian” life in discouraging bouts with frustration, guilt and self-recrimination. The Big Bad If declares, “If you read the Bible enough, if you go to church enough, if you pray enough, if you tithe, if you serve on enough committees, if you do enough good things and avoid doing bad things, God will accept you. But living in Law always leads to failure.
Law says, “If you do all these things, God will accept you. If you don’t, He won’t.” Grace says, “I give you my eternal love and my total acceptance as a free gift just like you are.” Living in grace creates a thirst for His word. You’ll want to pray, to serve, to tithe, to fellowship with other believers. You won’t do things out of legalistic obligation, but out of real desire to please God and cultivate intimacy with Him.
Classic Christianity by Bob George inspired this blog post.