By Grace Alone: Finding Freedom and Purging Legalism from Your Life
This book isnÃ¢ÂÂt what you think, though it may likely be what you need. You would imagine that a witch hunt for who should be labeled a legalist would be what you would find, but that is not the case at all. No, what you have is what grace really is and what it could never be.
The tone is respectful throughout, but the issue is faced head on. He doesnÃ¢ÂÂt try to ditch the Law of God, but use it as the Lord intends. Here is the irrefutable fact: Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. Christ, of course, fulfills the Law, but He ends it as a source of righteousness for you and me.
Most Christians I know grasp that as it pertains to salvation. The problem is that we think the opposite when we try to live the Christian life. We try to earn GodÃ¢ÂÂs favor, we think we must be worthy of His love. The problem is that we are as in need of grace as before. As Mr. Prince so ably points out it canÃ¢ÂÂt be both. You may get to the Lord through grace or the LawÃ¢ÂÂit is one or the other, now and always!
Here is his definition of legalism: Ã¢ÂÂthe attempt to achieve righteousness with God by keeping a set of rules.Ã¢ÂÂ Well, that definition alone makes it folly. I once believed that legalism was a concept that only applied to salvation, but I was wrong. Like the foolish Galatians, I can go back as a believer and live as an ardent legalist!
The purpose of the Law is not for the purpose we use it. A teacher, yes; a deliverer, never. In fact, the Law only brings condemnation. Liberty comes from Christ.
He shows how when a Holiness lady, who may love the Lord, doesnÃ¢ÂÂt wear makeup and holds that up as her approval with the Lord, she makes this error. (He kindly never mentions we Independent Baptists who have a few of these ourselves). He does show how this is exactly the same as the orthodox Jew who wonÃ¢ÂÂt eat ham.
What really makes this book so valuable is how Mr. Prince teaches in the latter chapters how to receive GodÃ¢ÂÂs grace in your life and how to apply it.
If you have been hearing all the debate about legalism and you are at a loss for how to process the debate, I highly recommend this book. If you just want to straighten out your own thinking, then I recommend it even more.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255 .
June 16, 2013
live by grace not by legalism
Ã¢ÂÂI believe legalism is the greatest problem of the Christian church. Legalism is, first of all, the attempt to achieve righteousness with God by keeping a set of rules.Ã¢ÂÂ (157) In this book, compiled from a series of spoken messages, the purpose is to discover what does and does not matter in our Christian walk. The problem of legalism is identified and we are helped to eliminate it from our life, yielding a new understanding of grace.
Prince was convinced that we Christians fail to live the kinds of lives God wants us to live because we are unclear about the relationship between law and grace. He gives basic definitions of both and argues that they do not mix.
He explains the law of Moses, how Christ fulfilled it, that Christians are no longer under it, the reason for its being given, and its effects on those who try to keep it.
He then looks at what God does require of Christians living under grace, what obedience means, how God enables us by grace, the distinctions in the Old and New covenants, how their operations differ, the contrast between grace and works, receiving grace, how to recognize it in our life, and how to freely give it.
Prince uses lots of Scripture to argue that we must stop trying to earn God's approval by keeping a set of rules. Ã¢ÂÂ...[W]hen Christ died on the cross, He once for all time, ended the Law as an acceptable means for achieving righteousness with God. We have, therefore, no other alternative Ã¢ÂÂ it is grace or nothing.Ã¢ÂÂ (162)
Prince points out that learning to rely on God's grace is a lifelong process. He has given us the tools to begin that process in this book. I highly recommend it. Get started living by God's grace today.
I received a complimentary egalley from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
May 29, 2013