In the Gospels we see Jesus drawing one clear moral line after another. But today we are told it is the legalist or the Pharisee who draws moral lines.

Thus, when pastors release the Nashville Statement or similar statements of belief, the accusers salivate. The wolves descend.

“How dare you agree with Scripture.”

“It’s [the current year]!”

“How un-Christlike.”

What are we to make of this?

Is there a way to love the perfect law of God without being a legalist or Pharisee?

Here’s a simple framework that’s helped me: A Christian is one who follows Christ as Savior and as Lord.

It is only the Lord Jesus who saves.

Two implications:

  1. You can’t be your own savior. Works-righteousness is impossible to us.
  2. You can’t call Jesus your savior unless you also are also willing to call him your Lord.

(Faith, if it’s really faith, is faith in Jesus as Lord.)

I go into this framework in more detail in this explainer video.

This helps us see how a Christian [yes, even in the current year] can exercise discernment in a loving, Christ-like way.

If I Draw a Clear Moral Line, Does that Make Me a Legalist?


What Did Jesus Mean By “Judge Not”?