The authors in this compilation address the issue of legalism from a variety of angles.
John MacArthur shows, first that obedience to God is not an issue of legalism, but an issue of love. In his second chapter, he deals with the inevitable response of people who are confronted with Biblical standards, "Judge not that ye be not judged." Here MacArthur shows what our Lord meant when He said that, and shows what biblical discernment really is, that there is a vast difference between judgmental and holding people accountable to God's standards.
Phil Johnson, in his first chapter, deals with Christian liberty. In his second chapter, he takes a critical look at two kinds of legalism, then explores the relationship of Christian love and Christian liberty.
Joel Beeke shows that enthusiasm for God's law is not necessarily legalism. One can be zealous without being legalistic. As David wrote: "Oh, how I love Thy Law!"
Bruce Bickel explains that legalism is due to a weak understanding of what Christ accomplished on the cross.
Jim Elliff makes clear that legalism is an attack on unity within the Body of Christ, particularly local congregations.
Ken Talbot helps us to see that legalism is inconsistent with and incompatible with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He points out that the doctrine of "free will" leads to this dangerous position.
Rick Phillips explores the relationship to loving God and obeying His law. Some today believe that love is all that matters, and that the law as a guideline to love is extinct. Then this author shows that Biblical sanctification is the antidote to and the opposite of legalism.
Steven J. Lawson shows that legalism is the result of holding to man-made traditions over the truth of God's Word. Second, he points out how dangerous and deadly a thing legalism is and why.
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction: What Legalism Is, What Legalism Does - Don Kistler
2. Truth Vs. Tradition - Stephen J. Lawson
3. Love and God's Law - Richard D. Philips
4. The Cross Is Enough - Bruce Bickel
5. The Danger of Legalism - Steven J. Lawson
6. Obedience: Love or Legalism? - John MacArthur
7. Zealous But not Legalistic - Joel Beeke
8. The Plague of Free-Will Moralism - Kenneth Talbot
9. Judging Vs. Biblical Discernment - John MacArthur
10. Stand Fast in Liberty - Phil Johnson
11. Real Love and Real Liberty - Phil Johnson
12. What Freedom From the Law Accomplishes For the Local Church - Jim Elliff
13. Biblical Sanctification: The Antidote to Legalism - Richard D. Philips