Romans 2:1-5: How to Spot a Legalistic Church

by Dale Partridge

Legalism is the idea that our works contribute to our salvation. In the Old Covenant, under the Law, it was easy to draw the connection. However, in the New Covenant, it becomes more difficult to discern.

the Bible teaches that salvation is monergistic. Namely, God does all of it. He initiates it and He secures it. As a result, we can give all the glory to God for our redemption. However, many churches believe in a synergistic salvation. That is, God does His part and you must do yours. This works-based salvation implies that your obedience either initiates or sustains your salvation. Again, this is unbiblical as we know that our righteous standing before God does not rest in our obedience but in the perfect obedience of Christ alone.

In this episode, pastor Dale Partridge looks to Romans 2:1-5 to examine the key marks of a legalistic theology in hopes to free Christians from the bondage of a works-based Gospel.

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Scripture References

  • Romans 2:1-5

    Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

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After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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