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Legalism

Also called: Formalism, Moralism, Pharisaism, Religiosity
Having a strict outward conformity to moral and religious practices and an expectation that others have the same.

Top Bible Verses about Legalism

Isaiah 29:13–14

And the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with its mouth, and with its lips it honors me, and its heart is far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men that has been taught, therefore look, I am again doing something spectacular and a spectacle with this spectacular people. And the wisdom of its wise men shall perish, and the discernment of its discerning ones shall keep itself hidden.” Read Isaiah 29:13–14

Hosea 6:6

Because I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. Read Hosea 6:6
Micah 6:8

Micah 6:7–8

Will Yahweh be pleased with thousands of rams, with myriads of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does Yahweh ask from you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Read Micah 6:7–8

Matthew 23:23

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you pay a tenth of mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the more important matters of the law—justice and mercy and faithfulness! It was necessary to do these things while not neglecting those. Read Matthew 23:23
Acts 15:10

Acts 15:10–11

So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way those also are.” Read Acts 15:10–11
Galatians 3:11

Galatians 3:10–11

For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all the things that are written in the book of the law to do them.” Now it is clear that no one is justified in the sight of God by the law, because “the one who is righteous will live by faith.” Read Galatians 3:10–11

Famous Christian Quotes About Legalism, Formalism, Moralism, Pharisaism, Religiosity

Pleased with Our Righteousness Until We Look to God

So long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue; we address ourselves in the most flattering terms, and seem only less than demigods. But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness, and wisdom, and virtue, to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence. So far are those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, from corresponding to the divine purity.

John Calvin

Christianity Is Not a New Morality

Christianity did not come into the world to proclaim a new morality and, sweeping away all the supernatural props by which men were wont to support their trembling, guilt-stricken souls, to throw them back on their own strong right arms to conquer a standing before God for themselves. It came to proclaim the real sacrifice for sin which God had provided in order to supersede all the poor fumbling efforts which men had made and were making to provide a sacrifice for sin for themselves; and, planting men’s feet on this, to bid them go forward. It was in this sign that Christianity conquered, and it is in this sign alone that it continues to conquer. We may think what we will of such a religion. What cannot be denied is that Christianity is such a religion.

B. B. Warfield

Nothing More Known but Less Practiced Than Christianity

Nothing is more generally known than our duties which belong to Christianity; and yet, how amazing is it, nothing is less practiced? There is much of it in name and show, but little of it in the heart and conversation; indeed, if going to church, and to the sacrament, or, if our being called after the name of Christ, and being baptized into that name; if that will make us Christians, I believe all of us would have a claim thereto.

George Whitefield
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