This book isn’t 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 doesn’t 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 God’s 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 can’t be both. You may get to the Lord through grace or the Law–it is one or the other, now and always!
Here is his definition of legalism: “the attempt to achieve righteousness with God by keeping a set of rules.” 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, doesn’t 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 won’t eat ham.
What really makes this book so valuable is how Mr. Prince teaches in the latter chapters how to receive God’s 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .