Bible Study

Difference Between Legalism & Godly Living (Condensed)

Arguments and varying opinions about legalism and godliness is not something uncommon on my blog. A huge misunderstanding I think just comes by people’s assumptions by what I mean, and that’s my fault for not clarifying better. My last post covering this What Is Godly/Holy Living | Am I Living A Defiled Life? taught me that I need to be more clear.

Legalism is basically trying to earn your own salvation through what you do (works), this is self-righteousness. Godly living does require natural actions that every Christian should follow and consider, however it is not out of self-righteousness. I understand the confusion. It’s basically this.

Legalism is about loving self, self preservation to get to Heaven, and TRUE godly living/righteousness is about loving Christ. It’s about a genuine relationship with God and walking in the Spirit. 

Please note: I’m not saying a believer of 6 months is going to immediately be mature or have a walk like a devoted believer of 30 years. It takes time. Godly living is not about obtaining salvation, rather, maintaining and maturing a relationship with Jesus Christ through love for Him and what He has done.

Those who truly love Jesus Christ, who have the love of God, they are convicted of sin, they do not want to do things that are sinful. Not to be perfect. Not to get to Heaven. Not to be a “good Christian.” However, those truly in the Lord, they want to live in a godly manner BECAUSE THEY LOVE JESUS! (Romans 7:19-20)

Godly living has everything to do with Jesus transforming us. It has everything to do with us growing and being convicted by the Holy Spirit. Walking by the Spirit means just that & we SHOULD desire to do so! The sheep learn the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him. 

Clarification For My Previous Blog Posts

I do need to admit and clarify better on my posts about godly living. I can see how people are misunderstanding.

Godly living is NOT living morally for the sake of making ourselves better or desiring to go to Heaven. Our actions as a Christian reflect Jesus. They don’t make us better. They do not cleanse us. Only Jesus paid the atonement for us. Nonetheless, those who love Jesus change spiritually because of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, through salvation in Christ, and that spiritual transformation does change how we live. It changes our heart, mind, strength, and spirit. 

On my blog, I give specifics sometimes of what to look out for in our lives because scripture says we are to test the spirits, and we need to work out our own salvation. (NOT for works to cleanse ourselves, we can’t do that, but if we love Jesus, we will walk in His ways). (John 15, 1 John 4:01, Philippians 2:12)

We need to analyze what we allow in our life and whether or not it’s drawing us closer to Jesus. Some might be personal convictions and other things might just be sinful. 

Again, this isn’t to say we are 100% perfect. We will sin and we will need to seek forgiveness and repent. But we need to be striving towards perfection. We are shedding our flesh, our old life, and we are to deny ourselves. No one said this would be easy on our own strength. What is desirable to our senses could very well be an idol or a stumbling block from growing in Jesus. That is what I hope to point out with my posts on godly living. (Philippians 1:06, 3:12)

I want my readers and myself to have a better grasp of what growing in good soil looks like. (See Parable of Sower of Seeds

We are held accountable for every action and idle word. To say we aren’t is not Biblical. Those actions have consequences.

(NIV) Matthew 12:35-36, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

(NIV) Romans 14:12, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”


Jesus Is Our Atonement Sacrifice. We Can’t Save Ourselves By What We Do.

Jesus shed His blood for us. He checked off the box for our atonement. We need to have Jesus poured into our lives and when I speak of godly living on my blog I am speaking of conviction, transformation, and the fruit He produces in us.

My friend, we need to love the Lord with all of our heart, mind, strength, and soul. 

He justified us so we could be cleansed and transformed. Jesus does not stamp our hand like if we went to a fair and says, “You’re good to go.” No.

He takes us away from the pleasures of this world and says, “I’m not done with you, yet.” The cross is the beginning, and the goal is the empty tomb, our justification, our resurrection, and our renewal. 

(NIV) Philippians 1:06, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Again, it is not something we can do on our own. We do have assurance in Christ, while also having a healthy fear/respect of God with a sense of conviction as well. Our spirit should be pricked when we sin, and we should be wary of exposing ourselves to tempting and sinful situations. 

It helps to study righteousness in the Bible and to study what we are told to stay away from and repent from. Some are saved nearly by the skin of their teeth, and others are rewarded for building upon the foundation of Jesus. 

(NIV) 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved–even though only as one escaping through the flames.(emphasis mine)

I hope to help readers understand first whether or not they are truly following Jesus, and then as a Christian WHAT are we building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ?

Stubble or precious gems? 

Please Note: Godly living absolutely includes sharing the Gospel with others. We cannot reach others without learning from Christ and His example. We cannot be proper examples unless we saved in Christ which happens through understanding and hearing the Gospel message. We are not to be hidden, but a light on the hill, that includes openly speaking about Jesus, the Gospel, and God’s word.

Community Prayer for July 2020

Monthly Scripture – (NKJ) Psalm 85:08, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.”

Get To Know Me & My Blog
Believer Handbook
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath

Luke 11_39-40, careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and wickedness. Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside_.png


5 thoughts on “Difference Between Legalism & Godly Living (Condensed)

  1. You are approaching a hard subject to communicate in writing, but off to a good start. Something that helps me in explaining is remembering works are a fruit of our salvation…We work out of our salvation not into it. Only Jesus can bring us into it, keep us, and even the works produced by salvation are His through us as we daily learn to walk in the Spirit. Blessings as you continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I think the best way to explain it, which I learned after this post, there is a perfect balance of justification and sanctification and when we teeter toward one more than the other there are issues. Thanks for your encouragement!!! Yes, like I shared works, transformation, renewing of the mind, we can’t have this unless we have received Jesus. It’s about moving forward and deepening our relationship only at His feet. 🥰💗

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.