If you pour oil and vinegar into the same vessel, you would call them not friends but opponents. —Aeschylus
Some things were never designed to be mixed together… ever. I mean, think about it. Would you ever put motor oil in your coffee? I don’t think so. Would you ever seat an Aggie next to a fan from the University of Texas? Not unless you wanted to see another Civil War.
Well, how about marching and dancing? Can you march under legalism and dance to the music of the Holy Spirit at the same time? Think about it. Dancing is all about the work of Christ; legalism is all about our works. The Gospel is all about the finished work of Christ. Under the law, we work to earn His favor and/or the favor of people around us. Don’t get me wrong: The law of the Lord is good… but once the law has done its job, it’s time to dance!
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Galatians 3:23-25 NASB)
My concern is this: the Church today perpetuates a hybrid mixture of law and grace, of marching and dancing, and this mixture subverts our dependency on and joy in Christ’s work. It messes up everything, just like motor oil would pollute your coffee—and my guess is that this mixture is much more prevalent in the Church and in your life than you might think.
God of grace, make legalism as nasty tasting as motor oil, I pray. Amen.