Legalism and Law-Keeping

J.I. Packer on Legalism and keeping biblical law:

No doubt ever appears about the universal applicability and authority of laws commanding and forbidding particular things… and John tell us ‘this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” In 1957… John Murray wrote: ‘It is symptomatic of a pattern of thought current in many evangelical circles that the idea of keeping the commandments of God is not consonatn with the liberty and spontaneity of the Christian man, that keeping the law has affinities with legalism…’ He then quotes the passages referred to above, beginning with John 14:15, ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’ and ending with 14:21, ‘He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me, and concludes ‘When there is a persistent animosity to the notion of keeping commandments the only conclusion is that there is either gross ignorance or malignant opposition to the testimony of Jesus.'”

-Situations and Principles, J.I. Packer

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