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Legalism--there's at least a little bit in all of us, and it's bad for us. For a previous pastoral word we looked at Erik Raymond's article on legalism that pointed out that legalism promotes unbiblical standards (self-authority) and performance (self-righteousness.) In the second part, Erik focuses on the divisive nature of legalism.

Currently we have a total of five volunteers from our church who are active volunteers. Peter Thomas, Ben Friesen, Mark Edwards, Mary Ann, and I have all ministered at the prison over the past several months. We minister on two separate yards (prison facilities) at the prison. On Delta yard we lead services every other Friday night. On Alpha yard we lead a study on the third and fourth Sunday of each month. On both yards we enter in groups of two or three volunteers and minister to 30-80 inmates. The setting on each yard is different. On Delta yard we have one hour for a church service with 20 minutes of music and 40 minutes of preaching followed by an hour of fellowship and prayer. On Alpha yard we lead a two-hour Bible study. We are studying and teaching through the book of Mark on both yards. This ministry is much more than just a teaching ministry. It is one of encouragement and visitation. These brothers in Christ are so blessed by those who come to see them and spend time with them. Many are completely cut off from their families, some as a result of surrendering their life to Christ.

"What is Legalism? In its most basic sense legalism believes that we can earn or keep God's favor by what we do. 1. Legalism Promotes unbiblical standards (self-authority) Legalism may take things that have been biblically true but not biblically applicable and attempt to make them binding.