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50 Bible Verses about Legalism

Most Relevant Verses

Romans 9:31-32

But Israel, who pursued righteousness based on the Law, did not achieve the Law. Why not? Because they did not pursue it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on achievements. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble.

Galatians 3:10-11

Certainly all who depend on the actions of the Law are under a curse. For it is written, "A curse on everyone who does not obey everything that is written in the Book of the Law!" Now it is obvious that no one is justified in the sight of God by the Law, because "The righteous will live by faith."

Galatians 2:16

yet we know that a person is not justified by doing what the Law requires, but rather by the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah. We, too, have believed in the Messiah Jesus so that we might be justified by the faithfulness of the Messiah and not by doing what the Law requires, for no human being will be justified by doing what the Law requires.

Matthew 23:13

"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom from heaven in people's faces. You don't go in yourselves, and you don't allow those who are trying to enter to go in.

Romans 3:20-24

Therefore, God will not justify any human being by means of the actions prescribed by the Law, for through the Law comes the full knowledge of sin. But now, apart from the Law, God's righteousness is revealed and is attested by the Law and the Prophets God's righteousness through the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah for all who believe. For there is no distinction among people, read more.
since all have sinned and continue to fall short of God's glory. By his grace they are justified freely through the redemption that is in the Messiah Jesus,

Philippians 3:8-9

What is more, I continue to consider all these things to be a loss for the sake of what is far more valuable, knowing the Messiah Jesus, my Lord. It is because of him that I have experienced the loss of all those things. Indeed, I consider them rubbish in order to gain the Messiah and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but one that comes through the faithfulness of the Messiah, the righteousness that comes from God and that depends on faith.

Philippians 3:4-6

although I could have confidence in the flesh. If anyone thinks he can place confidence in the flesh, I have more reason to think so. Having been circumcised on the eighth day, I am of the nation of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As far as the Law is concerned, I was a Pharisee. As for my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church. As far as righteousness in the Law is concerned, I was blameless.

Galatians 1:14

I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries, because I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

Matthew 23:23

"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your mint, dill, and cummin, but have neglected the more important matters of the Law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the things you should have practiced, without neglecting the others.

Micah 6:7-8

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with endless rivers of oil? Am I to give my firstborn to pay for my rebellion, the fruit of my body in exchange for my soul? He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the LORD is requiring from you to act with justice, to treasure the LORD's gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.

Matthew 23:14

"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows' houses and say long prayers to cover it up. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation!

Luke 10:31-32

By chance, a priest was traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he went by on the other side. Similarly, a descendant of Levi came to that place. When he saw the man, he also went by on the other side.

John 7:49

But this mob that does not know the Law they're under a curse!"

Luke 18:11-12

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, "O God, I thank you that I'm not like other people thieves, dishonest people, adulterers, or even this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I give a tenth of my entire income.'

Matthew 6:1-2

"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give to the poor, don't blow a trumpet before you like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they will be praised by people. I tell all of you with certainty, they have their full reward!

Matthew 23:5-7

"They do everything to be seen by people. They increase the size of their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love to have the places of honor at festivals, the best seats in the synagogues, to be greeted in the marketplaces, and to be called "Rabbi' by people.

Romans 10:3

For they are ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God while they try to establish their own, and they have not submitted to God's means to attain righteousness.

Mark 7:6

He told them, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Mark 7:7-8

Their worship of me is worthless, because they teach human rules as doctrines.' You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition."

Matthew 23:27-28

"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people's bones and every kind of impurity. In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

1 Samuel 15:19-22

Why didn't you obey the LORD, but grabbed the spoil and did evil in the LORD's sight?" Saul told Samuel, "I did obey the LORD. I went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, I brought Agag king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. The people took some of the spoil sheep, cattle, and the best of what was to be completely destroyed to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal."read more.
Samuel said, "Does the LORD delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

Matthew 15:3-9

But he answered them, "Why do you also disregard the commandment of God because of your tradition? Because God said, "You are to honor your father and your mother,' and, "Whoever curses father or mother must certainly be put to death.' But you say, "Whoever tells his father or his mother, "Whatever support you might have received from me has been given to God," read more.
does not have to honor his father.' Because of your tradition, then, you have disregarded the authority of God's word. You hypocrites! How well did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is empty, because they teach human rules as doctrines.'"

Mark 7:9-13

Then he told them, "You have such a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition! Because Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother,' and, "Whoever curses his father or mother must certainly be put to death.' But you say, "If anyone tells his father or mother, "Whatever support you might have received from me is Corban,"' (that is, an offering to God) read more.
"you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.' You are destroying the word of God through your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other things like that."

Matthew 23:25-26

"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but on the inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that its outside may also be clean.

John 7:19

Moses gave you the Law, didn't he? Yet none of you is keeping the Law. Why are you trying to kill me?"

John 9:16

Some of the Pharisees began to remark, "This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a sinful man perform such signs?" And there was a division among them.

Matthew 16:6

Jesus told them, "Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!"

Mark 8:15

Jesus had been warning them, "Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod!"

Matthew 16:12

Then they understood that he did not say to beware of the yeast used in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Galatians 4:10-11

You are observing days, months, seasons, and years. I am afraid for you! I don't want my work for you to have been wasted!

Galatians 5:2-4

Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, the Messiah will be of no benefit to you. Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised is obligated to obey the entire Law. Those of you who are trying to be justified by the Law have been cut off from the Messiah. You have fallen away from grace.

Acts 15:10

So why do you test God by putting on the disciples' neck a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we could carry?

Psalm 130:3

LORD, if you were to record iniquities, Lord, who could remain standing?

Acts 15:11

We certainly believe that it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, that we are saved, just as they are."

Galatians 4:21-31

Tell me, those of you who want to live under the Law: Are you really listening to what the Law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. Now the slave woman's son was conceived through human means, while the free woman's son was conceived through divine promise. read more.
This is being said as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. The one woman, Hagar, is from Mount Sinai, and her children are born into slavery. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to present-day Jerusalem, because she is in slavery along with her children. But the heavenly Jerusalem is the free woman, and she is our spiritual mother. For it is written, "Rejoice, you childless woman, who cannot give birth to any children! Break into song and shout, you who feel no pains of childbirth! For the children of the deserted woman are more numerous than the children of the woman who has a husband." So you, brothers, are children of the promise, like Isaac. But just as then the son who was conceived according to the flesh persecuted the son who was conceived according to the Spirit, so it is now. But what does the Scripture say? "Drive out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman must never share the inheritance with the son of the free woman." So then, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by such grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God and not the result of actions, to put a stop to all boasting.

Mark 2:24

The Pharisees asked him, "Look! Why are they doing what is not lawful on Sabbath days?"

Luke 6:2

Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what isn't lawful on Sabbath days?"

Luke 13:14

But the synagogue leader, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, told the crowd, "There are six days when work is to be done. So come on those days to be healed, and not on the Sabbath day."

Acts 22:3

"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia but raised in this city and educated at the feet of Gamaliel in the strict ways of our ancestral Law. I am as zealous for God as all of you are today.

Luke 11:45

Then one of the experts in the Law told him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us, too."

From Thematic Bible


Inconsistency » General marks of » Legalism

John 7:23

If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a man perfectly well on the Sabbath?

Legalism » What legalism does

Legalism » Liberty being threatened by legalism

Galatians 5:1-13

The Messiah has set us free so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. So keep on standing firm in it, and stop putting yourselves under the yoke of slavery again. Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, the Messiah will be of no benefit to you. Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised is obligated to obey the entire Law. read more.
Those of you who are trying to be justified by the Law have been cut off from the Messiah. You have fallen away from grace. Through the Spirit by faith we confidently await the fulfillment of our righteous hope, for in union with the Messiah Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. What matters is faith expressed through love. You were running the race beautifully. Who cut in on you and stopped you from obeying the truth? Such influence does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast spreads through the whole batch of dough. I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view of this. However, the one who is troubling you will suffer God's judgment, whoever he is. As for me, brothers, if I am still preaching the necessity of circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish that those who are upsetting you would castrate themselves! For you, brothers, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to gratify your flesh, but through love make it your habit to serve one another.

Religion » Characteristics of » Legalism

Acts 22:3

"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia but raised in this city and educated at the feet of Gamaliel in the strict ways of our ancestral Law. I am as zealous for God as all of you are today.

Acts 16:3

Paul wanted this man to go with him, so he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who lived in that region, since everyone knew that Timothy's father was a Greek.

Acts 21:20

When they heard about it, they praised God and told him, "You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and all of them are zealous for the Law.

Luke 6:2

Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what isn't lawful on Sabbath days?"

Galatians 1:14

I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries, because I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

Religion » Inconsistency in religious life general marks of » Legalism

John 7:23

If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a man perfectly well on the Sabbath?

FALSE » Religion characteristics of » Legalism

Acts 22:3

"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia but raised in this city and educated at the feet of Gamaliel in the strict ways of our ancestral Law. I am as zealous for God as all of you are today.

Acts 16:3

Paul wanted this man to go with him, so he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who lived in that region, since everyone knew that Timothy's father was a Greek.

Acts 21:20

When they heard about it, they praised God and told him, "You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and all of them are zealous for the Law.

Luke 6:2

Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what isn't lawful on Sabbath days?"

Galatians 1:14

I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries, because I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

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