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50 Bible Verses about Legalism

Most Relevant Verses

Romans 9:31-32

and Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they followed it not by faith but, as it were, by the works (of the law); therefore, they stumbled on the stumblingstone;

Galatians 3:10-11

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident, for The just shall live by faith.

Matthew 23:13

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of the heavens in front of men, for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye those that are entering to go in.

Romans 3:20-24

For by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now, without the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets: the righteousness, that is, of God by the faith of Jesus, the Christ, for all and upon all those that believe in him, for there is no difference;read more.
for all have sinned and are made destitute of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus, the Christ,

Philippians 3:8-9

And doubtless I even count all things as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Philippians 3:4-6

Though I might also have reason to confide in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the lineage of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, a persecutor of the congregation ; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Galatians 1:14

And profited in Judaism above many of my equals in my own nation, being exceedingly more zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Matthew 23:23

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin and have omitted that which is more important of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith; these were expedient for ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Micah 6:7-8

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my rebellion, the fruit of my bowels for the sin of my soul? He has declared unto thee, O man, what is good and what the LORD requires of thee: only to do right judgment, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself to walk with thy God.

Matthew 23:14

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses and for a pretence make long prayer; therefore, ye shall receive the greater judgment.

Luke 10:31-32

And it so happened that a certain priest came down that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he came near the place and looked on him, he passed by on the other side.

John 7:49

But this people who do not know the law are cursed.

Luke 18:11-12

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast two meals every sabbath; I give tithes of all that I possess.

Matthew 6:1-2

Take heed not to do your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise, ye have no reward of your Father who is in the heavens. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They already have their reward.

Matthew 23:5-7

But they do all their works that they may be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments and love the first place at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the markets and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Romans 10:3

For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Mark 7:6

He answered and said unto them, Well has Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

Mark 7:7-8

Howbeit in vain do they honor me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men as the washing of pots and cups, and many other such like things ye do.

Matthew 23:27-28

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whitewashed sepulchres, who indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

1 Samuel 15:19-22

Why then didst thou not hear the voice of the LORD but didst fly upon the spoil and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD and have gone the way which the LORD sent me and have brought Agag, the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the firstfruits of the anathema, to sacrifice them unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.read more.
And Samuel said, Does the LORD have as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in hearing the voice of the LORD? Behold, to hear is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Matthew 15:3-9

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother, and, He that curses father or mother, let him die without recourse. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, Whatever I might have helped thee with is already my offering unto God,read more.
and now has no need to honour his father or his mother with succour. Thus ye have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth and honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.

Mark 7:9-13

And he also said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother, and, Whosoever curses father or mother shall most definitely die. But ye say, It is enough if a man shall say to his father or mother, It is all Corban, (that is to say, my gift to God) whatever with which thou mightest be profited by me.read more.
And ye suffer him to do no more for his father or for his mother, invalidating the word of God with your tradition, which ye have given; and many such like things do ye.

Matthew 23:25-26

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup or of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and incontinence. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also.

John 7:19

Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do ye go about to kill me?

John 9:16

Therefore some of the Pharisees said, This man is not of God because he does not keep the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such signs? And there was a division among them.

Matthew 16:6

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and keep yourselves from the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Mark 8:15

And he commanded them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod.

Matthew 16:12

Then they understood that he bade them not to keep themselves from the leaven of bread, but from the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Galatians 4:10-11

Ye observe days and months and times and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have bestowed labour upon you in vain.

Galatians 5:2-4

Behold, I, Paul, say unto you that if ye become circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Ye are empty of the Christ, whosoever of you that justify yourselves by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Acts 15:10

Now therefore why tempt ye God, putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

James 2:10

For whosoever shall have kept the whole law, and then offends in one point is made guilty of all.

Galatians 4:21-31

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, have ye not heard the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, but he of the freewoman was born through the promise.read more.
Which things are an allegory; for these women are the two covenants: the one from the Mount Sinai, which begat unto slavery, which is Hagar. For this Hagar or Sinai is a mount in Arabia, which corresponds to the one that is now Jerusalem, which together with her children is in slavery. But the Jerusalem of above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth into praise and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband. So that we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Mark 2:24

And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

Luke 6:2

And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

Luke 13:14

And the prince of the synagogue answered with indignation because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and said unto the people, There are six days in which it behooves men to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

Romans 14:14

I know and trust in the Lord Jesus that for his sake there is nothing unclean, but to him that esteems any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Acts 22:3

I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Luke 11:45

Then one of the lawyers answered and said unto him, Master, saying these things, thou dost reproach us also.

From Thematic Bible


Inconsistency » General marks of » Legalism

John 7:23

If a man on the sabbath day receives circumcision without the law of Moses being broken, are ye angry at me because I have made a man entirely whole on the sabbath day?

Legalism » What legalism does

Legalism » Liberty being threatened by legalism

Galatians 5:1-13

Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with the yoke of slavery. Behold, I, Paul, say unto you that if ye become circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law. read more.
Ye are empty of the Christ, whosoever of you that justify yourselves by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything nor uncircumcision, but faith which works by charity. Ye did run well; who hindered you that ye should not trust in the truth? This persuasion does not come of him that called you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord that ye will not be otherwise minded, but he that troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. I even desire that those who trouble you would cut themselves off. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only do not use liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by charity serve one another.

Religion » Characteristics of » Legalism

Acts 22:3

I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Acts 16:3

Paul desired to have him go forth with him and took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those quarters, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Acts 21:20

And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous of the law;

Luke 6:2

And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

Galatians 1:14

And profited in Judaism above many of my equals in my own nation, being exceedingly more zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Religion » Inconsistency in religious life general marks of » Legalism

John 7:23

If a man on the sabbath day receives circumcision without the law of Moses being broken, are ye angry at me because I have made a man entirely whole on the sabbath day?

FALSE » Religion characteristics of » Legalism

Acts 22:3

I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Acts 16:3

Paul desired to have him go forth with him and took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those quarters, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Acts 21:20

And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous of the law;

Luke 6:2

And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

Galatians 1:14

And profited in Judaism above many of my equals in my own nation, being exceedingly more zealous of the traditions of my fathers.