Rule Follower

Posted by Karah


Ponder this quote by Samuel Bolton,

“The law sends us to the Gospel that we may be justified; and the Gospel sends us to the law again to inquire what is our duty as those who are justified.”

Read Matthew 15:1-20

“These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.” —Matthew 15:8-9

Answer these questions:

• Jesus railed against the Pharisees for two reasons: Their love of tradition was greater than their love for God and they believed corruption came from breaking the law instead of a sinful heart. Highlight where you see evidence of the these two issues throughout the passage. Write in your journal, explain them in your own words.

• The Pharisees were so caught up living in line with the law that they failed to recognize their own sinfulness. This can also happen for believers today. List a few ways you can guard against this in your own life.

• Why is it important to recognize that we are sinful people and cannot save ourselves?


When has following rules been more important to you than following Jesus? Evaluate the things you say and do. Be honest with God. Pray and ask Him to help you see following Jesus as the most important thing.

People have sin in their hearts, and Jesus came to replace that sin with His righteousness. If you haven’t trusted Jesus as Savior, talk to a Christian that you trust, maybe your camp counselor or a youth director, to learn more.


The Pharisees were legalists. Legalism is the act of putting law above gospel by establishing requirements for salvation beyond repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. At the time, believers were to follow the Mosaic Law. The Pharisees added to this law strict rules, passed down orally, to help others understand the Mosaic law better.


Our faith must be in God and not in following rules. We can’t save ourselves; we need Jesus.

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