Understanding the whole “being saved by grace through faith” message was so obscure to me while under legalism and suffering from scrupulosity. It was like a veil was over my understanding, and I just couldn’t seem to be able to get it, nor was able to enter into the rest of God like the Bible promises to everyone who believes. I would think, You are saved by grace but you better not sin! Well, but I do sin every day it seems, so what does that mean? Blah-blah-blah. . . . It almost drove me insane! While others seemed to just enjoy their righteousness in Christ, I was insecure and so afraid of losing my salvation. I didn’t understand how each piece of the puzzle was supposed to work together and even less how they could work in harmony with one another. As a result, I became extremely anxious, fearing hell every day; I felt like I couldn’t have peace until I could put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Some people believe we are saved by grace through faith while some believe in predestination. Others believe we need to work for our salvation. Others are mixing everything together, saying we are saved by grace through faith, but we better not sin! Still others say, once saved, always saved. This whole confusion caused me to become obsessed with doctrines. I was afraid if I chose the wrong doctrine, if my beliefs were erroneous, it would put me at risk of going to hell too; so, I’d better find the exact answer or I’d be in trouble. But the problem was everyone I asked had a slightly different nuance of the doctrine of salvation. If there was one truth and if it was supposed to be so easy and so simple to get, then why was everyone teaching something different on what one would think is the foundation of Christianity?
It cost me many sleepless nights as I frantically wrote Scripture upon Scripture on pieces of paper in hopes of finding the answers to my questions and the resulting peace of mind. While in that condition, I had a hard time coming to the revelation of the truth. I was endlessly going in circles, tormented and in fear, going from Scripture to Scripture trying to find what the truth really was. I had a hard time committing to any of the beliefs on this for fear that I would pick the wrong one and end up in hell in the end. This brought a lot of double-mindedness in my life during that period. Oh, what a pitiful mess I was!
Then one day, in His mercy, the Lord led me to a book sitting on our bookshelf that I had never picked up to read before. This wasn’t the kind of book I would normally be attracted to, and nothing on the cover or in the title appealed to me. However, that day, I felt the prompting of Holy Spirit to pick up that book. I did feel like I was on my way to recovery from legalism and its related fears and anxieties, which I was, but I wasn’t completely free. There was yet another aspect of legalism that was haunting me because it had not been exposed yet. I hadn’t recognized it as legalism. But I knew that whatever was still causing torment in my life was potentially legalism. I was praying to God to show me if I was indeed still dealing with legalism somehow, and I was asking Him to set me free from every trace, shape and form of it. Oh, and praise be to God, He revealed it to me that day, and the truth set me free.
As I opened the book and scanned the table of contents, one chapter caught my attention. I went right to it. There it was, the answer to my dilemma. “If we are saved by doctrine then, for heaven’s sake let’s study! We don’t need God; we need a lexicon. Weigh the issues. Explore the options. Decipher the truth. But be careful, student. For if you are saved by having exact doctrine, then one mistake would be fatal.” There it was, as I call it, the legalism of doctrine. The Lord provided the way to remove all confusion in the next chapter. “How do you simplify your faith? How do you get rid of the clutter? How do you discover a joy worth waking up to? Simple. Get rid of the middleman.” This was to be my solution, to get rid of the middleman and to tune in with God Himself. When it’s all said and done, His voice is the only voice that will make a real difference in our lives.
If you experience confusion in regards to doctrinal matters, I encourage you to sincerely seek God to receive clarification. He will answer you and calm your troubled mind. This is a promise from His Word (see Proverbs 3:5-6; John 16:13; 1 John 2:27). Be encouraged, there is hope! There is a way out.
―Kathleen Kaczmarek (Most of the content of this blog was taken from The Law of Redemption)
 See 2 Corinthians 3:14-16.
 See Hebrews 4:3.
 Max Lucado, And the Angels Were Silent: The Final Week of Jesus (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, Inc, 1992), 106.
 Lucado, And the Angels Were Silent, 114.