The Fallacy and Failure of Legalism


Larry Deason

1993, Life Communications

P.O Box 1689

 Lady Lake, FL 32158

All Right Reserved

Second Printing, 1998

Third Printing, 2004

Fourth Printing, 2007

Set Free? Stay Free! is a book every believer should read. The book shows how man chooses to stay in bondage due to ignorance, conceit– he calls it ‘arrogant pride’– and fear. These three things keep a man in bondage even when he is free. The author had been preaching the Gospel for over 40 years and had served in the Church as a teacher of the Word, co-founder and a consultant. He died few years ago but his books still give life.

Larry Deason in his book is blunt. He hits the nail on the head without hurting a fly. He is straightforward and precise. Hence, the book is a short read but enlightening.

No one is fully human or fully alive until he or she is free.

The introduction couldn’t have been more captivating than that. Anybody who doesn’t know that they are free can not stay free and one who doesn’t believe that they are free can not be free. They don’t know or can’t believe they are free because they don’t know the truth in reference to John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

He describes how education, improved conditions and equal rights, although good, can not set us free. According to John 14:6, Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me, only the Creator can.

Jesus became sin for us. He was crucified, buried and resurrected to become the Truth of the Gospel. That is, the cross of Christ is the Truth of the Gospel and that is what sets a man free. Anything from the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is no gospel at all according to Galatians 1:9-10.

Legalism is an enemy of the Truth as explained in the latter pages. Legalism works against grace. It is humanism as he puts it in his book. It demands constant conformity to the rules and decrees of men when all we need to stay free is through faith.

Rules, regulations and lists don’t make Christians strong and free. Works do not! A genuine intimate relationship with Christ Jesus based on the Love of God does make us strong and free indeed.

Freedom is not achieved but received by Faith. It is not worked out by Works measured by our do’s, don’ts, association and the likes. It is measured by the Father’s love for us, His reliable Word to us and His redemptive purpose for us. It is based on acceptance and in it lies our freedom.

Liberty should be proclaimed, claimed and enjoyed. Legalism is not of God because it doesn’t agree with the Truth of the Gospel. The freedom we have received shouldn’t be contradicted to the freedom of our speech and actions because once it is in contrary, it is bondage. It’s enslavement. Our minds are in shackles.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to believers who are confused when it comes to teachings of the Law and Grace because it answers their numerous questions. The book is concise and precise. It doesn’t beat about the bush; a short read and quite easy to understand. It answers questions like, what happens if I live by the law and don’t obey it all because I can’t? What am I called? Why should I live by Faith? What does the Gospel teach? Interesting questions like that are best answered gracefully.

-Review by Latoria

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