Sermons by Pastor Marlan Knittel

Marlan Knittel

Pastor Marlan's Blog

April 9, 2016
Grace Vaccination

As you can see, I believe in vaccination … sort of.

One of the most insidious and contagious viruses in the spiritual world is the virus of legalism. And in some ways it's genetic - you get it from your parents or other significant people in your life.

I like what one influential author says about the topic:

I ask, How can I present this matter as it is? The Lord Jesus imparts all the powers, all the grace, all the penitence, all the inclination, all the pardon of sins, in presenting His righteousness for man to grasp by living faith—which is also the gift of God. If you would gather together everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man, and then present the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human soul or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as treason. Standing in the presence of their Creator and looking upon the unsurpassed glory which enshrouds His person, they are looking upon the Lamb of God given from the foundation of the world to a life of humiliation, to be rejected of sinful men, to be despised, to be crucified. Who can measure the infinity of the sacrifice!

Christ for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. And any works that man can render to God will be far less than nothingness....

Souls and bodies are defiled and polluted by sin, the heart is estranged from God, yet many are struggling in their own finite strength to win salvation by good works. Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest. They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for time and for eternity. FW 24, 25

I also appreciate how Ty Gibson describes it:

Legalism … is the anxious effort to earn God's favor because you believe, at least on an emotional level, that God's love is conditional, and therefore that He holds you at a distance until you prove yourself worthy. It is a form of religious narcissism, a way of keeping self as one's center while projecting the illusion of serving God." (

I want you to become passionate about grace vaccination. Don't compromise your immunity by lessening your need for holiness. Rather, make sure you daily vaccinate yourself against legalism by spending time basking in - and surrendering to - the amazing grace of God. Protect yourself and your loved ones.