“There have always been those in the church who regard themselves as more spiritual than God Himself, and have a stricter set of rules for living than God does.”
What is the Big Deal about Legalism?
People often wonder why legalism is so bad for the church. After all, many of the things that legalisms do seem “churchey”. Even Jesus notes that the Pharisees look good on the outside. Whitewashed tombs would sure shine brightly in the hot Middle Eastern sun. Their legalism, reliance upon rules and regulations rather than faith in Jesus ensured this was only on the outside. A tomb is filled with death, darkness, and decay no matter how good it looks on the outside. This is the problem with legalists. Jesus came so that we can have life abundantly and they are filled with death. Legalism is the enemy of a full life in Jesus.
Think about how valuable our liberty in Jesus is to God. Christ paid for our freedom with His life. God gave up His son for it. It is not something that should be thrown away with every fad that comes into the church. Rather, we should guard it against those who seek to steal it.
There are so many who will tell us how to live a Christian life according to their rules. Yet, what does the Apostle Paul tell the Galatians to do in response to the ancient legalists? Stand firm and do not let yourself be burdened
Legalism does not make us more spiritual. It just burdens us. It takes attention away from the glory of what Jesus did and focuses it on us. That is a terrible exchange.
Stand firm in the true faith, in freedom today. Don’t let anyone steal the freedom Jesus bought for you with His blood.