Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
At its heart, legalism is a desire to appear holy. It is trying to be justified before men and not God.
The Lord is not a slave master, He is our great and mighty deliverer. He came to set us free: His yoke is light, and walking with Him should not be burdensome (Mat. 11:28).
We are not religious, we are in relationship with God through what Jesus our Savior did on the cross of Calvary. But some people serve God, follow God and even come to God because they fear God, in the literal sense. That’s not the type of affection He desires from us, this is religious legalism.
- is setting requirements for salvation: dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.
The Lord does not place rules and regulations on us: keeping religious rituals, expectations and standards is religion. Habakkuk, said the just shall live by faith: a life formed by faith. We are to walk by faith, like Paul said, we are justified by our faith in Christ. If we seek to be righteous by following the law, then we place ourselves under a curse: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3).
A true relationship with Christ is a lifestyle of faith and relationship. The flesh and Satan do as a team: like using our feelings, our ego and the church culture to enslave us into legalism. The Lord God is not rating our behavior, our prayer life, or our church attendance. God is a loving father, He is not bipolar: sitting us in heavenly places with Jesus and then sending us to hell the next day.
If you fear the judgment of God, more than you enjoy His freedom: the Lord wants you to enter the journey of knowing the love of God on a deeper and personal level.
Lord Jesus, forgive the body of Christ for operating in self effort and pride. I pray you free your sons and daughters from every legalistic seed planted into their being. I ask you to teach and reveal your finishing work on the cross to those who do not yet know what you’ve accomplished. Help us to adore and worship you in spirit and in truth, and not in appearance, fear of punishment or to fit in. May we be holy, not by appearance, but in integrity: may we be separated from evil and worldliness. May we seek your approval before the approval of men! May your children know your love Jesus, and may they be transformed by it. In Jesus name, Amen.