Below is a quote from my pastor on his radio show Ask the Pastor he is explaining what legalism is and why it has no place in the Christian church. I am a firm believer in this. We need to understand that we are all redeemed from the law through Christ and the law that Jesus came to fufill was the law of the new convenant, that through his sacrifice and blood shed we are covered saved and loved and through that love we will find ourselves desiring to live right not being condemned to live right.
"How do you know when a church is being legalistic? The ways that we know that is legalism brings people the Bible to restrict them, to condemn them, to control them. The true gospel liberates people. The true gospel
sets people free to obey God. The true gospel does not set people free from obeying God; the true gospel sets people free to be able to obey God. So that is
how you know if something is legalism. Not “Is someone is preaching it strongly?” but “Is
someone preaching it in away that they are putting
bondage on you and making you feel like you are a slave to obey it; that you are not pleasing to God if you do not do it and there is guilt and
condemnation associated with it to what is
being said?”The other thing
that shows legalism, is people say you have to
do this in order to be loved or accepted by God. There is nothing in the Bible that we have to do in
order to be loved by God because if there was it would not be love at all. If love required us to be a certain way in order for God to love us, then it
is not love at all. That is how we know if something is legalistic or not.
If someone tells a woman that she cannot wear a dress or she cannot wear pants or a woman cannot wear makeup; that is legalism. It’s when you are
putting external rules on people to show that you are holy, external restrictions to show that you are holy. Holiness has to come from within you,
not from the outside of you. It is legalism when you try to put religion on the outside of people when, meanwhile, we do not change their heart. We have to change their heart first, then their outside will