As the name suggests it deals with the law. In the context of the Bible, the law refers to the 10 Commandments and everything that comes with it (think ceremonial laws). In short, using the 10 commandments to condemn people is called legalism.
When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, they were technically correct. The Law clearly calls for death to anyone who commits adultery. So today, when Christians condemn Homosexuals, transgenders, porn/drug addicts they are technically correct according to the law in saying these things are wrong.
Legalism shows-up our flesh and exposes our sin
But we forget one thing
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
~ James 2:10
When you lie, you are as good as a Homosexual or an adulterer in God’s eyes according to James. This is why Jesus said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”
The 10 commandments are Holy and cannot be changed or destroyed. This is the PRIMARY reason Christ died on the cross.
The Bible is very clear, you are cursed if you break the 10 commandments and blessed if you follow them. But all of us have broken all the 10 commandments.
Christ was cursed on the cross (Galatians 3:13). All the curses of the broken 10 commandments were punished on Jesus’ body on the cross. Innocent blood (in Christ there was no sin) but the body was cursed, can you imagine the pain Christ endured? It was beyond physical pain, for a sinless person to be punished for the sins of all of us.
We are set free from the curse of the 10 commandments but are NOT FREE from it’s Blessings. What an amazing God!!
Legalism Gives Legal Rights to The Devil
The devil loves to deny the finished work of Christ. We rarely hear sermons on the finished work being preached in the church. Why does Satan do that?
His name in Hebrew is ha-satan meaning prosecutor of the law. His primary function is to use the 10 commandments to condemn people. The more we accept this condemnation the more we sin. This is why the Bible says…
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
~ 1 Corinthians 15 :56
So when we accuse and condemn people for sinning because they are homosexuals, divorced, addicted to drug or porn, we are actually doing the work of the devil. We are representing ha-satan when we forget the finished work of Christ and preach that we need to keep the 10 commandments.
If God’s law which is Holy can be legally used by the devil to increase sin, how much worse is human laws to approach God?
Legalism 2.0: Embedded in Culture & Tradition
This includes rules like: “you need to confess your sins or else you will lose fellowship with God” “You need to keep the Sabbath on Sundays” “No eating meat on certain days” “Get out of the Church if you are divorced/support abortion.” The Roman Catholic Church which I came out off is notorious for this. I call this Legalism 2.0.
Legalism 3.0: Taking legalism to a whole New Level
Now Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the legends. The one who accuses precious people of God by saying “Drinking alcohol is sin”, “watching movies is sin”, “wearing makeup is sinful,” common among Charismatics. I call this Legalism 3.0. These are ha-satan’s special agents and are unbeknownst to them under satan’s influence.
Now let me clarify I am against sin as much as the next guy. The solution to stopping sin from running rampant in the church is not legalism, but grace (Romans 6:14).
What do you think about the issue of sin in the context of law and Grace? Let me know in the comment section below.