The good news is, Legalism is not a life threatening condition, but it is a spiritual and mental health issue.
So, lets get right to it, so that if you have been infected with this heresy, you can begin to find your way out of its theological darkness.
What is Legalism?
Lots of Christians have random ideas about what it could mean, but here is what it is.......This is NT legalism as found within the belief system of any believer, who is a legalist.
Its simply that they believe, that, the Cross and the Blood Atonement, began their salvation, but didn't complete it. So, they take it upon themselves, to finish their salvation by :
Presenting an attempt to live a holy lifestyle.
Holding unto their faith, in their minds.
Obsessive confession of Sin.
Chasing with their lifestyle some idea of what they believe "enduring to the end", means.
Legalist's are trusting in and counting on their " religious behavior", to finalize what Jesus began and finished already for them on the Cross, which God gave them for Free, when they BELIEVED... ("Justification by Faith, without the deeds of the law")
So, all of this SELF EFFORT, is denying The Blood of Jesus its FULL CREDIT DUE for saving them and keeping them saved.
So, how did you get into this circular reasoning mind trap?
Well, the main culprit is that you are involved with teachers and other believers who are also lost within this self righteousness maze, and so, because you are surrounded by them, you dont realize your situation.
Let me now ask you a question. Do you believe that Jesus The Christ deserves FULL Credit, for saving you and keeping you saved? ?????
If you said "yes", then why do you believe that you can undo what you can take not credit for, which is the Cross?
Its because you have been taught to think of your Salvation as : 1 part Jesus... and the rest you have to do, to finish the job.
You have been lied to, by people who also believed the lie.
So, to be free from this..... what do you have to resolve within your belief system....what do you have to get the revelation OF, so that you can see what you have been believing, so that you stop giving the Cross some credit for your salvation, and your commandment keeping and works, all the rest?
How do you stop taking some of the Credit for your Salvation for yourself, which insults God's Grace, and God's Son?
How do you stop trying to make yourself right with God, by self effort, and realize and begin to trust in Christ Alone, now and forever, to be the only and sole reason you will end up in heaven after you die. ???
And THAT, is what you have to first realize you are doing, as until you realize it, you won't understand the depth of the insult you are committing against the very Blood of Yeshua.
So, here is how you start the recovery.
First.....you have to come to a full understanding of your position as God's PROPERTY, "bought with a Price", that has recreated your eternal Identity as, "IN CHRIST".
In other words, you have to begin, TODAY, to see yourself ONLY as God sees you, and not as you see yourself, regarding your Born Again status.
You have to learn to accept how God views you, and let go of how you see yourself.
When you read....>"as Jesus IS< so are YOU in this WORLD".....you have to believe it.
Colossians 2:10. "And you are COMPLETE in Him, (In Jesus)."
Now do you see that word COMPLETE? Do you understand this word?
Does it mean , partial, or, a work in progress, or nearly? ?
And who are you complete in?
And who is complete in Jesus?......= Its every born again Person......is that you?
And why does the verse say you are "IN HIM"< as the context for "complete"?
Its because this is your STATUS, according to God, as a born again family member of God.
And what is it lacking, if you are COMPLETE?......
And how is this verse to be understood, not only as your eternal "sonship" status, but also, your eternal Salvation, as they are THE SAME THING.......
So, IF this verse tells you that you are not only IN HIM< but you are COMPLETE< in Him, "in Christ", then what verse explains how Jesus has become your SALVATION?....as Completed, as designed by God the Father?
This verse : 1 Corinthians 1:30 :
""But of God, are ye IN Christ Jesus, who of God is MADE UNTO US = wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption".
Now do see this part of the verse....>"who of GOD, is made unto us"....
Thats the key, as what this means, is that God has taken righteousness and sanctification, and REDEMPTION , itself, and MADE IT unto us".
In other words, WHO/What CHRIST IS, God has "made unto YOU".
This is SALVATION....This is GRACE.....This is the Blood Atonement, as they have recreated you as "The righteousness of Christ".
This is who you are now, since the day you were born again, and for all eternity.
In other words, it has become, by God's power through the Holy Spirit , not just a part of us, but US......... WE have become what God has "Made unto us"...... We ARE =righteousness, sanctification, and Redemption, itself.
THis is what the Cross has accomplished for us, when Jesus said ::"it is Finished"
"Let the REDEEMED of the LORD...say so."
So, Legalist..... what are all your works, all your good deed doing, all your commandment keeping, as compared to what God Himself has ALREADY made you to be, ....as COMPLETED, In Jesus?
Legalism, is Galatians 1:8.
Its very specific, and here is how you should understand it.
Its when a person's belief system regarding Salvation, is that "Justification by Faith, ALONE", means to them, that they must add their self righteous works TO IT.....to complete it.
Legalism means, that a person believes that Salvation is the Cross + Their Christian Discipleship (Their Works)....... In other words, they pretend that The Blood Atonement is God's Salvation, but what they really believer and argue about and teach, is that the Blood Atonement, is only a part of Redemption, and their WORKS, and yours, COMBINED< is what God accepts to save you, and keep you saved.
Legalism is the heresy that teaches that The Blood of Christ + Works, is Redemption. = Galatians 1:8
Legalism is pretzel logic, that tries to corrupt the words of James, in an effort to subvert the doctrine of "Justification by Faith", that Jesus gave to Paul, personally.
Now, what is the NT idea - explanation, regarding "self righteous"?? Its that a person is trying, by their works, deeds, effort, and enduring, to make themselves right with God, either before they are born again, or they are trying to maintain their Salvation, by their works, deeds, effort, and enduring, AFTER they are already saved.
So, what you need to understand, is that a.... Works + The Cross = Salvation theology, .....Legalism......is actually trodding underfoot the Holy Blood of Christ, because this person, this theology, is actually teaching that Christ's Blood is not quite enough, and that "works" are needed to finish the Atonement.
Legalism, disrespects and insults The Holy Spirit and The Blood of Christ, by teaching that a person's works are in some way of equal value, and need to be combined with God's Blood shed on a Cross for Salvation to be completed in a person's life. = Galatians 1:8
Sin separates us from God. But God made a plan for redemption.1st John 3:11 says For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another
One day as I was praying for fotgiveness I saw a vision of Jesus he said this is what i did for you and je streched out his hands and died on the cross.
Now that says it all it brought me to tears
Jesus is the King of Kings thats love like no other and i thank him for each day that i dont take it for granted.