Being on the judgmental reprimand of legalism can become both heart wrenching, and emotionally suffocating, but mostly spiritually crushing. For those of you who may have never heard of the term (It’s typically used only within the church), it may be defined as a person who excessively adheres to the law of religion as opposed to adhering to faith with Jesus Christ.
There are several ways in which legalism can be named, but they all have one common theme: Spiritual Supremacy. In other words, legalism leads people to believe that they have the right to judge others and their actions because they have a greater hierarchy status with God simply because of their name, money, or religious heritage.
While Jesus dealt with legalistic issues through the Pharisees, The apostle Paul was dealing with the same concerns with Rome. In Romans, Paul brings forth a valid argument in regards to legalism.
Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. (Romans 14:1 MSG)
The walk for a follower of Christ will not look the same for everyone. We are all individual creations of God who have been uniquely gifted and uniquely purposed. Be quick to forgive and let go of judgement. We also must remember that God is the ultimate judge, not man.
It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other. (Romans 14:6-9 MSG)
All of us are equal in the eyes of God; we are all sinners. Therefore, if you have fallen to the entrapping lies of legalism, repent and turn away from your judgements and fix your eyes upon Christ Jesus.
Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. (Romans 14:10-14)