“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law,
then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:21
Imagine going to the emergency room and being asked to leave because you’re bleeding all over the floor! Jesus encountered that legalistic mindset when He healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath.
“But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” (Lk 13:14)
Observing the law was more important to him than the people he was supposed to care for.
Max Lucado says:
“All religion falls into…two camps: legalism or grace. A legalist believes if you look right, speak right and belong to the right group, you’ll be saved…The outside sparkles…but something’s missing…Joy. What’s there instead? Fear-that you won’t do enough. Arrogance that you’ve done enough. Failure-that you’ve made a mistake. Legalism is…slow suffocation of the spirit, amputation of one’s dreams…enough religion to keep but not nourish you…Your diet is rules and standards. Legalism…doesn’t need God…It’s the search for innocence-not forgiveness…a systematic process of defending…explaining…exalting…justifying…It turns my opinion into your burden. There’s only room for one opinion…and guess who’s wrong? It turns my opinion into your boundary. Your opposing opinion makes me question not only your right to fellowship with me, but your salvation. It turns my opinion into your obligation. Christians must toe the company line. Your job isn’t to think, it’s to march…Salvation is God’s business. Grace is His idea, His work, and His expense. He offers it to whomever He desires, when He desires. Our job is to inform people, not screen them.”
Paul writes, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)