Legalism is a distortion of obedience. It is guilty of:-
- a skewed purpose, seeing good works as ways of earning God’s favour;
- an arrogant attitude, leading to contempt for those who do not make the same effort to gain God’s favour;
- a loveless focus on self, squeezing kindness and compassion out of the heart.
In the New Testament, legalism is found in two main forms:-
- Jesus confronted legalism in the Pharisees, who boasted of their privileged status as children of Abraham and their law-keeping.