Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Legalism must be firmly resisted. We have been created for and redeemed for the freedom that comes through grace and the salvation found only in Christ Jesus. To fall back into a mindset of earning salvation is to submit oneself to the slavery of human accomplishment and the pride and fear that accompanies such. We must stand firm in the freedom we have come to know. It must be defended and all forms of legalistic slavery must be rejected.
To submit to the yoke of legalistic performance brings with it also the yoke of the slavery to the works of the flesh. Legalism and the effects of the flesh are closely intertwined. It is an odd combination for one would think that to obey a set of laws would always protect us from the evil desires of the flesh. It is not true, however. Outward performance doesn’t necessarily change our heart and it is in our heart that motives and motivations live. Our heart drives our true desires and only the indwelling Spirit of Christ can change our heart and thus control those. He must move within us – from the inside out – in order to grant us true freedom from the desires of the flesh and the tendency to control those desires only through legalistic endeavors. Both lead to slavery. Only Christ leads to freedom.