I truly don’t know how this rumor got going that a legalist is someone who obeys God’s commands. Jesus didn’t attack the Pharisees for trying to obey. That wasn’t where they went wrong. A legalist, by definition, isn’t even someone who is self-righteous.
A legalist is like a lawyer. He views Scripture as a legal document or a business contract to be haggled over. He views salvation as a business transation, not a relationship. Thus he reduces everything to formulas, procedures, policies, and contractual obligations, leaving no room for the Spirit. A legalist can preach “grace plus nothing” as he tosses out Bible verses like legal clauses.
Yes. I agree. When I read about the 12 x 2 events... the woman with the 12 year issue and the 12 year old girl brought back to life, I cannot help but marvel at the Lord. He broke TWO laws for the sake of two people. 1) the woman with the issue touched Him. Absolutely verboten! Then 2) He took a dead girl by the hand... verboten absolutely! He made the law of no avail since He was the law-giver, He could do this kind of thing.
The 'legalists' absolutely frothed at the mouth over this, not seeing the GOOD but mainlining on the 'bad'.