It is very apparent that the LORD expects some changes from us. I would like to make some distinctions about certain claims about those that try to live a life that brings God honor and glory. I do believe that accusations are made that are not true at all. A common word, legalism, has been wrenched out of its setting to try and destroy those that are experiencing the transforming power of salvation and indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are in the process of renewing the mind to be more like Christ.
A quick look at Acts 15:1,2 – And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
Notice verse 24, . . . “and keep the law.” This is Biblical legalism. It is an attempt to bring the law into salvation. Thus making salvation of works and not faith and grace. The Bible does not speak of a person having been saved as a legalist. It speaks of Pharisees being legalist because they believed that tithing of mint and anise would get them into heaven. (Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42.) These Pharisees rejected Jesus and therefore Jesus called them hypocrites and whited sepluchres.
Ephesians 4:17-32 – tells us to not walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. They do not understand and are alienated from the life of God and are suffering from blindness. For this reason they accuse the saved of being legalists. The separation from the world that is called for by God’s Word is condemned by those that want to look like the world and act like the world. They ridicule those that are renewing the spirit of their mind. Paul said to the Ephesian brethren that they were to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. He then proceeds to give a list of ungodly things.
Romans 12:1 says we are to be living sacrifices. We are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of the mind. We have some today that have a stinking thinking problem. They are trying to look like the world. I wonder what is up with that?