I am sooooo stealing this from Terry Rayburn. Great post on legalism:
You know how in those thriller-type movies when the bad guy or monster is killed. And you can finally take a breath, and relax? Evil is destroyed, and all is finally well? Your adrenaline subsides?
But then the bad guy or monster sorta twitches, and then jumps up to attack the good guy again, right?
It never rests. You can expose it, argue against it, show how unbiblical it is, show how destructive it is, and stab it right in the heart. And you think, “There! That oughta take care of that!”
But then it sorta twitches, then gives a little movement, then jumps up and screams, “You know what a sinner you are!”
It rages, “You call yourself a Christian! You think God could really love a hypocrite like you!?”
It screeches, with it wings spread, “You’ll never be holy! You know your performance isn’t good enough to earn the favor of the Holy Creator of the universe!”
It spreads its claws and flaps its wings and jumps up to scratch your eyes out, bellowing with breath of fire, “You’re not good enough for Jesus, and you know it!!”
And fear grips you and you think, “Maybe this Grace-After-Salvation thing is all a lie. Maybe I do need to try harder, struggle more, really earn God’s love.”
That’s when our Champion charges in on his steed, and raises His Sword, which is the Word of God, and plunges it into the dragon’s head, and draws it back and slices the dragon’s head off with the power that formed a trillion galaxies with, “Let there be…”
And He picks you up, and dusts you off, and says, “Nothing you do could make me love you more, and nothing you do could make me love you less. I love you. And nothing can separate you from my love. I kept the Law for you. And when I said, ‘It is finished’, I meant it. When I justified you, declared you righteous, I meant it. When I said your sins were forgiven, I meant it. When the next dragon of Legalism stalks you, call me. It was for freedom that I set you free. Therefore, keep standing firm, and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” [Galatians 5:1]