Legalism Aborts Relationships

Legalism aborts relationships with God and others by its negative focus. The evil we seek to avoid grows — with concentration — into targets we cannot miss. Instead of limiting our sin, rules define sin, rivet our attention to it and lead us to desire it. In legalism, the flesh is in charge, taking the Holy Spirit’s place, and thus is strengthened.

Rockwell L. Dillman in K. Neill Foster & Douglas B. Wicks, eds., Voices on the Cross, p. 44