Diagnosing Legalism


Several years ago I preached through Matthew. Here are some diagnostic questions from Matthew 23 on whether or not you are a Pharisee. I understand that legalism has numerous ways of showing itself. And I realize that there are technical definitions of legalism. But throughout my pastoral ministry these are questions that will help expose what is happening in our hearts. Legalism is not first about rules and regulations. It is about our hearts and where they are directed. 

Are you a different person in private than you are in public? I don’t mean do you eat ice cream in your pajamas at home and don t’in public. I mean do you pretend to be more holy in public than you are in private?  Is your public impression a true one or a false one? Would a person be surprised by how you talk if they secretly recorded you at home? Do you say things you don’t mean?  Continue reading