Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. (Galatians 5:1 NLT)
Legalism always crucifies Christ afresh because legalism cuts out the greatest word in Christianity. The word over the door into true Christianity is the word: "Grace." Legalism always wipes out "Grace," and puts in its place "Law." Grace is the chief word in the vocabulary of the Christian. Do you notice that where legalism reaches its fullest expression, it always puts the crucifix in the place of the empty tomb? The badge of the Christian is the empty tomb. That is "Life from the dead." The badge of legalism is a crucifix, "a dead Christ." Legalism always brings death, and the chief thing about Christ is resurrection. It is Life from the dead. This was something that Paul came to see when it pleased God to reveal His Son in him. And he said, "Let me get out of all this legalistic system. Jesus of Nazareth Whom we crucified is alive. He has been revealed alive in my heart."
If we really see the Lord Jesus, we shall be emancipated. Some of us have had that experience. We were in legal systems; our horizon was that system. Then the day came when the Lord opened our eyes to really see the significance of Christ. And that whole system fell away as being all nonsense. No, it is not our business to say, "Come out of this and that, and come into this other." The word "must" or "thou shall" does not belong to this realm. That belongs to the old legal realm. The "must" becomes a spiritual thing, not a legal thing. We could say of Paul, there was a mighty "must" in his spirit. "I have seen the Lord, and I am seeing more and more of what the Lord is, and this is creating in me this great imperative. 'This one thing I do, leaving the things which are behind, I press on toward the mark of the prize of the on-high calling.'" So we do not say, "Change your system." But we do say, "Ask the Lord to reveal His Son in you." Then the great work of emancipation will begin.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: "That They May All Be One, Even As We Are One" - Meeting 29