Christians are confused on the issue of legalism. Some think religion is legalism. Consequently, some say they are spiritual, it’s a relationship, not a religion, and it’s a faith. But the definition of religion is a belief in God, consisting of doctrine, practice and worship. Legalism is defined as the attempt to earn your way to heaven (paradise) by your own merits or good deeds through gaining God’s favour. Believing there’s justification by keeping the statutes, precepts and commandments of God.
It’s mostly to do with the negative stigma secularist has put on religion. Thus, religious people despise using the word. But to call the word contrary to its meaning is to invert its meaning contrary to the word.
It is then inadvertently, calling faith in God legalistic. A belief in God means to have faith in Him, and to have faith in Him is not legalistic.Therefore, legalism is the opposite from the true religion of Jesus Christ.