Some people think that anytime a Christian applies the Scripture to life and points out right and wrong, good and bad, do and don’t do, then they’re being legalists. That’s not legalism: that’s wisdom and godly living. That is growing in Christ and holiness, sanctification, the ongoing work of God’s Spirit in the Christian life. Applying the Bible to life is what the Bible calls us to do. . . .
True Christian freedom occupies the great middle ground between license on the one hand, and legalism on the other. Christian freedom is based on what Jesus has done for us (not on what we do or don’t do) and what Jesus continues to do in, through, and for us in making us holy and like Himself. The life of God in our souls works itself out in genuine freedom from the shackles of legalism and the blindness of license, because Christian freedom rests upon the finished work of Christ on the cross and the ongoing work of Christ in sanctification.
Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Life of God in the Soul of the Church: The Root and Fruit of Spiritual Fellowship