Some people think, “You can’t tell someone they are under grace, because they’ll live however they want to!” But Paul shows here that grace is to change our “want-to”! Grace makes us “want to” live a life pleasing to the One Who saved us by His grace. God’s grace changes hearts and lives. It transforms how we think, act, and speak. It changes our motivation and desires, from living for only self and temporal pleasures to living for the glory of Christ and for the eternal. The grace of God through the Cross should forever change us.
Pastor Bill White wrote this: “Recently I witnessed an unusual accountability partnership at my church. In an effort to break his habit of using profanity, Paul started meeting with another guy from church, and they set up an aggressive plan for holiness. Each Sunday, Paul would report to William how many times he cussed during the week, and he’d put $5 in the offering plate for each incident. The first week cost Paul $100. Although following weeks improved somewhat, he wasn’t having the success he wanted and was losing a lot of hard-earned cash.
“After the fourth week, William told Paul he had totally changed the deal for the coming week, but he wouldn’t tell Paul how. Paul wanted to know, but all William would say was, ‘Trust me. It will cost you both less and more.’ The following Sunday before worship, Paul was looking a bit down, obviously having failed again. William put a hand on his shoulder and said, ‘Paul, this will cost you both less and more. It’s called grace.’ With that he took out a check made out to the church, dated and signed by William. Only the amount was blank. ‘Your sin still costs, but for you it’s free. Just fill in the numbers. And next week there will be more grace.’ That first week of grace cost William $55, but the second only cost him $20. The third week cost him nothing. It cost Paul too much to fill in those checks, so he quit swearing.” 1
God’s Word shows us that grace does not give us license to sin, but instead, as we think of our Savior and His sacrificial payment for our sins at the Cross, that grace should discipline, motivate, and soften our hearts to obey Him and turn from sin. Grace gives liberty to practice grace and power to live a life free from the bondage of sin. It’s the grace of God and the love of Christ that are to motivate us to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4) and live a life pleasing to Him.