13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
15But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
I’ve battled with this concept when I began to learn about how God’s “system” works. I think many fresh Christians do and it is something we war with that matures us. It easy, once we are saved, to use the status of “forgiven” as an excuse. Paul says this a different way in Romans 6, “What shall we say then? are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!” (http://tiny.cc/ezi4i).
Here he tells us not to use the gift of grace and forgiveness as a way to get out of the consequences of sin, but rather use it in a loving manner towards others. I’ve said over and over again that its something we get to do, and here it is again.
The purpose of our salvation is to fulfill His will, not our own. If we accept Christ’s forgiveness but continue living in this world, then we are only deceiving ourselves, for we have not fully accepted that gift, we merely opened it to see what it is and stuffed it in a closet. What good is that?
Not only that, but by using this gift to pass onto and enrich others’ lives, we put ourselves in a place of God’s blessing. He blesses us based on how we act, so why wouldn’t we want to act according to His will? The cool thing about it is if we truly repent and fully accept His forgiveness, He will change our hearts TO act that way! It’s the freedom of the gospel, all we have to do is give ourselves up and He does the rest!