He [Paul in Romans 8:1) has not said, “God has done this and that and the other thing; and if by dint of imagination you can manage to pull it all together, you may be able to experience a little solace in the prison of your days.” No. He has simply said, “You are free. Your services are no longer required. The salt mine has been closed. You have fallen under the ultimate statute of limitation. You are out from under everything: Shame, Guilt, Blame. It all rolls off your back like rain off a tombstone.” – Robert Farar Capon
This is what I am constantly trying to say. There IS therefore NOW – NO condemnation. Not just a little to keep us straight. NONE. Forever. It is FINISHED. FREEDOM!!!
If you are a hedonist, you find and crave the company of other hedonists, because pleasures are best shared. Hedonism has its rules, its standards of fun. If you are sexually free, you cannot get by with normal sex. It must be a bit more perverse, more adventuresome. There are standards. Actually there is no other freedom, no other name under heaven by which we can be saved, carried over to true freedom, than Christ. Every other system of worship carries its price, but in Christ redemption is free.
Ironically, whereas most view Christianity as the land of lifeless moral requirement, instead it is the one place where there is an abundance of freedom and life and lack of condemnation!
If you don’t really believe all of this about amazing grace is real, you should try it, the water is FINE!
I think that people who are still in one way or another still living in the universe of the law look at the freedom of radical grace and interpret it from that perspective. Their whole concern is, “that may be true, but how will that make you be good?” Then you ask, “being good – how is that working for you?” They will possibly respond with some form of “sanctification is a process – you have to keep trying!” They inevitably interpret grace not as one-way love or unmerited favor, blessing beyond deserving, but as empowerment to do the law. That is because the behavioral virtue is their idee fixe, the god of their universe. Like Plato’s Euthyphro dialog illustrates, in the universe of law even God bows the knee to behavioral virtue.
In the universe of grace, this is all turned around. We look at behavioral virtue as a product of one-way love. Fruit-checking is simply seeing if belief in the one-way love of God has penetrated enough areas to allow the blessing of virtue to bear fruit. The aim is not behavior, it is belief. It is more romance between us and Christ the groom. Sanctification is walking around more of the time grinning like a fool in love, knowing that He greatly loves you.