One of the most tedious arguments that you get against the grace message goes something like this;
"Oh you are just giving people a license to sin - you are saying that holy living doesn't matter!".
Rubbish. Politely. Sin is happening in churches everywhere whether they have a "license" (whatever that would look like) or not. Public legalistic ministries are falling into moral sin - sometimes the same sin they have preached against and judged publicly. I've been puzzling what the real root problem with the grace message is and I found a quote that I think answers it. It's by R C Sproul (not Rob Rufus before you pre-judge me!);
"Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God's grace and God's grace alone for our salvation. It is difficult for pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people - for beggars. We don't want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there".
I know if I am honest I can testify that is exactly my problem. We live in a culture where you work for what you want. You earn what you "deserve" and if you don't work or earn then you get nothing. We resent people on social service support who don't bother getting jobs and just ride the system! We call them "free-loaders" and get especially mad if they have more lavish material possessions that we do! In a sense we are proud when we have worked for something and earned it - that is life's culture.
And that somehow transposes into our relationship with God. We are insulted in a sense to be told clearly by Scripture that there is NOTHING that we can do to earn or deserve our salvation by justification through faith and NOTHING that God wants from us to "repay" Him for the grace He has poured out on us! He wants absolutely NOTHING from us and is in fact insulted when we try and match our spiritual disciplines to "repay" somehow what He has done for us at the Cross. That's why the Bible calls them "dirty rags" or "dung" or "poo"!
Jerry Bridges commented on why more Christians do not experience the full blessings of God's grace and said;
"Perhaps the larger reason why we do not experience more of God's grace is our misconception that, having been saved by grace, we must now at least to some degree, "pay our own way" and earn God's blessings in our daily lives ... In fact this misconception that we must pay our own way is more than a mistaken theological notion. It actually springs from the perverse disposition of our hearts - the disposition of pride".
For goodness sake. We've got nothing to lose because we've got nothing anyway! So let's just give up on this ridiculous notion that we have to "earn" this and just sit back and let the blessing flow! God came to Abraham and said; "I want to bless you". Abraham said; "Okay". God said; "Right - that acceptance I see as righteousness! Right standing with Me!". Let's copy Abraham!