It seems there are often two extremes in Christianity. At one end of the spectrum is what I refer to as militant legalism. As an American, this conjures up for me the image of the stern Puritan. Somber in dress as well as attitude, there is no room for any sort of pleasure. It is a joyless and often lonely existence for most people (other than the like-minded) eventually avoid this type of individual like a plague. The person consoles themselves by convincing themselves that this is occurring because they are "enlightened" or "chosen" above all others. My heart aches for the person who is in bondage to legalism.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum. Here we find the individual who lives the way they please as opposed to the way God pleases. They justify their behavior by claiming it's okay to do this because God "gives them grace". Granted, they may not actually say those exact words but their life-style does.
First of all, we must recognize that there has always been "law". We find the first law in human history recorded in the second chapter of Genesis:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.- Genesis 2:16-17
Do this but don't do this or else! That sounds like a law to me! If you have any doubts, continue reading Genesis 3 where Eve clearly states to the serpent that they were commanded to not eat the fruit of that tree.
Remember, this law was given prior to the fall so the idea that "law" is only for those who are not a new creation in Christ is a fallacy. Though we are the children of the King, we are still subject to His law... and we always will be.
Peter sums it up well. He says:
For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.- 1 Peter 2:16 (NLT)
Grace. It's not a license to sin. It's a license to live free from sin.
A Puritan is someone who stays awake at night worrying that someone might be having fun. The other end of the spectrum belongs to those seeking cheep grace, all benefit with no accountability.
Your last line sums it all up. Laws limit our behavior, but they also enlighten us as to how to behave well. Good blog. - bibleguy
This is so well summed up I have nothing really to say.
Your quote in 1Peter is worthy of much contemplation in regards to this subject.
Very good Blog.