How do you live in light of the gospel? How you live helps you see what you really believe. For example, when you sin, what thoughts flood into your mind about God? Do you believe you must clean yourself up before coming to him for forgiveness, or do you run to him with conviction in your heart and cling to Christ’s righteousness alone? When others sin, what thoughts flood your mind about God? Do you believe they can find freedom in Christ right then or are you secretly holding them to some other external standard? In other words, is God’s grace sufficient for you in both what you believe and how you live? What about for others?
If we're not resting in God's free gift of grace, we will hold others to a different standard, and it will a standard that we ourselves set but that we attribute to God. We might call it the law. We might call if an implication of the gospel. We might call it obedience. Whatever we call it, if it's not the gospel of Jesus' work imputed to us, we will set the standard to something we deem achievable in our flesh and muddy God's grace. We will hold the pen in our hand and mark the boundaries and wait for others to get their act together. We will draw lines and keep others out. But God erases those lines, and with the blood of Jesus draws a wider circle around the whole world, encompassing all people groups of all backgrounds—whoever will believe in him—and includes people we would never even think of including. God reaches into the hell-hole of this world and grabs handfuls of hopeless sinners and puts them on top in his kingdom. Why does he do that? Because grace that big points to something so wonderful that only God can be in it.
So, are you holding the pen and drawing lines or are you resting inside the bloodline Jesus has drawn?