Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
If it doesn’t depend on me, or my “Righteousness”, the natural question then becomes, “Why try? I’m saved, going to heaven. Why be uncomfortable while I’m waiting?”
The problem here is that the question is flawed.
Let’s back up a minute and remember what “Not of works” really means. It means we don’t “earn” it.
Most of us operate within some form of effort and reward system. We “keep books” if you will and expect that if we work for something our effort will be rewarded. We use this system every day to choose courses of action to get what we want based on the effort we expect our desire to require. This becomes so ingrained in our behavior we are usually not even conscious of the process.
Then we meet Christ and He gives us grace, providing the forgiveness and redemption we could never “earn” with a system of effort and reward (the Law). But that system of effort and reward is so integral to what we know we try to fit His grace into that framework.
And like the “Foolish Galatians” we go back to the Law.
Which brings us back to the question, “Why try?”
Behind the question is the old bookkeeping system. Why do I have to put any effort in to something I already “own”? The books are balanced!
The very basis of the question is the Law and not grace. It violates the spirit of the gift by trying to make it a Law. It is, after all, a “natural” question.
A better question might be, “What shall I do with this gift?”
Indeed how will we spend this freedom? Where will we invest this life?
“Why try?” comes from the old “bookkeeping” system where limited resources are spent to acquire what we lack.
“What shall I do with this gift?” Comes from the abundance of life we receive by grace and testifies of its sufficiency.