As an analogy, in a normal family setting, your parents will have made numerous sacrifices for you, throughout your young life, and one of those sacrifices, might be the sacrifice of putting you through expensive college. If they can afford it, a parent will do this because they care about your future well- being, and future financial independence. Now you could squander their sacrifice, and ruin your college education, and in some cases, perhaps even flunk out. Towards the end, I flunked out, but returned, got things straightened out, and through many struggles, finally graduated, and am currently reaping the rewards of financial independence. So in this analogy, consider the situation where the tuition for a four year college education is already paid. You could use that time to focus on your education. But you can also get distracted. Unfortunately, those distractions can cost you your education and set you back, and ultimately miss out on the entire purpose of being in college in the first place, in which your parents sacrificed so much to put you there.
Romans 7:6: “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
Romans 8:1: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 2:16: “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
John 20:31: “But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Salvation is deliverance from the power of the Law. The Law has power to condemn you, but Jesus has the power to rescue you from the Law, and deliver you from it. Having received God’s free gift of eternal life, the price is paid, and the sacrifice is made. Now the question is what will you do with that free gift? This is why I’ve used the analogy of college. The tuition is already paid. You’re in. Now what will you do with it? Will you squander it, and break your parent’s heart? The whole purpose of their sacrifice was for the sake of your future well-being, and God’s gift of His Son for you was also for your well-being. In college, you will maximize your gift. Everyone has a gift, and the hope of your college education is that you will maximize your gift, and discover your vocation, and excel in it, with the dividends being reaped for the rest of your life, and to be passed on to future generations. Now every Christian also has a gift from the Holy Spirit, and we each have a calling from God, for our vocation in Christ, in order to be a part of the healthy functioning of the body of Christ. In your walk, you discover this vocation, and fulfill it, but sin can take you off of this path, and get you out of the will of God, and sin will even create enmity between you and God. In the same way, riotous living in college can take you off course, and your education hampered, to the point where you are no longer even interested in your education, to begin with.
What if a person said, “The tuition is already paid. I can do whatever I want”? This may be true, but it spurns and violates and blasphemes the love that sacrificed for you. Similarly, we have been delivered from the Law. We have died to the Law. The Law no longer has any power over us. But we can also spurn that sacrifice and break God’s heart, and ultimately, the impact will be felt in eternity, when you will not have the intended dividends. There are rewards in Heaven. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21) So God encourages us in this manner.
I’ve given people gifts in the past, with financial sacrifices made, based upon compassion, which in some cases have blown up in my face. One person even blamed me for the gift, by insisting that helping them was the cause of their problems, because they couldn’t otherwise help themselves. For another couple, with a more sizeable gift, they basically took the money and ran, and when our careers caused our paths to cross once again, they were ashamed to see me, in thinking that I was angry with them, and I was not. Of course I was very disappointed, but I can see that this is how sin similarly causes enmity to form between us and God, in thinking that God is angry with us.
So the whole point is to focus on the purpose and meaning of life for a Christian, and to understand God’s loving sacrifice and gifts, and to stay the course, and to allow God’s plan and purpose for our life to unfold, without the distractions of sin that otherwise take us off the path that God has for us, and otherwise undermine the future that God wants, and lovingly sacrificed for us.