Romans 6:3-6 teaches us that a follower of Christ has been identified with Christ in both his death and resurrection, something that the modern gospel often leaves out. Paul goes on to explain in the remainder of the chapter and in the beginning of chapter 7 that the believer’s identification with Christ’s death means that he is dead to sin and dead to the law also. (It’s important to remember that everything one learns from God’s word requires a faith act – first one must believe it as truth and then act upon the truth that has been given.)
The implications of these truths is enormous. Neither the believer’s entrance into God’s family, nor his present standing in grace is a result of fulfilling the law. That shatters the myth that many believe that once one is spiritually born into the family of God, one’s standing is a result of keeping the law. The believer is saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and the believer stands in grace (Romans 5:2). Fulfillment of the law doesn’t motivate one to righteousness, it only condemns. God’s grace, from a heart of love and appreciation, is a pure motivation unto righteousness.
Muse on the following Scriptures as you ask God for His understanding for a pure motivation unto holiness:
Ephesians 2. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 6. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Galatians 2. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
Romans 7. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
Romans 7. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Colossians 2. 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Acts 15. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
Matthew 22. 37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”