There are many obstacles to pursuing holiness in the Western Church of the 21st Century. Two of the most impeding are polar opposites.
The first is the idea that if you don’t pray enough, read your Bible enough, or go to church enough, God will be angry at you or love you less. This is legalism and it is absolutely wrong. You didn’t do a thing to earn God’s love, so how can you lose it? His love is unconditional. He loves us because His Son loves us so much that He laid down His life for us.
The second obstacle is, as I said, just the opposite. It is the idea that, because Grace is not conditional, we can then do whatever we want… abuse alcohol, indulge in sexual perversion, and abandon Christian ethics, and that none of that matters because we are, after all, simply human and frail. After all, according to this line of thought, we didn’t earn our salvation, so we cannot lose it. This is lawlessness, or Antinomianism. It is wrong because Christ asks us to walk with Him. He expects us to share His yoke. He compels us to pick up our own cross and follow Him.
Either of these two extremes, lawlessness or legalism, leads to bondage. The one who is truly saved realizes that his (or her) salvation depends on faith alone. The one who has truly been rescued by God from sin does not continue to live in depravity because that one is so full of God’s love (and love for others) that there is no room for debauchery. We love Him so much that we dare not again step away into a life of sin.
We find freedom only when we first acknowledge that our very breath is dependent upon Him, and then walk beside Him, holding the hand of the one who would guide us. Only then may we find rest.
From Steve Hager, The Quest for the Mind of Christ.