And that's an understatement. The thing is, when I see people in it now, I get checked by the Holy Spirit not to judge, because well, I've been there.
When people preach grace, people assume that it means no change in life. We just abuse the grace and live the way we want. Well sometimes, I can see how many people would think that. People do it all the time.
"I'm under grace!!"...etc..and use it as an excuse to live a life contrary to what they profess. Like Paul said, "Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? Certainly not!"
But then there is the other side where someone is so determined to live a life of holiness or life pleasing to God, that they take it to another level and their works or rules become their basis for their right standing with God. Forgetting the grace of God and that the only thing that makes you in right standing with God is faith in Christ and what he did.
Is the life of the christian supposed to change? Certainly. Are we supposed to bear fruit? Yes. But does not mean that you are so piously aware of your own holiness that you are doing everything IN YOUR POWER to become more mature in Christ.
I've been in works driven environments my whole life and you were never doing enough. At least according to the church's standards. Back in the day, it was all about doing, doing, doing. I never heard preaching on the awesome grace of God which IS the very core of the gospel and what Christ did.
My mindset was of course God is happier with someone who prays 6 hours rather than someone who prays 3. This drove me to the legalism.
Again this is not an excuse to live like a heathen...if anything, the true believer when met with the awesome grace of God will naturally want to change their life (by the power of God), so the fruit will be there.
If you feel like you're overburdened by so much doing in trying to gain so called "cool points" with God, you may want to take a step back and read through Galations again. I say this a lot and I got it from Paul Washer, but it's not so much about DOING, but it's about BEING.
It seems like the message of grace is so foreign to people, that when they hear it, it's so radical and different that they rail against it. Grace is preached one very now and then, but the actions say completely different things.
People might also ask, how can you preach on grace all the time? How could you not? It's the core of the gospel, and the only thing that keeps me going everyday in this walk is knowing that God loves me JUST BECAUSE. He saved me JUST BECAUSE. I didn't do anything to earn it, and I can't do anything to keep it. Read Romans 9.
Please don't fall into the trap of legalism and trying to earn or keep your salvation on your own power and by your works. The works that you do are only a result of your faith and if you feel like you're doing them out of guilt imposed on you by someone else, or guilt imposed on yourself, pray that God would open your eyes and save you from this trap.
I had that mindset for 10 years with two different places.
Just random thoughts...