We hear a lot about “grace” in the Christian faith.  Grace is defined as “undeserved merit”, and it is the backbone of our salvation.  The Lord Jesus died a horrible death on the cross in order to pay the price for our sins, having no sin of his own, but receiving the punishment that should have been ours in His own body, in our place.  Some would say “Thank you”, and go about their merry way, living in “grace” any way they see fit, whether it pleases God or not.  Is there more to it than that?
The Lord Jesus warned us in Matthew 7;
 Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
  Now if the Lord Jesus paid in full for our pardon, wouldn’t it make sense that we could just go about doing any old thing we want to do, since the price for sin has been paid?  I mean, if someone gives you a gift they had paid for, isn’t it yours to do anything you want to with it, or does the giver still have strings attached?  You should be able to use it, give it away, throw it on the ground and break it, or throw it away, after all, it’s yours, right?  That’s the way most people would look at it.  So they see the grace of God in the same light.
   But if there were no consequences for sin after that we have received grace, then why would the Lord Jesus warn us to enter into the strait gate?  Isn’t grace everlasting?  If so, how could the path we walk after receiving grace still lead to destruction?  That’s a question that bears looking into, after all, your eternal life is at stake here, wouldn’t you say?   The Lord Jesus says there be FEW that find the narrow way that leads unto life.  We need to pay real close attention to that little word “few”.
   Jesus went on to say Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  What did he mean by “false prophets”?  He said those who came in “sheep’s clothing”, not “shepherd’s clothing”, most likely meaning the people you are familiar with, people of your family, your friends that you associate with daily.  They are the ones who tell you it’s ok to live any way you want to, just like they are living.  If He would have said “shepherd’s clothing”, I would take it to mean Pastors and ministers and the like, who for the most part are warning us to repent of our sins and get right before God.   However, I have to warn, there are even ministers that are not warning people to repent of their sins, telling them they live under grace, therefore there is no sin, and no penalty for sin.  But that isn’t what the Lord Jesus said above, is it?
   You see, I’m real picky about doing what the Lord Jesus said.  After all, He is the one who died for our sins, not Joe down the street who says he’s saved, and hangs out at the local bar.  If Jesus said there’s a “narrow way” that I must walk if I want to inherit eternal life, then I’m going to get on that narrow way and do everything I can to stay on it.  That’s where grace comes in.  Have you ever been to a circus where there was a high-wire walker?  The goal of the person up there walking on that wire is to safely walk from one pole to the other without falling.  But there is a safety net below to catch them in case they fall.  Picture grace as your safety net: now grace is just that; a safety net, NOT a trampoline.  You see, there are those who want to walk on the wild side, willfully continuing to live in sin, thinking “grace” is there to save them.  Maybe they believe that because some preacher told them so.  I’m here to warn the sinner to repent. 
   First came John the Baptist in Matthew 3 saying:
Mat 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 3:3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
   In the very next chapter, Jesus came from the wilderness after having been tempted by the devil for forty days, delivering his very first public sermon:
Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Did you notice that His very first word was “REPENT”?  He didn’t say to keep on living in sin, and you’d be pardoned anyway.  He demands us, as a condition of our receiving grace, to repent!  Turn away from sin, run from it, hide from it, have no part of it, for it will kill you!
   Yes, I know, there are some who will argue with me about that, but if you want to argue with the Lord Jesus, feel free to go right ahead and do so, but leave me out of it.  I’m going to tell you to do the same thing HE tells you to do, because I don’t want to be a false prophet who leads you to hell.  There will be those who have allowed themselves to be deceived by sin, thinking “grace” is enough to save them without any change on their part.  Wrong.  Now, I’m not laying “legalistic” stuff on you here.  It is written that we are to be a new creature in Christ Jesus.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

   The “old things”, our sinful ways must be left behind.  Christ died to redeem us FROM the life of sin.  That doesn’t mean IN the life of sin.  As a minister of Christ Jesus, I’m asking you to make sure you leave your old sinful life behind you, not falling for the lie that “grace” will save you if you persist in sin.  We are given a very frightful warning in Hebrews 10:
Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    Tell me, my beloved friend, does that look to you like “grace” lets us live any way we see fit with no consequences?  Personally, those verses literally scare me.  I will do anything in my power to avoid hell, and I take that warning seriously, as should each and every one of us.  Those verses above also tell us that if we pass up the only sacrifice ever made for our sins, there will be no other chance EVER for any of us to be saved. The Lord Jesus bought our pardon at a very high price indeed, much higher than you or I will ever understand in this lifetime.  The love He gives us should make us want to be as far from any kind of sin as the East is from the West.  Grace should not be eyed as a license to sin, giving us the attitude of “Oh well, if I sin, no big deal, I have been given grace.”
   Grace costs you nothing, but it sure cost Jesus a lot to be able to offer it to you.  Show God the honor He deserves, thanking Him constantly for the grace He gives you when you accidently sin.  Remember, grace comes with a condition: “repentance”, but all of us from time to time fail to do everything perfectly right.  Grace is there to fill the gap when you fall short in your walk with Jesus, but it isn’t there to do the walk for you.  A relationship with the Lord Jesus goes two ways: you loving Him and obeying Him, and Him guiding you through your obedience into eternal life with Him.  Yes, you have a part in your salvation, and grace indeed has its place, but don’t abuse grace!  Treat it with the utmost respect.  You’ll be glad you did.