Here is my attempt at being poetic:
Faith is the faucet that turns on the shower of God’s grace.
Ok, so I’m not Shakespeare! But think about it. In a normal shower, the water is already in the pipes, it just needs to be released. This is the way it is with God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. It is quite available, but it needs to be applied. Unfortunately, many people believe in God’s love, grace, and forgiveness, but they never exercise the faith to receive it. That is like looking at the shower head and knowing there is water in there, but never turning it on to get wet! By faith, the believer must apply the truths of God personally. Yes, we believe that God loves the world, but faith says, “God loves ME!” Yes, we believe that Christ died for the world’s sins, but faith says, “Christ died for MY sins!”
Someone objects, in an air of pious false humility: “Well, I do not want to be prideful, thinking so much about me!” That is like rejecting food because it would be selfish to eat! We do not want to become self-centered, but we have to consider God in relation to ourselves if we are to benefit personally. Paul knew this and did not consider it prideful to say, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved ME and gave Himself for ME” (Gal.2:20; emphasis mine).
Now let’s go back to the question brought up in the previous post: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Contrary to Luther, Paul answered, “Certainly not! How shall he who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Rom.6:2). In other words, something wonderful happened to you when you first repented and received Christ by faith, and why would you want to go back to the old miserable ways?
It is Christ’s blood that cleansed us. The last thing most people want to do after taking a shower is to go out and roll in the mud. I feel GREAT after a nice shower has cleansed off all the sweat and grime. I sure don’t feel like getting messy again. Thus, if you have really experienced Christ’s forgiveness, you would hardly desire to return to the filth of sin.
In fact, it would go against your new nature. When you received Christ, you were born again: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2Cor.5:17). You may not feel very new, but this is where faith has to trump feelings. Even as faith must trust in Christ, whom we cannot see, faith must trust in these biblical truths of who we are, though we sometimes cannot see or feel it. Paul instructed, “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:11).
The truth is that we have been changed. This is not to say that there is no more change to experience, but that there has at least been a very real and significant change that has already taken place. One reason many Christians fail is because they just don’t believe this. Thus they don’t reckon it so, and thus they don’t act accordingly. So they experience the struggles of Romans 7.