“It’s only a responsive love for Jesus and all he has done for you personally that will cause godly fruit to be born in our life. To help you understand this point, let me ask you a simple question: In the New Testament, what were the characteristics of the Pharisees, those who prided themselves on their law keeping? Were they bearing fruit for God or were they slaves to the law? What did this duty-driven slavery produce in them? Simply put: it produced envy, hatred, ambition, and unbelief.
People who are intent on obeying the law as a way to earn favor with God will always end up judging, envying, and hating God and others (Galatians 5.14, 25-26)
It is only responsive love for God in light of what he’s done that will engender joyful obedience. The only one who ever obeyed the law perfectly did so because he loved to do the things that were pleasing to his Father. He wasn’t trying to make his Father love him; he knew that his Father already did. So we too must be assured that he already loves and welcomes us, and the we’ll grow in our obedience.
It is grace, not law, that enables me to put to death my sinful nature.”
Comfort from the Cross