As believers who live under grace (all that God did for us in Christ) and not under law (the Ten Commandments) does it matter then how we live?
The Bible teaches that as grace believers we should live a life pleasing to God.
Paul, whom the ascended Jesus personally taught, writes of pleasing God.
For example, in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 he writes:
“Finally, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live in a way that is pleasing to God, as you have received from us. This is how you already live, so you should do so all the more. For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.”
In Thessalonians 4:3-8, Paul writes:
“For it is God’s will that you should be holy: You must abstain from sexual immorality; each of you must know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God; and no one should ever exploit or take advantage of his brother in this regard, because the Lord will avenge all such acts, as we have already told you and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us to impurity, but to holiness. Anyone, then, who rejects this command does not reject man but God, the very One who gives you His Holy Spirit.”
He continues writing about pleasing God in 4:9-12:
“Now about brotherly love, you do not need anyone to write to you, because you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. And indeed, you are showing this love to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to excel more and more and to aspire to live quietly, to attend to your own matters, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you. Then you will behave properly toward outsiders, without being dependent on anyone.”
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he teaches them about grace (Ephesians 1-3).
Then, in Ephesians 5:10, after listing immoral conduct to put away and moral attributes to put on, he tells believers to “find out what pleases the Lord.”
The context of this verse (Ephesians 4:17-5:21) is that believers should “put off” the old immoral and unloving way of living that flow from the old self outside of Christ and to “put on” the new moral and loving way of living consistent with the new self in Christ.
Putting off the old way and putting on the new way of living pleases God.
In Colossians 1:9-10 Paul prays that the grace believers (see Colossians 1:3-8) in Colossae would have spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so they could please the Lord in every way.
In Colossians 3:1-17, Paul teaches these believers to put off the old immoral ways of living and to put on the new moral ways of living.
In 1 Timothy 5:3-4, Paul says it pleases God when a widow’s children and grandchildren take care of her.
“Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.”
As we see in the Bible, even though grace believers are not under law, it does not mean that it does not matter how we live.
How we live matters to God.
Moral conduct matters to God.
How we treat people matters to God.
How we talk matters to God.
What we do and where we go matters to God.
Because God loves each of us.
His love is pure.
Immoral and unloving ways are not his purpose for us.
These are the things for which Jesus died.
God knows immoral living produces pain and destruction and moral living leads to prosperity and happiness in our lives and the lives of others.
The Bible teaches that one day God will wipe away all immorality and unlove from the world and create a world where morality and love flows, thus creating peace all over the world.
When this time comes there will be no more pain, hurt, sorrow, mourning, tears, or death.
But until this time comes, the grace of God teaches us how to live:
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)
As grace believers, let’s find out what is pleasing to God and then live lives pleasing to him, eager to do good as God’s very own people.
Let’s put off immoral and unloving ways and put on moral and loving ways.
Let’s live lives pleasing to God.