God’s grace is amazing, not just because it meets us and loves us as we are (though this is a great gift), but also because His grace is all-consuming. His love for us is so relentless He’ll stop at nothing short of the total transformation of our minds, our wills, our emotions and our spirits. God would not be all that loving if He were to simply leave us in the exact same condition He found us. The apostle Paul speaks to this fact when he says: “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4 NASB
Take a look at the phrase “so we too might walk in newness of life.” Scripture doesn’t say that God has extended the same quality of relationship to us that Jesus had with the Trinity, “so we can go on living the way we always have,” it says we have been identified with Jesus, “so that we might walk in a new life.” Amazing grace begins with the truth that God loves us just the way we are, but it doesn’t end there. God’s amazing grace includes the fuller reality that God loves us so much He will not leave us the way we are. He accepts us as we are without condition, and He continues extending grace to us in order to lead us on into a life that is whole, good, and beautiful – a life that is nothing like our old existence.
Freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever we wish. Freedom is being set free from an existence that is unhealthy in its destruction of ourselves and others, with the purpose of being set free for an existence that is healthy and greatly benefits ourselves and others. Consider N. T. Wright’s observations on this issue from his book Justification: God’s plan and Paul’s vision. He writes: “Sin is what bubbles up unbidden from the depths of the human heart, so that all one has to do is go with the flow. That has the appearance of freedom, but is in fact slavery, as Jesus himself declared. True freedom is the gift of the spirit, the result of grace; but, precisely because it is freedom for as well as freedom from, it isn’t simply a matter of being forced now to be good, against our wills and without our co-operation . . . but a matter of being released from slavery precisely into responsibility.” 4
Thus, the freedom we have in Christ is the freedom to exit a dead, destructive life by God’s grace and power, and enter into a new life by His grace and power.