I was thinking through all the permutations of being "Saved by Grace". What could it mean?
1) It could mean simply a new law, which replaced the old law. Grace could be simply the NT. That would be being disingenuous to the way Paul explains it.
2) It could mean payment of original sin, similar to someone paying off your outstanding parking fines, but not paying off any other driving offences you commit from here on.
3) It could mean you are now free from sin, and can sit around, playing PS3
4) It could mean you are a slave to Christ, like Paul says in Romans 6
Or it could be none of the above and something else entirely.
Grace in the Bible means receiving good that you do not deserve or earn. If I mail you a Visa gift card for $1,000 "just because," then it would be an act of grace on my part and you, if you took the card and used it, would be receiving grace.
If Paul's expo is true, then it should mean that you are now possessed by Christ, and can do no evil.
No, that's not true. If that were the case, then there would be no need for him to write the letter to the Romans or most of the other letters he wrote. In fact, if you read on to Romans Chapter 7, you'll see that Paul makes the argument that even he doesn't do the good that he should do and does the bad that he shouldn't do. Just because someone receives grace, that does not change the fact that they have a natural tendency in this life to sin. It's in everyone's nature to sin, even after salvation.
What could it possibly mean? Could it mean that any evil you do, is now evil for good? eg, if I get drunk and run someone over, it will transpire that I just ran over someone who was about to commit a murder, or rape. Since I'm now guided by Christ, anything I do will turn out good.
No, a lot of Christians do bad things either by choice or ignorance, and other people can get hurt. Not all things a Christian does turns out for good, because Christians are still free to make moral decisions.
If this was generally believed to be the case, then Christians wouldn't try to be good all the time.
Only those, believers and non, who don't understand grace come up with this conclusion. When one receives grace and then understands grace, one wants to "be good all the time" out of gratitude. It is a voluntary response for the grace shown to them.
Coming back to a more conventional explanation: I should have the spirit of Christ in me, and that should, at the very least, free me from unnatural carnal lusts, like masturbation, homosexuality, avarice, sex addiction, gambling addiction, hate, envy, sloth. It should do all this, even if I get no other decent help from Christ. This at the very least, should occur.
The Spirit of Christ is not like an instant "Mr. Clean" that automatically changes all the wiring in your brain and soul that causes these sins into wiring that produces only good thoughts and desires. Why do you think that Christ's Spirit in you should take away all of your evil desires? Is this what your church teaches or what someone told you?
God forbid I ask that my life gets any easier, after I become a Christian; so, I'm not asking to be physically healed, or get any free breaks in life, or for God to help out with the phenomenal tasks I'm supposed to achieve, to sustain my free gift.
The problem is not with asking for these things, but 1) coming to God only for what He can give and 2) having a sense of entitlement. True, He may not give you any of these things, but then again He might.
After thinking that, I realised that Christians shouldn't quote Job, if they think Grace is a free gift. Because, if you believe that Grace is a free gift, then who exactly is trying to test your faith, and take it all back again? It's sort of like, I'm giving you this free gift, and now I'm going to kick you in the nuts until you give it back to me.
When God tests your faith, it isn't "to kick you in the nuts until you give it back." You test things to see how reliable they are. You would test a rope that you mountain climb with. You would test the air in your auto's tires before going on a long journey. You test your bath water temperature so you don't get burned or chilled. Testing can be a good thing.