Privilege: Our positions of being justified, adopted, and a new creation in Christ are ours, but they are basically privileges. God has done it all through Christ. We who used to be in Adam – with our guilt and bondage to sin – have died, having been crucified with Christ. We are now alive unto God through his Spirit who dwells within us. We do not have to sin. We can say No to temptations from our flesh, the world, or the devil.
Responsibility: Our right and proper response is to believe these truths about ourselves, rejoice in them, and live in the reality of them. We must not let sin reign in our bodies (Rom. 6:12). When we do allow sin to get the upper hand we must immediately confess it, repent of it, and take it to the cross to experience the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. We cannot deal with the power of sin unless we have first dealt with its guilt. And we deal with it at the cross.
I appreciate how Bridges balances these two biblical themes. We have been saved from sin, and out of thankfulness we seek to serve the Lord. By grace we’ve been delivered from guilt, and our duty then is to (by grace!) live a life of gratitude to God. Following Jesus is a privilege and comes with a responsibility.
The above quote was taken from Who Am I? by Jerry Bridges.