Hey Gary, good point bringing up David. I usually use him as the litmus test when I feel people are too hard on themselves. Another side of me has to admit though, if he wasn't the king, and he was just Joe Shmoe Israelite, he would have been put to death. The victors and friends of the victors write history.
We are talking about the elect here. The TRUE Christian. Not someone that just professes to be a Christian and uses it as an excuse to sin. Those people show by their actions that they never were saved. Can a Christian sin severely or as you say "heinously"? Possibly. But when you are full of the Holy Spirit and you let Him guide your life you are far less likely to commit such a sin. Like Paul said in Romans 6:2, we died to sin.We don't let it lead us anymore.
But keep in mind, this is describing the saved Christian. It's describing the Christian that asked for faith and salvation through Jesus Christ. These are the ones that were chosen from before the founding of the world. Notice Eph 1:4 - For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love.
Hey BrotherDan, just wanted to say, don't get me wrong. I'm not arguing with you for the sake of arguing. I'm glad to be having this discussion with you. I just fail to see the how your interpretation of Grace is really all that different from one's interpretation of Works. For instance you say that those professing to be Christian show their true colors by their actions. A Christian who is full of the Holy Spirit is far less likely to commit a heinous sin. Paul said in Romans as you quoted that Christians directed by Spirit died to sin. It doesn't lead them anymore.
You used the phrase, "less likely", so it is possible for one commit a heinous act. This "less likely" also indicates to me some work on the part of the saved Christian is necessarry. For instance, if you exercise and eat properly, you're less likely to get sick. If you pay attention to spending, and your budget, you're less likely to overdraw from your checking account and be penalized. When thinking about it in those terms, I think of Zeph 2:3 where it says, "perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger" The NWT puts it, "probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah's anger." Granted we're talking preChristian, but as Gary brought up there were preChristian ones who got a pass despite their otherwise unrighteous activity.(Grace) Another aspect of it is 1 Cor 5, where Paul writes to Christians in Corinth who have a serious moral issue in their congregation involving a particular individual. By that Christian's "actions", or "works" he was bringing a bad name upon Christianity and the congregation. Why would it be necessarry to rebuke this one if Grace as you define it is there for this saved Christian? Why does this one need to be tossed out of the congregation?
I'm getting ready to dip out, gotta catch the bus. I'll catch up with you tonight or tommorrow. If I don't talk to you tonight, have a good night all.