In The Discipline Of Grace by Jerry Bridges, he makes reference to a great quote from Scottish pastor Horatius Bonar who said a great deal about grace and forgiveness over a hundred years ago. I think that these words definitely deserve repeating!
"It is forgiveness that sets a man working for God. He does not work in order to be forgiven, but because he has been forgiven, and the consciousness of his sin being pardoned makes him long more for it's entire removal than ever he did before.
An unforgiven man cannot work. He has not the will, nor the power, nor the liberty. He is in chains. Israel in Egypt could not serve Jehovah. " Let my people go, that they may serve me." was God's message to Pharaoh (Exodus 8:1): first liberty, then service.
A forgiven man is the true worker, the true Law keeper. He can, he will, he must work for God. He has come into contact with that part of God's character which warms his cold heart. Forgiving love constrains him. He cannot but work for Him who has removed his sins from him as far as the east is from the west. Forgiveness has made him a free man, and given him a new and most loving master. Forgiveness, received freely from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, acts as a spring, an impulse, a stimulus of divine potency. It is mre irresistible than law, or terror, or threat." Horatius Bonar- God's Way of Holiness
I'm truly thankful for the marvelous, wonderfully amazing grace of God. As Jerry Bridges so aptly states that, the only cure for our self righteous, performance based ways in our relationship with God is to preach the gospel to ourselves everyday, revisit it often throughout the day.