The secret is that grace deactivates our pride. Removing the Old law from our lives means our self-effort is no longer prodded to control behavior. The law excites human effort. It encourages us to depend on resources outside of Christ. But unconditional acceptance deactivates human effort and allows the Holy Spirit to be all that he wants to be through us. Our greatest fear is that we’ll be out of control. But we were never made to be in control. Self-control has always been a natural attribute of the Holy Spirit. The reason he lives within us is to produce the self-control that we’re afraid we’ll lack under grace. Paul encourages us to trust grace under the New Covenant by quoting Jesus himself on the matter:
But [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9
Jesus doesn’t appear fearful about the outcome of too much grace in Paul’s life. Grace isn’t merely a response to sin. Grace is the core of the New Covenant. It allows Jesus to produce through us what’s needed in the moment. After hearing this divine position on grace, Paul decides that Someone greater than himself will work in his life. Jesus will produce what he cannot. The same is true for us today.