Bryan Chapell's book Holiness by Grace is one of my favorite books on how to grow in Christ. In this quote, Bryan cites one of my other favorite teachers on grace, Jerry Bridges.
"With much wisdom Charles Spurgeon said, 'While I regarded God as a tyrant I thought my sin a trifle; but when I knew him to be my Father, then I mourned that I could ever have kicked against him. When I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon by breast that I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so, and sought my good."
"Another church leader echoes, '. . . the man who comes to obey God will love him first . . . the love of God is the beginning of religion.' Love of the Savior draws us from the lure of temptation.
"Faith in the love that paid the penalty for our sin also provides powerful motivation to flee temptation. Were God merely a frowning tyrant—if all I feel when I face him is guilt and defeat—then I will never have the joy of my salvation that is spiritual strength. Yet because he has provided a way of escape from my guilt, I have reason to go to him in prayer to ask his forgiveness and to seek his aid. Gazing upon the cross, not fearing or fleeing from “the ogre in the sky,” destroys the power of temptation. Its allures lose their power over me when I am resting in the arms of a Savior who makes me eternally secure in his love.
"Jerry Bridges writes with deep insight into the power our security in Christ provides for our continuing sanctification: 'A legal mode of thinking gives indwelling sin an advantage, because nothing so cuts the nerve of the desire to pursue holiness as much as a sense of guilt. On the contrary, nothing so motivates us to deal with sin in our lives as does the understanding and the application of the two truths that our sins are forgiven and the dominion of sin is broken because of our union with Christ.
"'Robert Haldane in his commentary on Romans . . . said, “No sin can be crucified in heart or life, unless it is first pardoned in conscience. . . .'"
Chapell, Bryan (2003-02-10). Holiness by Grace (pp. 108-109). Good News Publishers. Kindle Edition.