I suspect that one of the attractions to legalistic forms of religion is that legalism carries implied limits on the extent of our obligation. Once we have checked off the legal requirements, we're done. Not only that, but we can now wander through life with the exhilarating sense that we have somehow obligated God...we have placed him in our debt.But a religion born out of grace and truth admits to no such limits.

When the life we receive is a gift and not something earned, gratitude becomes the animating principle. Gifts exhibit the awkward propensity to undermine our pride. They invert the place and nature of the obligation.Rules can be followed but gratitude can never be "done".

If our very life is a gift, our obligation is unbounded.