Grace describes man’s response to the world without and to God.
What we owe God? In Christ we have become new creation. We have put on Christ. Grace must show something new that is a life on a higher plane. This aspect is between us and God who has chosen to be partakers of His glory. Grace gives us a new awareness.
Grace also gives new responsibility towards our family and community.
When we consciously cultivate the Christian virtues we are making grace given to us to abound.2 Pe 1 :5-8(NIV)
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the world of theatre actors playing a role try to get into the skin of the character they play. It is necessary to understand the character so they will sound convincing. The audience as a result is helped. This analogy is of course awkward since it only explains a make believe world. For a Christian putting on the nature of Christ is in ernest and is his entire life. Therefore a Christian who has put on Christ must get to know what Christ typifies: love, brotherly kindness etc.
The i in CHRiST must be where it is placed and not try to make look like this: i CHRST
The qualities that St. Peter writes about are not works but fruits of grace. In the gospel of John we read that grace came with Jesus while the law is associated with Moses.
Regarding works any Christian who thinks like the Pharisee in the parable of Pharisee and the Publican would be distracting others from Christ. If salt has lost its savor what good is it? If others do not see Christ but you, it belongs to works.
Finally a question arises: in a world Jesus Christ is just a name and not worshiped or revered as in the century when the Church was valid (and the works of the apostles were very much seen as manifestation of God) how do we reveal Christ? If one asks now how Christ looks like probably the answer would be ‘Mel Gibson.’
You see how perceptions, taste, emphasis and worship change with time. I do not think putting on Christ should be held in a literal sense.
Historical Jesus and the prince of Peace are sure to mean different for all believers. But the Son of Man who is our Savior cannot two persons; neither can the man of Sorrows who sits on the right hand of God can be two different persons. Jesus who is the life and resurrection is only one, coequal with God in the trinity. The Word bears witness to us and it is what is our template. Our ministry as Christians are to fill within these. Works may help you to fill out some but it will never fit. Like the leaven of the old woman it should fill the whole lump. only grace can do that work.