Someone once said: Works do not justify, but the justified person works. Well, that is quite true. “I laboured,” said the Apostle, “more abundantly than them all,” because of the overwhelming grace of God to me. It is therefore no longer a zeal for God, but rather a zeal of God that works through our lives.
Grace is always set over against works. Grace will eventually demand works. And if you really grasp the full meaning of grace, you will have a passionate zeal to do far more good works, than when you were motivated by the law or religious performance.
Grace changes place with the works of the Law. What were the works of the law? They are the works we do to earn favour and to pay God back with our merit.
When grace comes in, you see, grace puts the works in another position altogether. It takes them out as a pre-requisite and positions them as a result. All works have not been ruled out of the universe. When grace has come in, if we have really grasped the meaning of grace, we will work more than anyone else has ever worked. But now they become the works of appreciation of grace, not to obtain it, not to merit it, but the works of thanks –given to God for His unspeakable gift of grace.
The truth in the New Creation is not working towards something, but it is working from something that has been done. We come into God’s perfect work, and now live from this accomplished reality. We are under grace!
But be very careful and watch out, for our religious inclination will never cease to try and undercut grace and bring us back under law and into bondage.
We must learn what grace really is and what grace really means. We must learn how deep, how vast, how unfathomable and unsearchable – the riches of His grace – really is in our lives.