Many Christians run into a problem when it comes to grace. While they trust in the grace of God to save them, they trust in the flesh (religion, traditions of men, and legalism) to keep them.
Dan Duval suggests that you think about a Nascar race. Have you ever seen the Daytona 500? The cars quickly zoom round and round the track. Now imagine if someone were to drive two laps and then try to run the next 498 laps on foot. Would they win the race? Would they finish the race? The racecar is like grace. When you are out on the track, it is not your ability that moves you, but rather it is the car that moves you. Grace is God’s ability that is intended to move us. Trying to do Christianity by the arm of the flesh and self-effort is just as ridiculous as trying to win NASCAR by running it on foot.
Here’s another way to put it: a works-filled life is selfish and puts the spotlight on our own goodness and ability (or our lack of ability, which leads to condemnation and guilt for not being able to do enough good works), but a grace-filled life is selfless and gives the credit and glory to God for every good work that we do.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
How can we rest and do good works at the same time?
Resting does not mean not doing good works. Resting is relying on the grace of God to do His work through us. So perhaps the better question is, “How can we live in a state of rest if we are trying to do all the work by ourselves?”
Grace is the centerpiece of a faith-filled life that allows believers to live effective lives and to rest while doing good works at the same time.
Grace is not working for salvation; rather, salvation is the work of God’s grace.
Neither does grace cancel out good works; rather, grace is God’s ability working through us as we work with Christ Jesus to labor effectively for God’s Kingdom. When we labor effectively, through God’s grace, we find rest and peace in doing the work of the Lord.