"There are two religions in the world, grace and works. But only grace works!"
Grace works because it delivers us from ritual to reality. "The law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of those things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect… The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 10:1; John 1:17).
God bestows His living presence into our hearts when we believe in the Lord Jesus. "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6). The ritual religion that foreshadowed reality becomes superfluous for those who "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). Indeed, the fact of God increasingly renders obsolete the need for facsimilies of God. Grace comes with truth, and with truth comes spiritual substance rather than earthly shadow. As the Apostle Paul declared, believers partake "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (I Corinthians 5:8). Christ is real to us, spiritually real in a manner no earthly shadow of form or ritual could ever create in our hearts. This is the inheritance of God's trusting sons and daughters, the tangible gift of grace given by the Lord Jesus who partook of our humanity in order that we might partake the living reality of His Divine presence and involvement in our lives.
Any approach to God apart from the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus leaves us in the shadows. Our Heavenly Father offers to us the Object, as it were, that casts those shadows. He offers to us Himself. This is grace, the grace that works because God works. We must settle for nothing less in our walk with the Lord. We must expect nothing less, and we must experience nothing less if our Lord's purposes are to be fulfilled in our lives. Reality alone satisfies the heart of God. Reality alone fulfills the heart of humanity. Grace works because it births reality, perpetuates reality, and infuses reality into the moments of our lives as the Truth that always accompanies grace illuminates our heart and way.
"God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
(II Corinthians 4:6)
Weekly Memory Verse
Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."
(II Thessalonians 2:16-17)