This Grace in Which We Stand
by Impact Church
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1,2
“In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text!” Those were the words of Martin Luther describing the fifth chapter of Romans.
Thank God for Romans 5! After spending the better part of four chapters convincing us that we all, Jews and Gentiles, stand guilty before a holy God and are in need of a Savior, the Apostle Paul seemingly turns his pen into a laser of welcome sunlight. Not only has Jesus Christ satisfied the demands of the Law and paid the debt we could not pay on our most self-righteous day, but His atoning work on Calvary has given us benefits beyond our comprehension!
Sadly, many Christians seem to be content with being forgiven and saved from hell. But Paul clearly declares here that our salvation is not the top rung of the ladder; indeed, it is the starting point of a whole new life in Christ. A mind-blowing, intimate adventure with the Creator of the universe is now ours since we are justified (put in right standing with God) by believing that Jesus lived, died and rose again so that we might be reconciled to His Father.
The power and authority of sin has been defeated in our lives as we accept Christ’s righteous sacrifice in our place! Brethren, we are not just forgiven,…we have been made sons and daughters of the King! And this royal new birth comes with privileges! It’s time to get excited,…Hallelujah!
Paul spends the whole chapter developing the “Ok, we’re saved,…Now what?” theme. Let’s just look quickly at the first two verses for a few fringe benefits of being a follower of Jesus:
- Justified by faith – The chasm of sin separating us from God has been bridged by the cross of Christ. The only perfectly righteous man who ever lived has reconciled us back to the Father if we repent of our sinful ways and accept His sacrifice on our behalf. How is our slate erased and we’re given a fresh start? Not by our works, which would never be good enough, but by simple faith.
- Peace with God – Remember the futility of trying to live a good life and please God without the indwelling Holy Spirit? It was a constant clash of human effort and condemnation, since on our best day our righteous deeds amount only to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Paul speaks in Philippians 4 about the incredible peace “of” God that passes all understanding, which is another gift the believers inherits by virtue of birth. But here the former persecutor of the Church reminds us that the battle with God is over: we stand holy and clean before the Judge because of Christ. Tetelestai,…It is finished!
- We have access – What is the opposite of access? We’ve all felt the loneliness and pain of being denied admission into a place, or maybe simply being shunned by our friends who seemingly shared a secret with everyone but us. Distance. Isolation. Being on the outside looking in. Even thinking about it makes us sad. But by faith, Jesus Christ has torn down the veil of separation keeping us from the Father’s presence and has granted us wonderful, free access into a personal relationship with God! We can talk and commune with Him anytime, anywhere!
- This grace in which we stand – There are many popular definitions of grace (“God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” and “God’s unmerited favor and goodness,” for example). Suffice it to say that when we have access to God, we have access into everything that is good and holy, not only in the world to come but in this life as well. The saints of generations ago talked of several graces: saving grace, living grace, dying grace, etc. Paul adds to this list “standing grace” – confident assurance that you are a grateful member of God’s family with all its rights and privileges! Eugene Peterson summed it up well in The Message: “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory…”
- Rejoice in hope of the glory of God – Whether in good times or in tribulations, as Paul explains in subsequent verses, the child of God can take heart and boast in the assurance that God is in control. He is the only hope in a darkening culture that is heading for judgment. Lift up your heads, saints,…your redemption is drawing nigh! (Luke 21:28)