THE TRIUMPHANT NATURE OF FAITH
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom 5:1-5)
Devotion 9 of 29
INTO THIS GRACE
“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom 5:2)
The phraseology used by the Spirit is critical to our understanding. "Through Him (Jesus Christ) we have obtained access to this grace" (NRSV). The idea is that Christ has personally brought us into this realm through our faith. The New Living Translation reads this way: "Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege."
The words "this grace" parallels with the "heavenly places" of Ephesians 2:6: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The Ephesian text emphasizes the realm to which we have come, and our Romans text emphasizes the benefit to be found there. The idea of the text is that justification has resulted in the believer being put where the required blessings can be obtained. These are the "all spiritual blessings" referenced in Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The placement is described in First Corinthians 1:30. "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption" (NASB).
Referring to the same glorious reality, Ephesians says, "But God . . . made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:4-6). All of this refers to the "access" our text affirms, and is possessed by those who are justified by faith.
The words "THIS GRACE" are like a nail upon which our advantages continually hang. Apart from this "grace" there is no advantage whatsoever. Initially, we are "justified freely by His grace" (Rom 3:24). "Everlasting consolation and good hope" are also realized by God's grace (2 Thess 2:16). It is "under grace" that sin loses its dominion over our lives (Rom 6:14), and it is "by the grace of God" that we maintain our manner of life in this world (2 Cor 1:12). It is called "THIS grace" because it is the very grace by which we were justified, and in which we are to remain, or “stand.”
IN WHICH WE STAND
We are not passive in this declared benefit. God has put us into Christ! From another perspective, He has raised us up and made us sit together with Christ in heavenly realms. From the standpoint of our text, He has given us access to "this grace wherein we stand." The NIV reads, "in which we NOW stand." This is the only realm in which Divine requirements can be fulfilled. Here is where we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). This is the domain where the flesh is crucified (Gal 5:24), the old man put off, and the new man put on (Eph 4:22-24). Here is where we are "taught by God" (1 Thess 4:9), the "whole armor of God" is put on (Eph 6:10-18), and steadfastness and constancy are realized (1 Cor 15:58).
A PLACE OF BENEFIT
Blessing and benefit are here. An acute consciousness of the Lord and His Christ are maintained here. Covenant blessings are experienced here. The "grace wherein we stand" is the realm where we are "filled with all joy and peace in believing" (Rom 5:13). It is where prayer is answered, and we are "changed from glory unto glory" (2 Cor 3:18). In this sacred place we "obtain mercy and find grace to help, in the time of need" (Heb 4:16). Here vision is clarified and an anchor for the soul is realized.
OTHER REFERENCES TO THIS REALM
Standing in grace is another view of abiding in Christ (John 15:1-8). It also is the same as remaining in Christ's love (John 15:10), and "continuing in the Son and in the Father" (1 John 2:24). This is walking in the light (1 John 1:7), living by faith (Heb 10:38), and walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:25).
Our text addresses the same thing from a different perspective. All of the views place the responsibility for maintaining the position in which they have been placed squarely upon the believer. To be sure, God will underwrite the task, guaranteeing our efforts are not in vain. But if anyone thinks abiding or standing can be achieved with no effort on the part of the individual, the evil one has deceived them. It makes just as much sense for Jesus to have laid down His life without any effort, as for you to lay down your's without the hearty endeavor.
INVOLVEMENT IS REQUIRED
Salvation makes no provision for passive involvement – a sort of spiritual automation that allows for the benefits procured by Christ to pass to the recipient without their involvement. Multitudes of professed Christians appear to be living as though this was not true. Their persons are not involved in what they call salvation. They are spiritually emaciated, and appear to think little or nothing of it. They imagine their connection with the institution is sufficient – but it is not.
PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name of Jesus I thank You for providing the means and the spiritual environment in which they can be effectively used.