Monday, May 9, 2016

Grace Wherein We Stand

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…” Rom. 5:2; “…the true grace wherein we stand.” 1 Pet. 5:12

         Some people spend a lifetime trying to figure out who they really are. Besides all the psychological and emotional exercises that may be employed, now one may conveniently trace his or her physical lineage through their DNA. Of course, this never goes back to the obvious common ancestor, who, according to the Creator, was Adam. Too bad, because I’m fairly sure, looking at the actions of this first man and his wife will give us all the insight we need into who and what we are. We’re sinners. That is the most important clue if you truly want to know who you are. As sinners before a Holy and righteous God, we stand under judgment and condemnation. Next to that, any personal distinctive we may have is incidental. As long as a man or woman is standing under the judgment of God, he or she has no hope in this world or the next (Rom. 5:18a; Heb. 9:27).

         But wait…
         Verse one of the chapter talks about people who “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Instead of standing under judgment, they’re standing in in “grace” ­– the Grace of God. Talk about an upgrade! Now, any hostility that once stood between God and me (Did I mention I’m part of this group?) is over forever. This has nothing to do with who I am or anything I have, or will, ever do. It has everything to do with Jesus Christ. God’s acceptance of His Son is no greater now than His acceptance of me. By taking my place as a full-fledged sinner, and acknowledging His Son as my Lord and Savior by His death as the payment for my sin, God to reached down and placed me smack dab in the middle of His grace. He can no longer see me any other way. I like the way the great Bible teacher, Theodore Epp put it: Our standing before God is in the grace to which we have constant access. We do not need new credentials each time we come to God, because our standing is constant since we come by means of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us.” Constant grace guarantees constant access.

         “But,” you say, “If I’m always standing in grace, why do I sometimes feel like I’m losing ground spiritually?” There’s a good answer for that. It’s the difference between “standing and state.” Your eternal standing never varies, but your day-to-day state can vacillate, depending on your feelings and/or your obedience. Sometimes circumstances can make you feel forsaken by God; other times, disappointment in your actions can make you feel unworthy of His forgiveness. Either way, knowing that nothing can separate you from the grace of God, and that He will never forsake His own, should be an encouragement in times of trial and an incentive in times of temptation. One day, thank God, my state will be equal to my standing; my practice will match my position. Until then, I’m blessed beyond measure to know just exactly who I am: I’m Salle Sandlin, a child of God in Christ,” “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6), standing firmly in the Grace of God!

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