11 May

Grace and Peace are Ours

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. (Romans 5:1-2)

For the past few months it has been my pleasure to hear our young people learn the first few verses of Romans chapter 5. Romans 5 is one chapter that gloriously hinges on two words in verse 8 “But God”.

Before we even get too far into the chapter we must first define some terms necessary to the understanding of the chapter, so as our science teachers always forced us to do (thanks Mrs. Hrinda) let’s define terms.

1. Justified– This one is often misapplied and misunderstood. We can often talk about someone who is guilty justifying their actions to get out of the consequences. How often as a child did you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar and what did you say? “Mom I am hungry!” You tried to make right what you knew was wrong, but this is certainly not what Scripture is speaking of. Or we may rightly hear a Bible scholar tell us this is to remind us of our advocate Jesus Christ pleading our case before the cosmic court of heaven which case is being heard by the Righteous Judge of Heaven . This picture is totally accurate according to the semantics and wording in this passage however our current understanding of lawyers and judges misleads us in our understanding. Justification is our righteous standing before a holy God based upon the completed transaction at the cross of Calvary. My debt to the Kingdom of Heaven has been paid in full by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and whose payment has been accepted by FAITH!

2. Grace – This word always reminds me of a piano teacher that my older brother and sister had. Her name happened to be Grace. It is not just her name that rekindles me but the way she taught and prepared her piano students for a recital. She spoke to the about “stage presence” which is a kind way to tell children that is not appropriate to run up steps into or off of a platform, or where flip flops on hard floors, and to remember to bow or curtsy when your audience clapped for your performance. Maybe even you have remarked about some performer or public speaker handling a certain situation with grace.

That is not exactly the grace we are speaking of here. An oversimplified understanding is that of getting what you do not deserve. When possibly your parents bought you ice cream when you should have been in trouble, when you were kind to the difficult co-worker, or perhaps we could speak of getting a stimulus check from the government when you have not rendered any services worthy of receiving such remuneration. However when we speak of the grace of God we are not speaking of any one act alone but rather an all encompassing state of being that must be acknowledged by any individual who would seek to be at peace with God. One might ask, what has God done for me? I understand that money are dealing with hardship even death in their family, loss of , health, loss of a loved one, but where did life come from? Where did your ability and understanding come from that allows you to perceive joy and pain? Who grants healing? Who provides for even the sparrows? Who can offer beauty for ashes?

Grace is more than anything else my own capability to one day tell God himself to open the gates of heaven for me and not just to peak over the fence into heaven, and not just to be able to pitch a tent on the lawn of heaven but to walk the golden streets of Glory straight to my Mansion that Christ has prepared for me, not because I have earned it, not because I bought it, not because I lived well but because “God so loved the World that he gave His only begotten Son!” That is Grace! Grace is that here on this sin cursed earth there are a lot of folks in the bondage of anger, in the bondage of substance abuse, in the bondage of bitterness, but by God’s Grace I can be more than conquerors and when I need help I come boldly His throne! And do you know what his throne is called? It’s the throne of Grace! I am living on his resources when I accept Christ as my Savior. He is my Lord and my Almighty(God)!

Alright consider these verses again. By the blood of Christ I am justified by faith and I find in so doing I am no longer at war with God from within or without. I am at peace! It doesn’t matter what happens out here in the world if I have been justified, I have made peace with my Creator. That is God’s mercy. I will never see His wrath.

Not only do I have his mercy, but also I have His bank account. I have His resources. I have access into His grace, and his grace is overwhelming. I will never forget trying to keep up with a farmer who was picking some corn in his field for my family. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time and in the middle of his field of corn that towered well over 6 feet high as that man darted in and out of rows all the rows in every direction looked the same to me and I remember being overwhelmed and frightened. If you are a child of God you have accepted Christ’s blood payment for your sins by faith, God is willing and wants you to understand that you now are not fending for yourself, he is opening up his great corn field of Grace so that when you look up in all directions all you see is the Grace of God! May you look to Him today and trust He has His best in store for you today!

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