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“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).

HAVING POINTED IN THE PREVIOUS VERSE TO THE JUSTIFICATION FROM OUR PAST SINS, PAUL SPEAKS IN THIS VERSE OF THE PRESENT GRACE AND FUTURE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL. Because the alienation has been removed, the relationship we can now have with God is rich and good — it is a foretaste of the perfect, unblemished relationship we’ll be able to have with Him in eternity.

The grace in which we stand. It certainly took a marvelous measure of grace for God to wipe away the sins of our past, but salvation in Christ involves more than the removal of our guilty history. In the present moment, there is a grace “in which we stand.” Grace, of course, has to do with blessing or favor, and the grace here is obviously God’s. In Christ, we are surrounded by provisions and gifts from our Father that are beyond our power to imagine. In regard to our highest good, there is nothing we will ever truly need that God will withhold from us. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

By faith. Paul is very clear that our access to the grace in which we stand is an access gained “by faith.” Although repentance (Acts 2:38), confession (Romans 10:9,10), and baptism (Acts 22:16) are required by God in our initial obedience to the gospel, the operative element in all of these is faith: trust in the saving work of God through His Son, Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:12).

Through Jesus Christ. It is Christ that Paul is referring to when he says it is “through him” we have been given access to God’s grace. It was His sacrifice that made it possible. It is His lordship that we now submit to. And it is the hope of His return that energizes us. In this hope, Paul says, we exult, rejoicing more the closer we get to its realization. For those in Christ, the “hope of the glory of God” is simply the most dynamic force in the universe.

Make us thy mountaineers;
We would not linger on the lower slope.
Fill us afresh with hope, O God of hope,
That undefeated, we may climb the hill,
As seeing Him who is invisible.
(Amy Carmichael)

Gary Henry — +

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