Trinity Sunday
June 3, 2007
Amazing Grace
Romans 5:15

In Romans 5, Paul explains to us that our justification – that is, our new status in Christ made possible by His atonement for our sins – produces some remarkable new treasures in our lives. What does Christ give to those who come to Him in faith?

I.  Peace                                                                                                                                  

            Peace.  How we long to experience it. The world cries out for peace. Turn on the news.  Look in the faces of the people you see each day. Talk to just about anyone and you will discover the longing for peace. Paul tells us that “we have peace with God.”  We have been justified by faith and thus are at peace with God. 

You may have heard the term “justified” defined as, “JUST” as “IF  I’D” never sinned.  This catchy mnemonic device reminds us that in Christ, we are justified and clean before God. 

I remember the time that I successfully washed clean my son’s white pants that had been stained with the southern red clay in our backyard. After three different attempts they were finally and completely clean.  Because of Christ, we too are clean. We can breathe a sigh of relief. There is no need for anxiety. We are justified and at peace with God.

II.  Grace

            In addition, we experience God’s grace.  Paul declares that “we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand.” Grace is available to us every day.  All we must do is access it. 

Think about this. A banker must know the combination to the vault to “gain access” to the money. You must open the door to “gain access to your house. When the wall fell in Germany, those in the East gained access to those in the West. But the wall that must fall for the believer to gain access to God has already fallen through the redemptive work of Christ.  In Christ, we are already “standing” in grace. 

We need to realize that God has already done this work. Watchman Nee describes this as reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God.  We need to acknowledge and walk in the fact of the work that God has already done. We stand in grace; therefore, it is always accessible.  

            I am reminded of the movie The Princess Diaries where a young high school girl discovers that she is a princess and heir to the throne.  Unbeknownst to her, royalty was always her status with all of its benefits and responsibilities. Yet, throughout the movie, she must constantly choose to live like royalty and accept her position. While grace is always available to us, like this princess, we must choose to access it and live in it.  

            Life experiences also teach us that a status change dictates a new way of life. A new bride and groom, a college graduate, a newborn baby, a new employee, an international exchange student, and others all mark the beginning of a new life. All of these could serve as metaphors to illustrate the point that in Christ we have a new status before God; we are justified, at peace and grace abounds.

III.  Hope and Love 

            Yet, there is more. We hope in the glory of God and we find hope through our tribulation!  Our suffering changes us and breeds hope. And “hope does not disappoint us because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” 

            Because we have been justified, peace, grace, hope and love are living realities in our lives. Imagine that you have a million dollars in the bank. All you have to do is use your debit card to gain access to this treasure. Instead, you ignore it and live as if the money is not there. Peace, grace, hope and love are “in our account,” yet too often we live as if they are not. As you leave today, meditate on these things: peace, grace, hope and love.  Won’t you acknowledge these truths daily and abide in these life changing realities that God has given you?  (Paula Fontana Qualls)

 

 

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