Standing In Grace
- Rom. 5:1-2 “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.”
Because of “our Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 1), everyone who receives Jesus “by faith” (vs. 1 & 2) is “justified” (vs. 1), has “peace with God” (vs. 1), and stands in grace (vs. 2). Believers may not always live according to grace, but every believer still stands in grace because of Jesus Christ. Notice that the phrase is not “we will stand” (future tense) or “we have stood” (past tense), but “wherein we stand” (present tense).
As we continue our lessons on “Learning to Stand,” we definitely must notice every believer’s stand in grace. But what does standing in grace mean? Notice two important truths:
– Standing in grace means standing in God’s power. – I Cor. 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
First, let’s examine the phrase “grace of God.” Although it is understood that God’s grace comes from God, you will never see that exact phrase in Scripture (grace from God). The phrase is always “grace of God.” Why? Grace is an impartation of God Himself. There is a reason why there are so many definitions of grace throughout Christian history. The reason is because grace is God’s “unspeakable gift” (II Cor. 9:15 – Most of the references to grace in the Corinthians are in chapters 8 and 9 of II Corinthians. Paul goes back and forth throughout those two chapters referring to grace as a gift and using the two words interchangeably, hence why Paul concludes in calling grace God’s “unspeakable gift” at the end of his discussion on grace.).
You cannot peg grace down. God imparts Himself via what we call grace to whatever situation we need. Does your soul need rescued from an eternity in hell? Grace saves (Eph. 2:8-9). Do you need help in your marriage, in your parenting, at your job, with your finances, as a soulwinner, with your anger, etc…? God freely gives Himself as grace to help you in any situation or problem you have. This is why Paul confidently declared in I Cor. 15:10 (seen above) that Paul accomplished all Paul accomplished by God’s grace and that Paul was who he was because of God’s grace. God’s grace is always abounding everywhere for any situation for every believer (II Cor. 9:8).
There is way too much to cover here concerning grace and God’s power (See Grace Notes series), but suffice it to say that any discussion on standing against sin for truth must include grace because standing in grace means standing in God’s power. You are not standing in your own might and in the power of your own hand to accomplish God’s will. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
– Standing in grace means standing in God’s purity. – Rom. 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
Standing in grace is not only standing in God’s power, but also God’s purity. Grace is not an excuse to sin, but God’s enablement not to sin. That is a big difference! God warned in Jude 4 that false prophets and false believers would creep into our churches “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” Grace is not liberty to sin but liberty to not sin. When Jesus emphasized His grace on the Sermon on the Mount at the beginning of His ministry (Mt. 5-7), Jesus did not teach an increase of sin nor spiritual slackness, but rather an increase in good deeds and holiness. For instance, instead of only focusing on “Thou shalt not kill,” Jesus turned our attention to the even higher ground of not getting angry in the first place (Mt. 5:21-22). Instead of only obeying “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Jesus preached that even looking on a woman to lust is committing adultery in your heart (Mt. 5:27-28). Jesus’ messages on grace also taught the higher road of no divorce (Mt. 5:31-32), of just keeping your word without extra oaths (Mt. 5:33-37), replacing an “eye for an eye” with turning the other cheek (Mt. 5:38-39), giving more than you are sued for (Mt. 5:40), and going the extra mile for anyone who asks you only one mile (Mt. 5:41). In every example Jesus gave, we see how grace does not lower the bar, but rather raises it! Oh, that God’s people got back to grace!
- Rom. 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Since grace is part of our holy, all-powerful God, grace goes higher and further than the law itself. Contrary to modern preaching on grace, Jesus’ grace did not destroy nor do away with the law (Mt. 5:17), but rather fulfill and raise the bar for Christian excellence!
- II Cor. 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”
So, dear reader, as you learn to stand against sin for truth, remember that you stand in grace. Standing in grace means you stand in God’s power and in God’s purity. Grace empowers you way beyond your power and ability (II Cor. 8:2), and ennobles you to God’s holiness most never conceive of nor desire (I Pt. 1:16) beyond the basic requirements of the law. Dear reader, do you practically and consciously stand in God’s grace just as you do positionally in Jesus?