Romans 5 vs 2
“Through him we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
One children’s movie our girls loved when they were children, and which our grandchildren now also watch is “The Land Before Time”. In those now far off days almost thirty years ago I remember recording it from the TV on the old video recorder so they could watch it later, to my recollection it was just before the Christmas holidays. Anyway, enough of that back to the point! The story briefly is that some dinosaur children get separated from their families during a period of seismic upheaval and are left by themselves to find their way to the Great Valley, a place of plenty and beauty. The story follows their adventures the ups and downs of the journey but just when all seems lost and they find themselves in a barren place about to give up the leader of the little group in a very emotional scene is led to a mountain pass and as the light of dawn rolls in the tranquil scene of the Great Valley is revealed before him. When things seemed at their darkest and most hopeless, the pass leads them to the place where they are reunited with their families and enjoy security and plenty. Right, you can stop crying now!
This is not as irrelevant as it may seem, bear with me. Over the last few days we have been thinking about some foundations upon which our faith is built. We have discovered that by faith God justifies us, declares us innocent, through Jesus we have peace with God and both these things bring us security in every circumstance. That’s all in the first verse of Romans 5 but then in verse 2 we discover that not only have things that were wrong been set right, but through Jesus the whole landscape of life changes.
There is a grace that everyone enjoys, common grace from God by which our bodily needs are met and the earth is productive, by which we share love and our bodies take their next breath even as we sleep. Everything ultimately is of grace. God needs nothing from us but supplies all that we need. Everything we enjoy is a gift of grace. This grace however is particular and here the grace in which we now stand refers back to the change in status in our relationship with God which in turn opens to us all his blessings in Christ, blessings that are both spiritual and physical. As one writer Douglas Moo puts it “he (Paul) can picture the new status of the believer as one in which grace is characteristic and dominant. ....the notion goes beyond justification to all that is conveyed to us by God in Christ.” I suppose that sense is contained in the hymn “Great is Thy faithfulness” and especially in the words, “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth; Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine with 10,000 beside.” You get the sense now I hope, this change of status and the peace that follows opens to us all the riches and blessing of God but all of these are through Jesus the mediator. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!