“… this GRACE in which we now stand.”
There is a golden chain in Romans 5:1-5 of faith, peace, grace, glory, love and hope. Every treasured link is secured together through “our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let’s focus on GRACE as one of the precious links. Why is God’s grace so amazing? It’s an incredible, undeserved grace. A free gift to those who are described in the surrounding verses as powerless, ungodly, sinners and enemies. This is a summary of our sad human nature and continual orientation and spiritual standing before God. We need a powerful intervention to change our situation. Nothing less than an invasion of God’s grace will change us. The generous gift came “by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ” (vs 15). Grace comes not as an abstract truth or remote doctrine but in a real person. When “The Word became flesh…” one of the shining aspects of his glory was the reality that as the unique Son of God he is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). And then the wonderful promise, “…from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16).
Another aspect of God’s grace in Jesus is its never ending, copious and sufficient supply. The words used towards the end of Chapter 5 are striking as they describe this refreshing, invigorating waterfall of grace: vs 15 – overflow; vs 17 – abundant provision. The trespass of sin has brought judgement and condemnation with a reign of death that increases “more and more” with a never-ending sense of gloom, tyranny and destruction. Only a mightier flow of abundant grace can change the whole situation. The dynamic and power of grace triumphs over sin and despair. “Grace increases all the more” (vs 20) are amongst the greatest words we will ever read as the heart of gospel promise.
Finally the concluding verse of the chapter – “so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs 21). Sovereign grace triumphs and reigns victoriously for all eternity. We are all united in this same matchless grace as it unites us to the Lord and to each other. We stand together in the solidarity of saving, keeping, perfecting and the sanctifying grace of our Saviour. Grace begins, continues and completes all the work of God in each believer.
So, living under the plenteous grace of the Lord Jesus is a privilege no wealth can buy. No human effort, performance or religious observance has such liberating power and satisfying joy. Having the word of grace, the throne of grace and the Spirit of grace all flow directly from our gracious Lord Jesus means we live differently. Many Bible teachers have used the phrase “from grave clothes to grace clothes” to describe the remarkable change that is brought to our lives and living by becoming Christians. Enjoy today the sufficiency, security and strength of standing in the grace of our Lord Jesus. Seek to grow in grace day by day. Sing again and again “Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.” Then when you’ve finished have a sing of the great words of Charles Wesley…
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.
Meirion Thomas, Malpas Road