Standing in Grace
by James Smith, 1860
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2
Every man by nature is under the law, bound to obey its precepts, and pay its penalty; and unless its requirements are fully met, the law can never justify us. But the gospel invites us to leave the law, and come to the Savior; and coming to the Savior — we are delivered from the law; it has no more power over us than if it had executed the sentence of death on us, it having put Christ to death in our stead. We are dead to the law — and the law is dead to us. We are not under the law — but under grace; Jesus has died for our offences, and has been raised again for our justification. Our privilege is great, our state is most blessed. We stand in grace, according to Paul's words, who speaks of "this grace wherein we stand." Romans 5:2. Grace is favor, law is requirement; we are not under requirement therefore — but under favor. We will look at our
Our Privileged State.We are JUSTIFIED. Justified by his grace. Justified by the blood of Jesus. Justified by faith in Christ.
We are reconciled to God, who meets us at the cross, holds out the hand, and reconciles us to himself.
We are not only reconciled — but are become intimate friends, and are treated as such.
Not only intimate friends — but special favorites,
and are therefore . . .
allowed to come to God when we will, and wherever we will;
to walk with God all the day, and every day;
to commune with God on all that interests us;
to commit our all to God;
to be preserved and kept safe;
to leave our all with God, without anxiety or perplexity;
to expect from God all he has promised, and all we ask in faith. Yes, we may expect . . .
sympathy in all our sufferings;
supply of all our wants; and
support under all our troubles.
Can any state be more blessed?
Could we be more highly privileged?
For us — all the demands of the law are met.
To us — all the blessings of the gospel are given.
We are savingly interested in God's highest love.
We may claim all the merit of the life and death of his Son.
We may look for all the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
We STAND in this State.Our standing is firm, for there is to us, no condemnation. We shall stand to the last, for we shall suffer no inglorious defeat. Our condition is stable, for we build on a rock. Our privilege is permanent, for grace never changes. The oath, the promise, and the unchangeable love of God secures us. Being in Christ now — we shall be in Christ forever. Being united to Christ now — we shall never be severed from him.
Our standing is from grace — grace in God's heart,
he had free favor towards us. Our standing is of grace, or it is
entirely gratuitous. Not of works, lest any man should boast. Our standing
is to the glory of grace. As Adam's fall proved the weakness of standing in
law — so the standing of the whole church proves the strength of standing in
grace. From this rock . . .
no waves can wash us,
no hurricane can blow us,
no power, either human or infernal, can remove us!
Here grace placed us, here grace preserves us, and here glory will find us! Blessed be God for grace, free grace, omnipotent grace, immutable grace! Blessed be God that we ever heard of grace, that we ever felt the power of grace, that we stand in grace!
Observe, Christ opened the way for us, therefore it is said of him, "By whom we have access into this grace wherein we stand." Jesus removed every impediment, and became the way to the Father — the way to the Father's love, mercy, and grace; the way to the Father's heart. Faith leads us into that way, along that way, to the end of that way; as it is written, "By whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." Not by works of righteousness, not by pleasant or painful feelings — but by faith alone. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace. Faith excludes works, as grace excludes desert. Neither on the ground of doing, or deserving — but on the ground of faith alone are we justified, reconciled, and accepted of God.
Glory crowns it, hence it is added, "and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." We rejoice in the hope that God will be glorified in our being thus privileged; and we rejoice in hope of being glorified with God and with Christ forever.
Let us take care then, that we do not get back under the law — but let us stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. The law being satisfied, having received all it can demand — can now only be a rule, pointing out what God approves, and directing us how to walk and to please God. But let us take care that we do not get to dealing with God on the ground of works. We come not to the bar of justice — but to the throne of grace. We come not to bring a price, that we may purchase or procure some good thing; but that we may obtain mercy, mid find grace to help us in time of need.
Let us take care not to block up the way to this grace, it is open to all, free for all, and alike easy to all. There is no difference between Jew or Gentile, bond or free, black or white; all have sinned, and therefore deserve to die — but all are invited to Jesus, and therefore may be pardoned, reconciled, and saved. Under the law, we are all enemies to God; but through the gospel, coming under grace, we become the friends and favorites of God. He treats us, not as the lawgiver treats law breakers; but as a kind and loving Father treats his tenderly beloved children. Blessed, forever blessed be God, for "this grace wherein we stand."