The Benefits of Justification - Part 2 | Romans 5:1-11 | Dr. David Harrell
Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.
Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
We humble ourselves once again before the infallible record of God’s Word. We are in Romans chapter five continuing to examine the first 11 verses. Let me read them to you even though we will only be focusing on just a portion of verse two. But I want you to hear the whole.
Romans five beginning in verse one.
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.1
We have been examining these marvelous benefits of justification that the apostle Paul has delineated to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And there has been an outpouring of appreciation for this study from both within our church and from our listening audience around the world through the six or seven different websites that broadcast this pulpit and print these expositions. And I wanted to share with you that it has been fascinating to me to hear the feedback from people. And there has been a consistent theme in that feedback. And to summarize it, it is basically this. These truths pertaining to the benefits of our justification have caused me to focus on the blessings that are mine in my salvation rather than focusing on the depressing difficulties of my life. And as a result I find myself filled with great joy.
Christian men and women convicted over hearing these truths, they describe to me attitudes of self pity and anger, feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, hopelessness, anxiety, overall moodiness. Some of them are socially withdrawn. Maybe you can identify with them. But somehow because of these great truths they are lifted out of those swamps of depression. And certainly these are symptoms of depression, a very common and debilitating problem with no specific cause that has ever been discovered.
In fact, according to the CDC, quote, “an estimated one in 10 US adults report depression,” end quote.
But, of course, they cannot cite any specific causal factors.
Now obviously, anyone can suffer from depression due to some kind of a physiological, medical type of condition, a disease process, for example. Or sometimes anyone will suffer from a depressed state if they go through profound period of loss, maybe the loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage in a divorce, loss of health, loss of employment, some kind of overwhelming stress. But most people who complain of the kind of symptoms that I described to you, cannot link their debilitating sadness on any identifiable trigger.
If you study the literature, as I have, some contributing factors may include things like heredity, like physiology, some psychological factors that many call personality disorders, people with low self esteem or self defeating attitudes towards life. Some will say that it can be attributed to early childhood experiences, things like abuse or neglect, abandonment, rejection, chronic illness, those types of things.
But could I submit to you God’s perspective on this issue? The vast majority of people who are chronically depressed, who are chronically sad, don’t have a personality disorder. They have a worship disorder. They live for themselves and they may not even realize it. They don’t live for the glory of God. They are in many cases doctrinally illiterate and selfishly belligerent, rebels against God even by nature.
I have yet to find a chronically depressed person who is so captivated by the mercies of God that he is obedient to the Lord’s command to be thankful and joyful always.
The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians five and verse 16:
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances.2
Referring to the Word of God, whether it is read or whether it is preached.
Think about it. After 11 chapters explaining the glorious truths of justification by grace, Paul says:
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”3
Spiritual meaning logical. In fact, the word is logikov (log-ik-os’) in the original language. We get our word “logical” from that. It is reasonable. In other words, it pertains to reason and logic.
What he is saying is that acceptable worship originates in the intellect. It originates in the realm of the soul where man by the power of the Spirit of God is able to grasp the truth about his sin and the Savior and apply it to his life. That is why he says, “By the mercies of God... present your bodies,”4 and so forth.
You see, it is doctrinal truth that motivates and activates acceptable worship. It is not music. It is not emotional stories. The more your knowledge, the deeper your worship. It is as simple as that. Indeed, the apostle Paul says we are transformed. There is a metamorphosis that occurs by the renewing of the mind.
Think about it. The apostle Paul was plagued with enormous physical and relational problems. In 2 Corinthians one and verse five the tells us that, “The sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance.”5
And in verse eight he says that he was, “burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life.”6
Have you ever been there? Some of you have. I have. Just read the long list of his persecutions and his sufferings in chapter 11. You could go to chapter 12 of 2 Corinthians and there he describes, “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.”7
He describes a person that is demonically controlled, probably a false apostle that led others in slandering and persecuting Paul that rose up from within the Church.
Was he depressed? Did he put his thumb in his mouth and roll over on the couch and spend days and days asleep and watching television like many do? No, not at all. Did he withdraw and live in isolation, wallow in self pity, feel worthless? No.
Instead, his focus remained on the great doctrinal truths that had been revealed to him and serving the Lord Jesus Christ who promised him in 2 Corinthians 12 beginning in verse nine, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”8
Think about Peter. Jesus had prophesied that Peter would one day be crucified at the end of his life. And yet he ministers faithfully for 40 years knowing this. But he had no midlife crisis, no debilitating despair or sorrow or hopeless depression. Instead, at the end of his life as he faces his own crucifixion, he encourages the persecuted and beleaguered saints by reminding them of the security and the assurance of their salvation. And in 1 Peter 1 beginning in verse five he tells them that they have a salvation that is “ protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.”9
So he was encouraging them saying, “Rest in the glorious truths of sound doctrine, of all that it means to be justified. Rejoice in the glory that awaits you. Worship the Lord your God.”
And in verse eight he went on to say, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”10
That is the attitude we must have. That is why we come together here and immerse ourselves in the truth of the Word of God so that we can fulfill what the apostle Paul tells us in Colossians three and verse two.
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”11
Lift your eyes away from the temporal. Stop focusing on this wicked satanic world system. Let your eyes focus on glory. Have the eyes of your soul transfixed on the great truths that God has given us. Know the Word and live the Word.
I am always amazed to see the Holy Spirit take his Word and transform thoughts of hopelessness and despair into hope and joy. This is what we have witnessed in a number of the people who have been a part of this study. And for that we give God the glory.
Dear friend, if you have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, you have no reason to be depressed, no reason to be fearful, no reason to have feelings of inadequacy or hopelessness. You are a child of the king.
Have the attitude of Job. Remember when he repented of his pity party and after God was in his face intimidating him with his glory, chapter after chapter after chapter. Finally with confident joy Job declared, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee.”12
And that is what we want to do today, see the Lord more fully and more clearly. Understand these truths and apply them to our lives.
No wonder the apostle Paul was filled with joy, with thanksgiving despite all the problems that he faced. He viewed life through the lens of the unfathomable benefits of justification. And in these first 11 verses there are nine benefits of this divine gift of justification that every believer possesses. He divides them into two categories, what we have in the present and also what we shall be in the future.
We are still focusing on what we have in the present.
By way of review, you will recall last week we have peace with God, verse one.
“Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”13
Before a man repents of his rebellion against God and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ the wrath of God abides upon him. He is at war with God. And God is at war with him. But the moment he believes he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ. He is declared righteous. He is treated as such and instantly the war is over.
A second benefit is we have access to God, verse two.
“Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith.”14
Because Christ has permanently removed the guilt of our sin, past, present and future. And also because he has appeased the righteous wrath of God against sin, because of this we can enter into his holy presence. You see, we could not have come to God before. Our sin made us too vile. And even in our righteousness God says that we had nothing more than filthy rags. But now having been clothed in the righteousness of Christ Paul says we have obtained our introduction by faith.
Therefore, brethren, according to Hebrews chapter 10 beginning in verse 19:
...we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.15
Now, as staggering as these first two benefits are, let’s rejoice this morning as we look at the third benefit of our justification and that is we have a permanent standing before God.
Notice verse two. Again we read that because of Christ, “we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.”16
Now, friends, if you struggle with the security of your salvation, with the assurance of your salvation, you can put that forever behind you if you understand just this text, not to mention many, many others. For, indeed, this is the Spirit’s purpose here.
The word “stand” comes from a Greek term isthmi (his’-tay-mee) and it means to stand fast. It means to be established. It means to be fixed in a place so as never to be moved. That is the idea of the term.
And what is this place in which we stand firm, in which we stand established, from which we cannot be moved? It is the position of grace.
Psalm 130 beginning at verse three we read that, “If Thou, LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?”17
The answer is no one.
But he goes on to say, “But there is forgiveness with thee.”18
According to Revelation chapter six and verse 16 when the fury of God’s wrath upon the world is poured out during the time of the tribulation judgments, we are told that the ungodly will cry out for the mountains and for the rocks to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb and they will say in verse 17, “For the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”19
The answer is: Only those who have been justified and therefore stand in grace.
Dear Christian, this is a precious doctrine. Because we are in Christ we are safe and secure in our standing before God. We have no reason to be afraid. Nor are we having to look unto ourselves to somehow maintain this position of grace that was granted to us. How silly, because we have already understood from Paul’s teaching that we have no righteousness of our own. How faithful and obedient would we need to be to remain in this position? How faithful? How obedient? Who has got the list? And when I see the list, who could ever obey it? How much law keeping would we need to do?
You see, the believer obtains his introduction by faith in Christ as we are told here and he enters into a permanent state of justification whereby he is able to receive all the blessings of that condition that he now enjoys.
Later in Romans chapter six Paul will explain that before we were justified in our unsaved condition we were under the law and therefore we were in a state of condemnation, a state of slavery to sin. But now because of this new standing in grace, we have been freed, not free to sin, but free not to sin. Do you understand? There is a huge difference.
And that is why he says, “For sin shall not be master over you...”20
Why? He answers that in Romans 6:14
“...for you are not under law, but under grace.”21
I ask you. Was this not the heart of Jude’s great doxology in verse 24 when he spoke of our Lord Jesus Christ as the one “who is able to keep you from stumbling”?22
The word “keep” literally means to keep securing in the midst of an attack. That is what the Lord Jesus does because of grace. That text goes on to say that he will “make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”23
Contrast this with the man who is still under the law described in Psalm one verse five. There we read of the wicked and it says that they “will not stand in the judgment.”24
Why? Well, they will be without defense. They will not be able to stand their ground.
That text goes on to say, “Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.”25
Why will they not be there? Why will they not stand there? Because they have not been justified. They are still at war with God. They have no access to God nor do they have a permanent standing in grace.
What an amazing text. Even as dross exists in the heated pot of the assayer’s gold, so, too, false professors always exist amongst the truth, but not so in heaven. There will be no tares amongst the wheat there as there are today. Only those who have obtained their introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand will ever be in the presence of God and in the assembly of the righteous.
You see, this is our permanent standing before God, our permanent position. We stand in grace. It is firmly fixed forever. The text is so clear.
If I can put it a little bit differently, there is nothing transient about this state. There is nothing fragile about this position, about this status that would somehow require us to kind of up the ante on our obedience to somehow stay there. It is all of grace.
In light of this standing in grace before God, Paul will later on declare in Romans eight beginning at verse 38 saying, “I am...” I love this word “convinced.”
Don’t you love that?
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.26
Why? Because we stand in grace.
Likewise, in order for those at Corinth to really be able to enjoy this established position, the apostle Paul declared unto them in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse one. He says:
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved.”27
The grammar is present passive, very important. It means... the term saved means that you are continually rescued by someone other than yourself.
Folks, you have to take yourself out of the equation of salvation. It is all of grace.
That text goes on to say, “...if you hold fast the word which I preached to you.”28
And, of course, this is a warning to those phony professors, those who had a non-saving faith, who believed the gospel to be true but had never genuinely repented of their sins and embraced Christ as Savior.
In fact, it could be rendered, “If you hold fast or give evidence to what I preached to you, unless your faith is worthless or unless you believed without effect.”
So bottom line, those who stand in grace will hold fast. They will persevere in the faith.
Paul will go on to describe how holding fast to what he had preached was evidence of genuine salvation, just as their transformed life gave evidence of the power of Christ’s resurrection.
Please understand. The man who lets go of the things of God rather than holds fast demonstrates that he is the one trying to do the holding rather than God. Does that make sense to you? Such a man has no standing in grace. He cannot hold fast the Word because his faith is in vain. He is a Christian in name only. He may profess Christ, but he does not possess him.
But not so the man who stands in grace. He will never let go.
Ah, I hear it. People will say, “What about Galatians 5:4? Paul says that a man can be severed from Christ and fall from grace.”
Well, I would humbly submit that such an interpretation is erroneous. Think about it. If that were true, then many passages that say quite the opposite would then all be called into question. God does not contradict himself.
You see, in Galatians five Paul is not speaking of the security of the believer, but of the legalistic Jew who seeks to be justified by works, justified by the law rather than grace through faith. He is arguing that law and grace don’t mix. They are mutually exclusive. And to the man that comes to Christ for salvation by grace, but then tries to supplement grace through acts of Legalism under the law, he says to that man, “You have been severed from Christ.” Severed means separated or loosed or estranged. He says, “You are seeking to be justified by law. You have fallen from grace.”
The term “fallen” ekpiptw (ek-pip’-to) in the original language means to lose one’s grasp on something. Or it could be translated to be driven off course.
You see, such a man is not here being described as one who is unjustified. The Bible knows nothing of that. He is not unjustified because of his legalism. He has not lost his standing in grace, but he has been severed from Christ in the sense that his legalism indicates that he does not fully rely on Christ’s saving grace as being sufficient to save him and to keep him safe.
He must add his works of the law he thinks. So in this sense he has, indeed, fallen from grace. He has lost his grasp of the principle of saving grace, not lost his salvation. That is not what this text is talking about. That is not what the context is talking about.
He is saying, “If you think like this, if you think that grace isn’t enough and you have to add the law, you have separated yourself from the eternally sufficient atoning work of Christ, from the principles of saving grace that is at the very heart of justification.”
Indeed, you have been driven off course. You have lost your grip of the essence of this crucial doctrine of grace.
Well, ok, what about Hebrews chapter six especially in verse six?
It says that there are those who fallen away.
Well, so much of standing in grace, if that can happen.
But you must understand. In Hebrews chapter six the author is addressing unbelieving Jews who, according to the first two verses, are still seeking to be justified by works of the law who according to verse four have once been enlightened, meaning informed, and have tasted of the heavenly gift. The word “tasted” it means sampled. They tried the flavor of it, but they never swallowed it to be saved, if you will. Said differently, they pondered the truths of the gospel of grace that they had heard. They even experienced temporary blessings of Christ’s miracles in their midst. But by the time of the end of Christ’s ministry there was hardly any disease in Palestine. But they never placed their faith in Christ Jesus.
That term is also used in chapter two and verse nine speaking of Christ tasting death. This refers to something that is fleeting, something that is temporary, not permanent. And, likewise, these unsaved Jews had a temporary fleeting taste of the blessings of Christ. They saw his miracles, maybe experienced them. They saw the healing of the sick, the casting out of demons, the feeding of the hungry.
Hebrews six goes on and says that they have “tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit.”29
Partakers, metocov (met’-okh-os), it speaks of association, not of possession. It is used, for example, in Luke 5:7 to describe fishing partners who were in association with one another. And in Hebrews chapter one verse nine referring to the angels being in association with Christ as his companions.
So the point is, these Jews were in association with the Holy Spirit. They did not possess him. How so? How were they in association with him? They witnessed the miracles of Jesus who was empowered by the Holy Spirit. But that Holy Spirit did not inhabit them because they were not saved.
Many had experienced his convicting work even in their lives, but they refused to believe. Verse five of Hebrews six says that they “tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.”30
Again, this is not speaking of salvation. The word “word” here is rhma (hray’-mah) and it refers to that which has been uttered by a living voice and it emphasizes the parts of the word rather than the whole. If he was referring to the whole of the word he would use the term logov (log’-os), but here he uses the word rhma (hray’-mah).
So they have tasted of part of the word. They have heard elements of the gospel.
Verse six he says, “....and then have fallen away.”31
Well, what have they fallen away from? Not from salvation. There is no indication here that they ever possessed saving grace. In fact, the whole context tells us that they rejected it, preferring the law instead. So, they have fallen away from the knowledge of the truth. They have heard it.
No, don’t think I want that. I will keep working the law deal here. I think that is how I can be justified.
They have fallen away from the principles of justification by grace alone through faith alone, falling away, parapiptw (par-ap-ip’-to). It means to slip aside or to deviate, to deviate from the right path. And here this context would help us understand that this is deviating from the one true path that leads to salvation.
You see, dear friends, this is the sin of unbelief, a sin so severe that the writer goes on to say, “It is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.”32
It is as if he is saying, “By rejecting his gift of grace, you treat the Lord Jesus as if he deserved to be crucified.”
And if that is your attitude, you cannot be saved. If you insist in rejecting him, especially in light of full revelation of the truth, you have not hope for salvation because there is no other way to be saved.
So this whole passage is speaking to unbelievers.
Parenthetically, if you will notice in verse nine you see the author make a shift to speak to believers and he says, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you.”33
So, dear friends, don’t allow a misinterpretation of Scripture to undermine the foundation of our faith, to undermine your standing in grace, something that would convince you that you can fall away from what God has granted you.
True believers permanently stand in grace.
Well, but wait a minute. What about those believers who apostatize who walked with Christ for years and then renounce the faith? Explain that.
The Scripture is very clear about that. They were never truly saved. They weren’t standing in grace. Theirs was a dead faith. They were tares amongst the wheat. They looked like the real thing, but they weren’t.
1 John two and verse 19 makes it so clear.
“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.”34
Can it be any clearer?
1 John three verse nine we read:
“No one who is born of God practices sin.”35
Later on in verse 10, “Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God.”36’
Beloved, don’t lose sight of God’s predetermined plan of redemption. Make sure that you constantly go back to the big picture. Remember that in eternity past the Father ordained a plan to demonstrate this infinite love for his Son whereby he chose for him a bride made up of undeserving sinners that one day he would justify by his grace. He chose them by name. He recorded their names in a book of life. These would be the names that would make up the Son’s bride, an elect group of redeemed humanity pledged to him as a gift of the Father’s love, a pledge that was sealed by the Holy Spirit.
And central to this whole predetermined plan of inner-trinitarian love and glory was the Son’s death. So the Lord Jesus came to do the will of the Father, to fully and eternally save all that the Father had given him. He had to be the perfect substitute for sinners in order for them to be reconciled to a holy God. And when by faith the Holy Spirit regenerates a sinner and causes him to believe, at that very moment he is not only forgiven, but the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is eternally justified. He suddenly has peace with God, access to God and he permanently forever stands in grace. He never falls away because it is all a work of God. He is established in that state forever by divine grace.
Jesus said in John 10 and verse 28, “I give eternal life to [my sheep he is referring to], and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”37
There are so many passages that attest to this great truth.
I think also of 1 Thessalonians chapter five beginning in verse 23. There Paul says:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.38
Whenever I think on these texts, I am reminded of Augustus Toplady’s great hymn, A Debtor to Mercy Alone. And one of the stanzas says this.
My name from the palms of his hands,
Eternity will not erase.
Impressed on his heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace.
What a wonderful truth, dear friends. We stand in grace because of our justification.
Now what practical application can be made from this glorious benefit of justification? How could we apply this to our life, this idea that we permanently stand in grace?
Now certainly this has profound implications with respect to the destiny of our soul. We all understand that. But what about in our life right now? What about this side of glory? We have to ask that question that is so important when we study Bible doctrine. So what? How do I ask this to my life?
Let me put it this way. Are you living in light of your standing? Or do you live as though you were somewhere, somehow still living outside the palace of walls of the king, living like some pauper rather than a child of the king?
May I suggest to you four very general categories of life application that we should understand in order to help shape our character and conduct, four implications of this grace in which we stand. They will be short and to the point and to help you remember them, if you could remember the first four letters of the alphabet you have got it made, A B, C and D.
Because of our standing in grace, first of all, we have A, assurance. Friends, never again be subject to doubt and discouragement. Things go bad in life. You need to once again look to these great truths. Your justification is both granted and preserved by the power of God. He has given you eternal life and it is secured by this grace in which we stand.
Think of Ephesians chapter one and verse 11.
“We have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”39
Isn’t that great to know? We are a part of the will of almighty God.
He goes on to say in verse 18 that our salvation is preserved by “the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”40
Later on he even goes on to say, “In accordance withy the working of the strength of his might.”41
You see, it is not our might. It is his might. We stand firm and established in this position of grace never to be moved.
In Hebrews chapter 10 beginning in verse 19 we read:
...we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.42
And he goes on to admonish us therefore in verse 23 to, “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”43
Not only do we have assurance, but the B stands for blessing. And there are so many. Because of our standing in grace he does not withhold blessing from us. And our blessings don’t wait just until heaven. Think about it. He has adopted us now as his children. We are partakers of the divine nature, Peter tells us. We are children of the king.
Again, think about it. We have access into the holy presence of the almighty. Our standing allows us to come before him as one of his family members. The most high looks upon us as his precious children. And like any good father he longs to bless his children, to care for them. We are told that we are joint heirs with Jesus. All of the riches of glory are at our disposal even today in this life.
Has he not promised to never leave us nor forsake us?
In Matthew six verse 31 Jesus says, “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’”44
He goes on to say, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”45
Instead of being anxious, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Why? Because you stand in grace.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”46
And Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:3 that he has granted to us, “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”47
Why? Because we stand in grace.
A third implication of this standing is that we can have confidence, that is the C. We have confidence.
Now think about it. With such assurance and with such blessing, our prayer life and our testimony should exude confidence.
Philippians chapter one and verse six Paul encourages us saying, “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”48
My friends, this ought to be the theme of your prayer life. When you come before God do you have a sense of confidence that you are standing in his grace, that he longs to bless you?
Hebrews chapter four and verse 16 we read, “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”49
And, again, Hebrews chapter 10 verse 19.
“We have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus.”50
Not only should it affect our prayer life, but also our testimony. You see, because of this, we can say, “Although I am a debtor to grace, it is in that very grace that I have been permanently established. I want to be able to tell my friends that because of the grace of God I have been justified. He no longer sees my sin. He sees the righteousness of Christ.”
You see, my boast is not in myself. My boast is in my Savior. Because of this I have peace with God. The war is over. Because of this I have access into the very presence of God who actually delights in my company because I am his Son. And through Jesus I have obtained an introduction by faith into this grace in which I stand. My salvation is secured forever.
Oh, child of God, we need to shout this from the rooftops. This is not pride. This is not presumption. This is God honoring, Christ exalting bold faith.
Because of our permanent standing before God we not only have assurance and blessing and confidence, but finally, devotion. Because of this we are devoted to the glory of God, the lover of our souls.
How could we live unto ourselves in light of so great a salvation? How could we do that unless we have lost sight of these truths?
Philippians one verse 21 Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”51
Philippians three verse seven he says:
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.52
Beloved, I hope that is the passion of your heart. Dear Christian, if these four implications of your standing in grace truly govern your character and conduct, if they instruct your prayers and empower your testimony, be assured of this. You will never be depressed. Instead, the theme of your heart will resonate with the lyrics of the great hymn, How Firm a Foundation. It goes like this.
Fear not, I am with thee. Oh, be not dismayed.
For I am thy God. I will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my gracious omnipotent hand.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I will never, no never, no never forsake.
Let’s pray together.
Father, thank you for these eternal truths. Cause them to be such a part of our heart that it motivates all that we say and think and do. And, Lord, for those that do not know you as Savior, break their heart this day that they, too, might stand in grace and not stand condemned under the law. I pray this in the precious name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 Romans 5:1-11.
2 1 Thessalonians 5:16-20.
3 Romans 12:1.
5 2 Corinthians 1:5.
6 2 Corinthians 1:8.
7 2 Corinthians 12:7.
8 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
9 1 Peter 1:5-6.
10 1 Peter 1:8-9.
11 Colossians 3:2.
12 Job 42:5.
13 Romans 5:1.
14 Romans 5:2.
15 Hebrews 10:19-22.
16 Romans 5:2.
17 Psalm 130:3.
18 Psalm 130:4.
19 Revelation 6:17.
20 Romans 6:14.
22 Jude 24.
24 Psalm 1:5.
26 Romans 8:38-39.
27 1 Corinthians 15:1-2.
28 1 Corinthians 15:2.
29 Hebrews 6:4.
30 Hebrews 6:5.
31 Hebrews 6:6.
33 Hebrews 6:9.
34 1 John 2:19.
35 1 John 3:9.
36 1 John 3:10.
37 John 10:28.
38 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.
39 Ephesians 1:11.
40 Ephesians 1:18.
42 Hebrews 10:19-22.
43 Hebrews 10:23.
44 Matthew 6:31.
45 Matthew 6:32.
46 Philippians 4:19.
47 2 Peter 1:3.
48 Philippians 1:6.
49 Hebrews 4:16.
50 Hebrews 10:19.
51 Philippians 1:21.
52 Philippians 3:7-8.
Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.