Access by Faith

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In what may be one of the most powerful, and also one of the most overlooked verses in the Bible, we are told how to obtain grace from God, how to get in on a divine enabling that equips us for the spiritual life, knowing unto joy that God will glorify Himself in us. “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Ro 5:2)

Here is our roadmap to divine enabling: as God’s children we are currently standing in a place where we have access to all of the power we need to live for God, and we access it by faith: by knowing God is equipping us to do and to be what we are called and designed by Him to do and to be. Let us consider this concept in careful detail … until it moves us unto joy, joy unspeakable and full of glory, until we realize the ultimate goal of our faith, the deliverance of our souls from the dominion of sin. (1Pe 1:9)

We may begin by noting the meaning of the word grace, a word very much misunderstood in our day. When most of us think of grace we tend to think of mercy, favor, loving kindness. We are really thinking along the lines of leniency and forbearance and tolerance and forgiveness than anything else. But the biblical definition for the Greek word charis, the word translated grace in the above verse, is “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.” (Strong) In other words, grace is transformational power, divine enablement to live the spiritual life. (He 12:28, see also Not Under Law)

We access this grace of God, the divine enabling to live the Christian life, by faith, itself another word that is not well understood. Faith is not hopefulness, or mere desire or assertion of the will; faith is a supernatural knowing, a gift from God. In the same way that we come into relationship with God, which is by faith, trusting Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, we also continue to walk in Him, from faith to faith: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” (Col 2:6, also Hab 2:4, Ro 1:17) When we live in faith, trusting God to overcome sin in us, grace reigns through righteousness in us by Jesus Christ. (Ro 5:21)

In our present context, this faith, this supernatural knowing, is based on an assurance that what God commands of us He also provides for us (Mt 5:6, Ro 8:32); He equips us to rise to the occasion, to actually fulfill in us what He requires of us, when we trust Him to do so. (Ep 6:13, 1Th 5:24, 2Th 1:11, 2:16-17, 3:3) When we know this, this very knowing itself becomes the vehicle through which God strengthens us to be and to do what He commands us to be and to do. (Ep 2:10, Jn 15:5, Ro 8:24) This is a supernatural enabling of our natural facilities, and it is ours for the believing. We stand in grace by faith. (Ro 5:2, 1Pe 5:12)

When God calls husbands to love their wives, and wives to be in subjection to their husbands, and all of us to walk in purity and holiness … to love our neighbors, and our enemies, as ourselves … and in all of our brokenness it just seems so impossible — believe. God has given us grace: rise and walk. This is what it means to wait on the Lord; we are empowered by the law of the Spirit to live the Christian life; it is God Himself Who enables us to live for Him. (Ro 11:36, 1Th 3:12-13) “Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1Co 1:30-31) “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (He 12:28)

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