Above and Beyond
I’ve been reading through Paul’s letter to the Romans recently with a friend. What a ride! We’ve reached chapter five and still going strong. After resolutely establishing the fact that no human being possesses the righteousness necessary to be justified before the holy God of the universe (“all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”- 3:23) and that a right standing before God comes only through our faith in Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf (3:21-22) – Paul says in Rom 5:1:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Can you believe it? Will you believe it? The most radical work of grace this universe has ever seen – salvation by grace through faith – is a plan that only the infinitely good and merciful mind of a loving God could conceive! And then watch this – as though justification by faith isn’t enough grace in and of itself, Paul goes on to say: “through whom ALSO we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” In other words, not only are we completely justified by faith in Jesus – but also given access by that same faith into a state of complete security in our eternal salvation in Him.
And then, as though justification by faith AND access into a state of complete security in Jesus – Paul further states, “AND NOT ONLY THAT but we also glory in tribulations.” In other words, our position in Christ means that even the worst and most difficult experiences of this life can only result in further perseverance, character and hope for God’s best and richest gifts and glories for us!
What God! What a Saviour! What a life! Let’s be thankful and confident today that Jesus really is enough!