Access by Faith

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us… We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:1-5,11

Paul is a master at explaining big words and concepts, and here he opens wide the beautiful, narrow gate of justification to invite believers into the lush garden of delights Jesus has prepared for us. [Righteousness] will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”  Once justified, a bounty of faith, grace, and hope of God’s glory are ours. (Romans 4:24-25)

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As we enter this life defined by His grace, our eyes are opened to more and more of God’s gifts to us, many realized as we suffer. Endurance is developed for the long and difficult road of unmet longing, injustice, hurt, unanswered questions, hard relationships. Character is honed by intimate time with the Almighty, by constant washing as we rub and tumble in life’s battles. Hope in eternity and ultimate healing grows brighter on our horizon, urging us to keep putting one step in front of the other. And God’s immeasurable love deepens and grows in and through us as His Spirit transforms us from glory to glory, making us more like Jesus. Surely, we must rejoice in this ready access to His banquet table! (2 Corinthians 3:18)

What evidence is there in my attitudes, my demeanor, my conversations, that I have walked through His access and identify with and am living by faith in my Savior? Can others recognize by my peace, hope, the love of God that flows through my heart, that I have been with Jesus? When I speak, do I give out words of life and spiritual wisdom? How has my character changed and become more like His over the months and years? Do I fret and fluster, dodge and race, or stand firmly, contentedly, joyfully, in the grace of God? (John 6:68; Acts 4:13; 5:20)

“My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,
  I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
    And that He died for me.”  ~ Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920)

God of grace, God of glory, I am overwhelmed at the access into Your eternal presence Jesus made for me, and I thank You for the gift of faith to enter. May I ever rejoice in and take advantage of all You make available as You conform me to Your image, to the praise of Your glory. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

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