“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.” Romans 5:1-5
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9
Jesus, His gift of faith embraced and applied, is all it takes for open access to freedom and its delights. We walk through the open door of justification He accomplished at the cross on our behalf. We step into salvation’s pasture, we stand in grace, and there is no going back. No more enmity with God, no legitimate fear of wrath or judgment. No uncertainty, no hopelessness, no condemnation, no shame. (Romans 8:1)
It is a natural tendency to linger near the entrance, to spend effort getting ready, to wear ourselves out preparing, trying hard, and making ourselves worthy or sufficient. And we never arrive. We’ve missed the point, that Jesus has made the way for us. He has borne our guilt, He has paid the price, He has flown wide the door. Open access is exactly that, opened by the precious blood of Christ so that we only need enter by faith, also His free gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
Jesus beckons us from toil and effort, confusion and discord, to the wide and glorious and infinite and secure place of grace. He says to leave our striving, our self-justification and self-righteousness, and come into His broad place. Here we find reconciliation, rejoicing, and certain hope of glory. Here we find rest for our souls. Here we can rejoice no matter the hardship, because Jesus has gone before us. He produces much in us through suffering and endurance. He transforms our character, we are filled like a wellspring with His Spirit’s love. Have we entered? If not, would we? (Psalm 18:19; 31:8; Matthew 11:29; Romans 5:8-11; Hebrews 6:19-20)
“Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
“Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.” ~Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871)
If we are in Christ, are we living in the fullness of our freedom, and relishing our spiritual abundance? To what extent are our daily outlook informed, and plans motivated, by our salvation, and gratitude for it? Are we driven by guilt, a constant ‘must-do,’ the need to earn favor? Or by divine compulsion to honor and give back to the One who gave Himself for us? How does freedom in Christ fuel efforts for peace, mutual edification, and good will in our relationships? Are they bathed with mercy, forbearance, patient and selfless love, and generosity? (Romans 14:19; Titus 2:14)
Lord Jesus, may I enter Your presence daily and be so enthralled, and so filled, that You spill over in my life.