Watering the Tulips
April 10, 2013
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” – Romans 5:1-2
Free grace! That must ever be the cry of Bible believing Christians. When we stand before God’s holy throne, our righteousness must ever be found in Christ alone – plus nothing. If you somehow believe you are working your way into fellowship with God or even keeping yourself in fellowship with God, you need to examine the Scriptures related to the ability of the flesh. Simply, we cannot be good enough to meet God’s righteous standard.
So God, in His infinite grace and mercy, chose to save some of Adam’s fallen race “by grace through faith”(Ephesians 2:8). The favor we receive from God is unmerited – that is the definition of grace. Even the faith we have is a gift from God, according to Ephesians 2:8. This faith is very important. We cannot limit the importance of it and remain true to the Scripture.
Our text verse today plainly says we are “justified by faith”. This is taught multiple times in God’s Holy Word. But one may ask, how does this harmonize with the clear fact that we are “justified by [Jesus’] blood” (Romans 5:9)? One thing we know for sure, these passages agree and any lack of harmony is in our understanding.
It seems that Ephesians Chapter 2 contains much information which would help clear up any misconception here. Due to the Fall, man and God are at odds. Man is naturally dead in his trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). We all were disobedient from the moment we drew our first breath. Due to the Fall and the sin nature we inherited, we were rebels of the state, so to speak, with God being the State. As a result, we “were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Ephesians 2:3).
Therefore, while we were in an unbelieving state, we were enemies of God and running from Him. God, as the righteous State, looked on our sin with wrath. As the Righteous Judge, God’s wrath must be appeased or we will all suffer eternally in the Lake of Fire. There is no middle ground. There is no pardon under God’s standards. “Be holy for I am holy” is the only standard God can give (1 Peter 1:16). Yet, through Christ, God’s wrath towards us is appeased and His love, mercy and grace can flow to us in a righteous manner.
Yet naturally, we are still rebels. Full reconciliation has not been made. Certainly, God’s wrath has been appeased through the work of Christ. Yet, we are still said to be “dead in [our] trespasses and sins” and even “children of wrath, just as the others”. Wonderfully, Ephesians 2:4 tells it all by the first two words –“But God…”. It goes on to tell us that God works out our salvation “…by grace through faith…” and even this faith “is a gift of God”. In this, full reconciliation is made. God’s wrath towards us is appeased and our wrath towards Him is. And beautifully, it is all His work.
Child of God, take a moment today and remember who you were before God’s grace drew you with chords of love to Christ. Thank Him today for reconciling you to Himself through the cross of Christ and the faith He gave you to trust Him.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your App to the Gospel” is available the iTunes app store as well as Google Play. Please download it today!