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Standing in Grace

(5)

Sermon shared by Freddy Fritz

February 2008
Summary: In this sermon we observe the blessings of justification by faith, the first of which is peace with God, and the second is standing in grace.
Tags: Grace (add tag)
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Audience: General adults
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term lying behind this word access is prosagoge, which can mean “access, or right to enter, or freedom to enter, or even introduction.” Since it is used of the work of the Holy Spirit in prayer in Ephesians 2:18, it has sometimes been said that the Holy Spirit “introduces” us to God.

What does the word mean here? The important thing to see about its use in Romans 5:2a is that it is preceded by the verb “we have. . . obtained.” The tense of the verb indicates that something happened in the past, but has continuing effects into the present. Therefore, just as we have been justified, and we continue to remain justified, so we have obtained access into grace, and we continue to have access into this grace in which we stand.

And the fourth word is stand. By now we can see how it should be taken. By the grace of God we have been brought into the position of justification, and that is the grace in which we have the privilege to stand. Before, we were standing without, as children of wrath. Now we are standing within, not as enemies or even as pardoned criminals, but as sons and daughters of Almighty God.

2. Access to the King

In his short but valuable commentary on Romans, Ray C. Stedman illustrates the nature of our standing in grace by the Old Testament story of Queen Esther.

Esther was a young Jewish woman living in the days after the fall of Jerusalem, as a result of which the majority of the Jewish people had been carried off to Babylon. At the time of her story, the king was Xerxes and he was ruling at Susa.

Xerxes sought a bride to replace the deposed Queen Vashti and found one in Esther. She became his queen after being taken from the home of her cousin and guardian, Mordecai, to live in Xerxes’ palace.

A great enemy of the Jews named Haman was also living in the palace. Haman hatched a plot against the Jews in which Xerxes unwittingly signed a decree that would result in death for all the Jews in Persia. Mordecai got a message to Esther, telling her about the plot and saying that she must go to the king and tell him what was about to happen and prevent it.

But, Esther explained, there was a problem. It was a law of the Persians that no one could approach the king unbidden. If a person approached the king in the inner court without being summoned, there was only one result: death—unless the king held out his golden scepter to that person and thus spared his or her life. Although Queen Esther had not been summoned to the king for thirty days, even she could not approach him without danger of being put to death.

Mordecai explained to Esther that she had undoubtedly been brought to her position “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) and that there was no one else who could intervene to save her people.

Esther agreed to go to the king. She spent three days in prayer and fasting, asking the Jews through Mordecai also to fast and pray with and for her. Then, at the end of her period of preparation, she put on her most royal robes and stepped into the king’s inner hall. The king was sitting on his throne, facing the entrance. When he saw Esther he was so pleased with her beauty that he stretched out the scepter that was in his hand and thus accepted her. So Esther had access to the king, and through her the Jews were eventually spared.

This is what Paul says has happened to us through the work of Jesus Christ
Comments and Shared Ideas
I found this word very refreshing! Thank you, Howard

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