Peace with God Through Faith
In today’s reading Paul reminds me that God has given us “access” to all we need to live a holy life in Christ. Paul writes, “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” (Rom 5:2). Paul says he accesses God’s grace by faith and then lives out his life standing in it and continuously accessing it!
Hebrews 12:14 likewise challenges us to “strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” There are areas of my life in which I seem to go in and out of consciously living for Christ, areas where I have desires that are contrary to the Life of Christ, and where I need to actively make an effort to obtain the grace to which God has given me access. When I only want to fire back at someone who has offended or hurt me, I must access God’s grace; when my thoughts and motives are totally self-serving and sinful, I must access His grace.
God’s grace will not only sustain a life of holiness for us, but it will also keep us grounded in His love and forgiveness when we fall short. The challenge is that it is only with great energy and faith that we ask God for the grace we need to put forth the effort to strive for peace and holiness. Dallas Willard puts it this way, “Having been found by God, we then become seekers of ever-fuller life in him. Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort.”
Stepping Out in Lent - This is the question: Are we accessing the grace Paul says he and all disciples of Christ stand in? The only way to sustained holiness in Christ is through active effort to access God’s grace.
Author – Michael Thompson actively serves in Prison Ministry, Adult Formation Committee and is committed to growing in Christ alongside his brothers and sisters in his Acts group.