by Steven Chan
30 January 2011
Rom 5:1-5: “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. More than that, 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.”
When one obeys the gospel by professing one’s faith in Jesus as the Son of God and being baptized for the forgiveness of one’s past sins, great blessings await him or her. The Bible tells us that we are justified. That means we are no longer guilty before God – we can now stand before God as a pardoned person – and be accepted by God. No longer estranged from God because of our sins but received as a member of His family.
We are also at peace with God – He no longer considers us as enemies but one of His own. We are no longer on opposite sides with God; we have Him on our side: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:31, 32).
Through Christ, we now also have access into His grace in which we stand. What’s so special about God’s grace? Heb 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Isn’t that a great blessing? Grace to help in time of need! “For God has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Heb 13:5,6). God is our helper not our critic! In 2 Cor 12:9, the apostle Paul testified of what God said to him when he was faced with a persistent problem: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God’s grace is what we are to stand on today as we face the daily challenges in our lives.
But that’s not all. We also have a glorious HOPE that God has given us. In John 14:1-3, Jesus assured us: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” Heb 6:17 -19: “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, …” 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
All the above blessings enable or cause us to endure and mold our character and give us our living hope. Let us be grateful for God’s manifold blessings.