PERKS & PROMISES

“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

God Keeps His Promises

God Keeps His Promises

Two verses. Five promises. They are as follows: (1.) Justification. (2.) Peace. (3.) Access. (4.) Grace. And last but not least (5.) Hope. How blessed we are to be granted these privileges! Let’s look at them one by one.

Justification

To be justified means to be declared righteous.  We’re not righteous by nature, mind you. None are good but God alone. Yet He sets things right for us. Every sin was atoned for at the cross. Forgiveness is ours in Christ Jesus. That’s a promise. It’s up to us to collect, but how?

As the passage clearly states above, “Having been justified by faith,” Take note, this promise is exclusively for believers. It is by faith that we enter into a right relationship with God. And through faith He declares us righteous.

Faith is more than just believing in the mere existence of something. It’s believing in that something; having complete trust, even if your life depends on it. For example, we all believe that the U.S. president is a real person and not a figment of the imagination. However, not all believe in him or trust his word. Likewise, many believe in the existence of God, but faith says, “I trust His Word.”

There’s no reason to doubt God’s Word. He has an impeccable track record. We can trust Him because He keeps His promises. And by faith, our slate is wiped clean by the precious blood of Jesus. We are declared righteous from that day forward. The result is peace. That too is a promise.

Peace

The word peace in the New Testament is translated from the Greek expression ‘eirene’ which literally means, “to join as one”. Think in terms of marriage where two total opposites become one. That’s the idea behind ‘eirene’. And that’s what Calvary was all about. The cross serves to join together total opposites: The holy with the unholy; the righteous with the unrighteous; the lovable with the unlovable; the Living God with dying man.

God accepts us as is. He invites us to be His bride. He stooped down to this wretched earth and proposed from a craggy old cross. Once we accept His proposal, we are joined with Him forever. There is no ‘Till death do you part’. Furthermore, God doesn’t believe in divorce. He will never leave you nor forsake you. It’s this assurance that gives us peace beyond understanding. Then there’s the promise of access!

Access

“We have access by faith into this grace.” the above passage declares. Yes, faith gives us full access to God. By faith we can boldly approach Him, go to Him directly and get close and personal.

Scripture describes faith as: “The evidence of things hoped for, the expectation of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) A good example would be when a farmer plants a crop. He wouldn’t make this investment if he didn’t expect to reap something at harvest time. Though he can’t see the fruits of his labor initially, his hopes are high.

Similarly, we expect things we can’t see from a God we can’t see.  We expect Him to save us, to forgive us and to deliver on His promises. And it’s not unreasonable to expect grace from God.

Grace

Grace is what saves us in the first place. We are saved by grace through faith. By faith we receive Him. By grace He receives us. That’s just how God rolls. He gives us what we don’t deserve. And we have unlimited access to this grace! We can count on it each and every day. He has promised it. The cross guarantees it!

This is wonderful news! I need His grace daily because I blow it daily. So do you! Thankfully, He grants us full access to this divine perk. We can count on it today, tomorrow and forever. We can never exhaust the grace of God. This gives us great hope!

Hope

Hope is not the same as wishful thinking. I need to clarify that, because that’s how we often use the word. When someone says, “I hope to win the lotto,” they are open to a higher probability that they won’t.

Biblical hope rules out all doubt. It carries the idea of not only expectation, but also anticipation. For example, if you’re entitled to a tax refund, you fully expect it. You might even be waiting for the mailman each day, and with great anticipation! Perhaps you’ve already made plans for the cash.

That’s what Scripture means by hope. There are things in God’s Word we expect to cash in on, because they’ve been promised to us. We expect things like grace, mercy and forgiveness. If that’s not enough, we expect God to deliver on His promise to save us. We wouldn’t have this hope had Jesus not gone to cross. Because He did we have great hope – the hope of life everlasting. That’s a promise for all who believe.

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