“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.”Romans 5:1–2, ESV
I have often come back to Romans 5:1 as a promise to be treasured. Because of our faith in Jesus, we can experience peace with God. So much could be written about this verse.
But look at the next verse, in it Paul tells us that because of our relationship with Jesus, we have access to “this grace in which we stand.” It is not hard to figure out that Paul expects Christians to stand in grace.
But grace is a hard concept for many of us. Or, at least, this is the conclusion I draw both from self-examination and observation of how others live.
What does it mean to stand in grace?
At a minimum, it must mean that we understand something about the relationship we have with God if we are in Jesus Christ. We understand that our standing with God is based on grace and not based on what we do or who we are.
But I’m finding that to stand in grace requires much more than just a proper understanding of the important Biblical doctrine of Grace Alone. I need to let my heart absorb what my head thinks it understands.
To stand in grace requires me to let go of the perfectionism that I have acquired through some combination of nature and nurture. To stand in grace requires me to allow myself and others to fail and make mistakes and respond in acceptance and love. To stand in grace requires me to take a deep breath and stop striving to prove that I’m worthy of relationship with others, especially in relation to God.
The analogy of an umbrella comes to mind. If I stand under the grace umbrella, the acid rain of condemnation and criticism does not burn me. I stand protected by the grace of Jesus Christ.
I don’t have to do anything other than stand under the umbrella.
No movement is required.