Question: Can ordinary folks experience a state of grace?
Rev. RICK REED is senior pastor at the Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa.
Certainly. The good news of the Christian faith is that ordinary people can have a life-changing experience of God’s grace.
While the Bible doesn’t use the phrase “state of grace,” it does talk about “standing in grace.” Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
Take a closer look at these two verses and you’ll discover four important things about standing in grace.
First, standing in grace is another way of talking about being at “peace with God.” The earlier chapters in Romans make it clear that everyone starts out at odds with God. That’s because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We need grace to get back on good terms with God.
Second, standing in grace is made possible “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because Jesus took our punishment on the cross, we can be “justified” (pardoned) and “have peace with God.”
Third, standing in grace is experienced “by faith.” Most people think they have to earn their way back into God’s favour. The Bible says we enter the place of God’s grace through faith in God’s Son, Jesus.
Fourth, standing in grace is available to ordinary people. The book of Romans was written to a church made up of everyday folks from different religious, cultural and economic backgrounds. God’s grace can reach anyone.
To sum up, God’s extraordinary grace can be experienced by ordinary people who put their faith in Christ. Those who believe in Christ are given a new standing before God — they go from being at odds with God to at peace with God. No wonder it’s called amazing grace.
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