The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 2 - The Standard
Why grace? Because no less than the Lord Jesus Christ provides the standard and prototype of what a human being should and must be in the sight of God.
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).
"Walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6)
Two primary paths exist whereby human beings can seek favor with God. We must be just like the Lord Jesus in character, nature, and way by our own efforts, an impossibility. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Or we can trust God to place on our account the perfect righteousness of His Son as a free gift, the freest gift ever given. "Christ… is made unto us righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30). The former path dooms us to frustration and condemnation. The latter path is the Gospel. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
Why grace? Because God's standard is absolute, pristine perfection. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). Again, we must either be spiritually, morally, and behaviorally perfect from conception and forevermore, or we must have Christ's righteousness placed on our account as the most sublime bestowal of grace imaginable. Only God's freely given favor in the Lord Jesus grants pardon and entree to Himself. "By faith we have access into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2). No other way exists whereby God offers His acceptance without compromising His integrity. Through Christ, He is both "just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). God receives believers because we are united to His Son and spiritually enrobed in His righteousness.
Certainly, from our freely given acceptance, we seek to live acceptably. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). Never, however, do we approach our Father by any other means than the merits and working of the Lord Jesus on our behalf. A "throne of grace" beckons us to God, the only seat of Divine royalty to which we can approach (Hebrews 4:16). A throne of works, or law, or ritual, or achievement would bar all access. We cannot achieve the perfection required to come to God by those means. The throne of grace, however, offers assurance for all who join the hymnwriter in his exultant affirmation: "Nothing in my hands I bring, only to Thy cross I cling!" Why grace? Because no other hope exists for acceptance with our Heavenly Father.
"We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."
"Though Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
Tomorrow: The price of our acceptance
Weekly Memory Verse
"It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves." (Psalm 100:3)