Lesson Nine – Standing in Grace

Standing in Grace

Lesson Aim:  To show how justification by faith gives us peace with God. 

Scripture:  Rom.  4:22- 5:2.

Word Definition (from W.E. Vine):

Peace – (Greek-Eirene).  Unity, concord, a harmonious relationship between two parties.

Grace –  (Charis).  In our text it describes a state of grace that exists as a result of divine favor from God.

Justification – (Kidaiosis).  A setting right, denotes the act of pronouncing righteous, justification or acquittal. 

Note:  In Rom. 4:25 the phrase “for our justification” is not with a view to our justification.  The meaning is all that was necessary on God’s part for our justification had been efficacious in the death of Christ.  On this account He was raised from the dead. The propitiation being perfect and complete, His resurrection was the confirmatory counterpart.


In previous lessons we learned how justification by faith gave us a gift of righteousness.  In this lesson we want to understand how this doctrine gives us peace with God.  However, since peace is a condition that exists between two parties, we will also learn how the doctrine of justification by faith lets us be peaceful toward God.  God is wrathful toward unbelievers (John 3:36).  His wrath abides on those who suppress truth and those who seek to be justified by a law of works (Rom. 1:18; 4:15).  This leaves only one group of people who can enjoy peace with God and it is those who are justified by faith. 


For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace; because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the Law of God, for it is not even able to do so and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  Rom. 8:6-8 

This is the description of people who are in the flesh in body and in mind.  They pursue fleshly things.  They are carnal.  All people who seek to attain world fame for the sake of gaining friendship with the world will find themselves in the position of being an enemy of God (James 4:4).  Here then is our dilemma, God is righteous and by nature wrathful toward sin.  Man with the knowledge of good and evil cannot stop being a sinner.  The resulting condition is that God’s wrath is upon mankind; consequently, people are hostile toward God, the Creator of us all. 

Since peace is a harmonious relationship between two parties, we need something that will turn God’s anger from us and also quiet our hostilities toward God.  This something is the doctrine of justification by faith.  We should review our past four lessons to make sure we understand this doctrine.  It should be noted how any time a situation arises that would nullify God’s plan for man or threaten the fulfillment of the new covenant, the Holy Spirit will reveal a doctrine in the Bible to remove the otherwise unsolvable problem.  By otherwise, we mean people do not have it within their power to correct themselves.  God does not need correcting; therefore, He offers the solution for mankind’s lack of power to correct fellowship problems.  Because of the doctrine of justification by faith, God views faithful Christians as righteous; consequently, His wrath is withheld.  Man is now counted as righteous in the mind of God; therefore, God is at peace with man. 

Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Rom. 5:1 

Christian believers are not hostile toward God because we live by the law of faith.  We can look at our weaknesses and God’s righteousness at the same time without feeling guilty or angry at God.  People get angry at those who make them feel guilty.  Christians understand God is not counting our sins of weakness and ignorance against us while we work on improving our personality, character and unrighteous behavior.  We can accept God’s new covenant in peace.  Therefore, having been justified by faith, Christians feel comfortable in the presence of God.  God accepts mankind as His children.  There is peace because both parties are at peace in one another’s presence.  

It must be concluded that a person who does not have the doctrine of justification by faith working for him or her cannot enjoy peace with God.  If there is not peace between a person and God, the entire program of God for this person breaks down.  The need for peace is an inherent need for mankind.  Parents of a young child will attest to this after they have “walked the floor” half the night with a baby who is not at peace.  Peace is just one of the many graces faithful Christians enjoy “in Christ.”  The only way to obtain our introduction into “this grace” is by faith in Jesus and it is only by faith we remain in this grace (Rom. 5:1, 2).  We should never allow ourselves to forget the reason for all the graces we have through Jesus Christ.  It is a simple story.  We were with God in our youth; we were separated from God because of sin in our adolescence.  God wants us back with Him and some of us want to get back to God.  This is possible because of Jesus’ holy life and sacrificial death.

Please note Verse 25 of our text.  Jesus died because of our transgressions.  Our sins sent Jesus to the cross (II Cor. 5:21).  He qualified to be given the choice to die for us because He lived a sinless life in His fleshly body.  Christians love Jesus for dying for us and we love God because He raised Jesus from the grave to establish His priesthood on the order of Melchizedek.  Because of this belief, God reckons us as righteous (verse 24).  It was not enough for Jesus to die for our transgressions; that is, for our sins we committed when we did not walk by faith.  Christians continue to need help and we will continue to do so as long as we are in this body of flesh.  Let us notice carefully the last part of verse 25 “and (Jesus) was raised because of our justification.”  Jesus died on the cross because of our transgression.  After his death, Jesus’ work was completed in the fleshly body on earth.  This is not to say Jesus did not benefit God’s people in many ways while He was on earth.  Jesus showed the world the meaning of life.   

However, His work in His new position was only about to begin when Jesus returned to heaven as Prince and Savior (Acts 5:31).  We should never forget it was God’s power that raised Him from the dead for our justification.  God was justified in doing this because of the sinless life of Jesus on earth.  God was also justified in ushering in the “new age” right here in this world.  There was no “in Christ” realm before the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  There was only one possible age to live in, it was “in Adam” in the world realm.   The resurrection of Jesus Christ means a lot more to Christians than life after death.  It means we have something all new right here in this world.  We have the functional priesthood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:14-16).  Listen to Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: 

Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.  Therefore, If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  II Cor. 5:16, 17 

If it were not for the “in Christ” realm, made possible by the law of faith, Christians could not have God’s righteousness as our constant guide in developing our lives.  We praise God for the manifestation of His power in the resurrection of Jesus all the way from the grave to be head over a new aeon, or realm, for our justification.

What is going on in this new and last aeon of time?  We have peace with God.  Peace allows God to bestow unmerited favors on the faithful members of the church and it allows each member to develop like Jesus.  This allows Christians to grasp a new vision.  It is the hope of sharing in God’s glory (Rom. 5:2).  The people “in Adam, in Christ” can visualize how it is possible to have peace with God even after we have exercised the knowledge of good and evil with a mature mind and conscience (Rom. 2:14, 15).  With this peaceful fellowship with God “in Christ,” we can also visualize ourselves sharing in God’s glory.  This vision becomes an integrating force in the development of our “Christ like” personality.  God equipped mankind with the endowment of imagination; otherwise, we could not visualize our tomorrow.  We could not hope.  Hope is a part of the definition of faith (Heb. 11:1).  We will discuss this more fully in our next lesson.

Just think, at one time, all Christians, previous to our new birth, were under the wrath of God.  Now, because of justification, we have peace with God.  This new vision gives us a vantage point from which to grasp a new peace (Eph. 4:3).  We are the temple of God on earth and God dwells in fellowship with us by His Holy Spirit (I Cor. 3:16; II Cor. 13:14).  We can now hope to share in God’s glory in eternity as a son with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:25).  We give praise to God for this grace in which we stand! 

Questions for Discussion

  1. Explain the doctrine that can make peace between God and man.
  2. Why is God’s wrath upon the mature person “in Adam?”
  3. Why are people, outside of Christ, hostile toward God?
  4. Who is the only group of people who enjoy peace with God?
  5. Describe the carnal man.
  6. How does the doctrine from question one work to bring peace between God and Christians?
  7. How do Christians gain entrance into this grace in which we stand?
  8. What is the reason for all the graces “in Christ?”
  9. List the two doctrines set forth in Romans 4:25.
  10. What was God justified in doing for us and faithful people before us after Jesus died for our transgressions?
  11. What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to Christians while we live in this world?
  12. What is the new vision “people of faith” have as a result of having peace with God?



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