Standing in Grace
“I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.” (1 Peter 5:12 ESV)
This is Peter’s summary of the whole letter and what he himself wanted to accomplish. Grace is God’s overflowing favor and kindness to us. Grace gives us what we don’t deserve—and everything God has given us, we don’t deserve. Salvation is completely by grace, meaning it is entirely a gift apart from any human effort or merit.
“This is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.” What? Stand in grace? What does that mean? How easy it is to receive the grace of God to save us, but trust in something else to get us through our trials—money, talents, our own grit and determination. We start in grace, but we also stand in grace.
Paul writes in Galatians 1:6, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.” In this case, they were returning to obedience to the Mosaic law as the grounds for their salvation. It is easy to be saved by grace and try to stay saved by law or something else. We do this when we look to Jesus to be saved and look to Moses to stay saved. We were saved by grace and that same understanding of God’s extension of salvation to us apart from my performance and circumstances is the grace I must continue to live by.
This is like the escalator at a large mall or airport. An escalator is something you get on and it takes you up or down. But they often have a set of stairs next to them. There’s always that person in a hurry or into fitness who wants to show the slackers on the escalator that they can do it themselves faster and better. Up they go huffing and puffing.
If I may draw the analogy, Peter says, grace is like the escalator. The strength to go up is provided by God. Partway up, don’t think, I think I’d rather do this in my own strength; I prefer the stairs of human effort. Stay on the escalator of grace. Continue to trust God’s strength, not your own.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2015 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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