A few weeks ago, my wife made a casual statement on Sunday afternoon:
“Do you think we could renovate our bathroom ourselves?”
If we know each other well, you’re probably laughing right now. That’s because you know that I have an incredible propensity to mess up virtually home improvement project. I have left behind a wide swath of destruction littered with everything from light bulbs to paint cans. And yet here was my wife, perhaps naively, wondering if we could take sledge hammer to toilet (or something like that) and renovate our bathroom.
Part of me wanted to immediately go find the crowbar because, hey, what’s the worst that could happen right? Plus, I’d already looked into new designs that we’d add to our bathroom; the color of walls we wanted, a new shower, and some rimless shower doors to go with it. Naturally, knowing what new designs we wanted in our bathroom made us feel prepared to take the sledgehammer and start renovating. But after considering that last question more fully, we decided to wait. And ask questions. To talk to some people who had actually done this before to learn what we could about the process. Maybe watch a youtube video or two to help us know where to start.
In other words, we started slowly crawling toward tackling this project.
Having started to crawl, and learned a little bit about it, I can’t imagine what it’s like to stand in the middle of a situation like that. Maybe someday I will, but not right now. I’m not ready for that. I guess the adage is true – you do indeed have to crawl before you walk. Except when you don’t:
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1).
The gospel doesn’t make crawlers; the gospel makes standers. When we believe the gospel, we aren’t propelled straight down to our hands and knees to slowly, arduously, crawl toward the grace of God. We don’t have the burden of bruising our hands and knees as we try and prove ourselves over and over again, all the while hoping that at some point we can prove ourselves worthy of His acceptance.
No, instead of that, we are propelled not as crawlers but as standers right into the middle of God’s grace. And though we might pass by this detail, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and realize the implications that single word has for us:
- Standing is a position of confidence.
- Standing is a position of stability.
- Standing is a position of strength.
Pretty amazing when you think about it. The gospel doesn’t enroll us in some kind of spiritual probation; it propels us into the presence of God. The same presence of the One who crumbles empires and flings stars into the heavens. The same presence of the One who destroys impurity and sin, and the same presence of the One who was and is and always will be.
Here we stand.
It’s no wonder, then, as we stand, that we indeed “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” What else can we do? For of no merit of our own, nothing to justify ourselves before Him, no words in our mouth to explain why we ought to be there… we stand. We stand up, because Jesus laid Himself down for us.