We now meditate upon the second blessing:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand…
What is the meaning of this word, “introduction?” The other major translations, KJV, NKJV, ESV, and NIV, all translate the word prosagoge as “access.” In fact, the NASB uses “access” also in the only other two places it is found:
Through Him, we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:18).
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him (Ephesians 3:12).
F. F. Bruce says the word “denotes the privilege of approaching or being introduced into the presence of someone in high station, especially a royal or divine personage” (Romans, p. 116). Ralph Earle, in Word Meanings in the New Testament, says the word literally means “a bringing to.” He further says, “the idea is that of introduction to the presence-chamber of a monarch. The word ‘access’ is inadequate as it leaves out of sight the fact that we do not come in our own strength, but we need an introducer, who is in this case Christ.”
In other words, mere “access” may be granted by a metal key. An “introduction” requires knowing the right person who can lead you through the portal into the king’s chambers. “Access” is the result, as long as we are careful to appreciate the One who provided the introduction whereby we were granted the access. The Who is more important than the what!
In this sense, the church is the most exclusive club in the world. Not in a stuffy, high-falutin’, holier-than-thou sense. Access to God has been barred by our sins, which are an insurmountable impediment to entering the presence of God. Anyone can become a member. God wants face-to-face fellowship with His creation. But to become a member, any and every person must know the right One—the man Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is “the door” (John 10:9). “No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). This isn’t like a bouncer at an exclusive club, opening the velvet ropes only to those who bribe him or catch his eye. It is because Jesus paid the price to take away our sins. Through Him, “we have confidence to enter the holy place by His blood” (Hebrews 10:19). Because of His shed blood, Jesus is our “Mediator between God and man” (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus paid the price of access, and He invites you to come through Him. He will introduce you to God the Father! And this comes not through our skill of decoding combinations, not our wealth to purchase a membership, not our ability to schmooze with the right people—but “into this grace” which is access to God granted as a gift, from the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
This position of grace is a place “in which we stand,” which is a stronger term than just taking up space. Sure, it reflects the idea of standing or status in the eyes of God as blood-bought Christians. But it also says something about the nature of that position. It suggests our position in God’s grace is one of stability and strength. As the psalmist declared:
I love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies (Psalm 18:1-3).
As long as we remain in the faithful presence of God through our faith in Jesus, there is nothing that can disturb us, for His kingdom is a place of stable, rock-solid foundations. “Since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29). Sure, there will be some troubles. We will have to resist Satan and endure persecution. We will struggle to help our brethren and keep our chins up in the midst of sickness and trial. But from this elevated, safe fortress, we will be able to enjoy God’s victory!