Pristine Grace

Rom 5:2-5, (GILL)
2  By whom also we have access by faith,.... The access here spoken of is not to the blessing of justification; for though that is a grace which we have access to by Christ, and come at the knowledge of by faith, and enjoy the comfort of through it; and is a grace in which persons stand, and from which they shall never fall, and lays a solid foundation for rejoicing in hope of eternal glory; yet this sense would make the apostle guilty of a great tautology; and besides, he is not speaking of that blessing itself, but of its effects; and here of one distinct from "peace with God", before mentioned, as the word also manifestly shows: nor does it design any other blessing of grace, as pardon, adoption, sanctification, &c. and an access thereunto; not unto the free grace, favour, and good will of God, the source of all blessings; but to the throne of grace, which may be called

that grace, because of its name, for God, as the God of all grace, sits upon it; it is an high favour to be admitted to it; it is grace persons come thither for, and which they may expect to find there: and

in, or "at"

which we stand; which denotes boldness, courage, and intrepidity, and a freedom from a servile fear and bashful spirit, and a continued constant attendance at it; all which is consistent with reverence, humility, and submission to the will of God. Now access to the throne of grace, and standing at that, are "by" Christ. There is no access to God in our own name and righteousness, and upon the foot of our own works. Christ is the only way of access to God, and acceptance with him; he is the Mediator between God and us; he introduces into his Father's presence, gives audience at his throne, and renders both persons and services acceptable unto him: and this access is also "by faith"; and that both in God the Father, as our covenant God and Father; in faith of interest in his love and favour; believing his power and faithfulness, his fulness and sufficiency, and that he is a God hearing and answering prayer: and also in the Lord Jesus Christ; in his person for acceptance; in his righteousness for justification; in his blood for pardon; and in his fulness for every supply: and such as have access to the throne of grace by faith in Christ, being comfortably persuaded of their justification before God, through his righteousness imputed to them, can and do

rejoice in hope of the glory of God; which is another effect of justification by faith: by the "glory of God"; which is another effect of justification by faith: by the "glory of God", is not meant the essential glory of God; nor that which we ought to seek in all that we are concerned, and which we are to ascribe unto him on the account of his perfections and works; but that everlasting glory and happiness which he has prepared for his people, has promised to them, and has called them to by Christ, and will bestow upon them; of which he has given them a good hope through grace; and in the hope and believing views of which they can, and do rejoice, even amidst a variety of afflictions and tribulations in this world. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "in hope of the glory of the children of God"; eternal glory being proper to them.

3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also,.... The tribulations of the saints are many and various, through the hatred of the world, the temptations of Satan, their own corruptions; and are the will of their heavenly Father; what Christ has foretold, and they expect; and here particularly design such as are for Christ's sake, which being supported under, and carried through, they glory in: not that these are desirable in themselves, and to the flesh; but they glory in them as they are for Christ's sake, and in a good cause; as they are trials of grace, and of use for the exercise of it: and as they are in the exercise of grace, amidst these tribulations, and are comforted under them, and are helped to have regard to the heavenly glory. The ground of which glorying is, that these afflictions are the means of promoting patience, experience, and hope:

knowing this, that tribulation worketh patience; patience is a grace, of which God is the author; it is one of the fruits of the Spirit; the word of God is the means of its being first implanted; and afflictions are the means of promoting it, when they are sanctified; otherwise they produce impatience, murmurings, and repinings; there is great need of patience under them; and, by divine grace, they are the matter and occasion of exercising, and so of increasing it.

4  And patience experience,.... As tribulations tend to exercise and increase patience, so patience being exercised and increased, enlarges the saints' stock and fund of experience; of the love and grace of God communicated to them at such seasons; of his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises; of his power in supporting them; and of their own frailty and weakness; and so are taught humility, thankfulness, and resignation to the will of God:

and experience, hope; hope is a gift of God's grace, and is implanted in regeneration, but abounds, increases, and becomes more strong and lively by experience of the love, grace, mercy, power, and faithfulness of God.

5  And hope maketh not ashamed,.... As a vain hope does, things not answering to expectation, it deceives, and is lost; but the grace of hope is of such a nature, as that it never fails deceives, or disappoints: it neither makes ashamed, nor have persons that have any reason to be ashamed of it; neither of the grace itself, which is a good one; nor of the ground and foundation of it, the person and righteousness of Christ; nor of the object of it, eternal glory:

because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. By "the love of God" is meant, not that love by which we love God, for hope does not depend upon, nor is it supported by our love and obedience to God; but the love of God to us, of which some instances are given in the following verses: us is said "to be shed abroad in our hearts"; which denotes the plenty and abundance of it, and the full and comfortable sensation which believers have of it: "by the Holy Spirit": who leads into, and makes application of it: "and is given to us": for that purpose, as the applier of all grace, the Comforter, and the earnest of heaven. Now the love which the Spirit sheds abroad in the heart, is the source and spring, both of justification itself, which is owing to the free grace of God, and of all the effects of it, as peace with God, access to the throne of grace, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, the usefulness of afflictions, and the stability of hope, and is here alleged as the reason of all.

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