Romans 5:21


Saturday, 11 May 2013

…so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21

The amazing words of chapter 5 conclude with this verse. This chapter has been an astonishing array of theological truths centered on the work of Jesus Christ and His glory. The chapter finishes with the continuation of the thought seen in verse 5:20.

“So that as sin reigned in death” tells us that the consequences of Adam’s sin found their throne in the death of humanity. When he sinned, death reigned over all of Adam’s fallen kingdom. But “even so” – despite this being true, a truth which is undeniable, Paul will complete the contrast and show the glory of God’s grace.

Every baby born has one guarantee in its new life – that is to die. And this death is a result of its spiritually dead state. Even so “grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life.” When all seemed lost for the human race, God revealed His promise; a promise which came 4000 years after Adam’s fall. In stepped Jesus. John tells us the marvel of what he personally witnessed –

“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16

The law was introduced to show us the utterly sinful nature of sin; transgression heaped upon transgression. But through this demonstration of our fallen nature came the superabundance of God’s grace in the coming of Christ. Because of His work, grace reigns in righteousness, even unto eternal life. The kingdom of Christ is one of righteousness and life, a complete contrast to Adam’s kingdom of sin and death. Just as the newborn baby has the guarantee of death, the born again believer in Christ has the guarantee of eternal life. What a marvelous trade! What a glorious Savior!

Life application: The Bible is God’s word in a physical, tangible form which has been given to us to search out His will and intent for us. Pick it up, read it, and be built up in your faith and in your security. A security found in Jesus Christ the Lord!

The sun rises and the sun sets. Each day is a gift of Your grace and I have been kept here for Your purposes. Lord God, help me to use my time properly and not to squander it on that which is vain or useless. Instead, give me the wisdom to pursue You and Your glory with each new day and to live, filled with Your Spirit in every unfolding moment. Amen.

Romans 5:20


Friday, 10 May 2013

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, Romans 5:20

The previous verses concerned Adam’s trespass in contrast to Christ’s obedience. Paul demonstrated the superiority of Christ’s work in all ways concerning the two and the glory of what He accomplished. Now Paul returns to the thought in verse 5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

Sin was in the world and death reigned even though the law had not yet been introduced. However, or as Paul says it today “Moreover…” The “moreover” is intended to highlight the incomprehensible nature of God’s grace. The contrast between Adam and Christ is striking – “All hail the work of Christ!”… And yet there is more. “Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound.”

One sin committed by Adam in innocence (meaning prior to the knowledge of good and evil). Brought about death to all people. How much more will a body of law comprised of 10 major commandments and 613 total commandments bring in offense! The law was introduced as a tool to show to us “that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.” Romans 7:13

We can look at death in the world and we can rely on our conscience, even apart from the law, to know our fallen state. How much more do we see it when our actions are compared to God’s standard as outlined in the Law of Moses. And the law didn’t come without warning. There are promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. When Israel failed to be obedient, they could only expect punishment and exile. The law was such an immense demonstration of our inability to meet its standards that the people in Jeremiah’s time cried out –

“That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.” Jeremiah 18:12

What they had failed to see is that the law wasn’t an end in and of itself, but that it was a tool to get them to rely on God’s grace and mercy. Even under the Old Covenant this was shown to be true. But the people normally took one of two avenues –

1) Living out the law as a means to an end which brought about feelings of self-righteousness and contempt for others and even God or,

2) Simply disregarding the law because it could never be met anyway.

They failed to see that even under the law, God’s grace was available and evident, such as in the Day of Atonement feast. If they could, like David, understand this precept, then they would have seen that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” This is what Paul is saying. The immensity of the guilt because of the introduction of the law allowed an even greater demonstration of God’s grace. This could not have been evident without the law. Unfortunately, too few realized the scope of God’s grace until the introduction of the ultimate example of it, Jesus.

With the coming of Christ Jesus came One who could fulfill the law; and He did. After accomplishing this glorious deed, He gave His life as a Substitute for those who could never meet it. As Paul says in Galatians 3:24, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

The law was our tutor to grab us by the spiritual hand and walk us directly to the cross where the eternal fount of God’s grace pours forth. It is the place where grace abounds in all its fullness.

Life application: Nothing changes, those under the law rejected the premise that only faith could save them and they looked to law as a means to an end. In the church today are those with the same mentality, “I will prevail by my deeds.” Neither satisfies because both are based on a faulty premise. We can’t do anything to please God in and of ourselves. We can only look to Him for the righteousness which comes by grace through faith. Put away your deeds of self and cling to the cross and all its glory.

Lord God, when I read the many requirements laid out in the law, the beauty of the cross shines all the more brightly. Where the weight of the law crushes me, the majesty of the cross lifts me up and restores my weary soul. Thank You for doing what was impossible for me… but such is the nature of grace. And I receive it in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah and Amen.

Romans 5:19


Thursday, 9 May 2013

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

Building on what he said in 5:18, Paul shows the result of Adam’s offense and Jesus’ righteous act – the contrast is clear. Adam’s disobedience is contrasted with Jesus’ obedience. The outcome is that through Adam humanity became sinners; through Jesus humanity will be made righteous.

As the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), humanity died, but through Jesus, eternal life can be restored (John 3:16).

For those who remain in Adam, there will be “outer darkness” (Matthew 25:30), but for those who move to Christ there will be eternal light (Revelation 21:23).

The words here are meant to inspire us to reach out for the cross and to receive the work of Jesus. It is hard to imagine the decision to reject Him, but He indicated that it is in our nature to desire our spiritually blinded state – “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19

Everything around Jesus’ words in John 3:19 indicates that if we are willing to open our eyes, we can see the light and step into it. When that choice is made, its effects are glorious. Adam’s misdeed is overturned by the work of Christ.

Life application: How long did you walk in darkness before you came to the light? Don’t give up on those who have turned down Jesus, but keep praying for them and being a witness to them of the path which will restore them to God. Keep sharing Jesus with them.

Heavenly Father, I can’t claim to know it all – Your word is filled with wisdom that I will search through for eternity. But I know this, I know that my Redeemer lives and that through Him, You have restored me to You. All the enmity of the past is gone and now I stand forgiven, free, and on the path to eternal glory. Thank You for my Lord. Amen.

Romans 5:18


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. Romans 5:18

“Therefore” – because of what has been presented we can now make the following conclusions. “As through one man’s offense” is speaking of Adam and his disobeying the Lord. Because of this offense, “judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation. This is universal in scope. No human being born of a man is exempt from this statement. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves that the death which occurred because of Adam’s offense was initially spiritual in nature. Physical death was a result of the spiritual death.

If this point is overlooked or ignored, then the fallen state of man is suddenly presented as something not inherited by conception, but is inherited by circumstance. What is proposed then is that we aren’t truly “in Adam” in the fullest sense; physical death is inherited, but spiritual death isn’t. This is contrary to the entire premise of Scripture, but it is a tenet which theologians cling to because of emotional responses to the world as they perceive it.

Paul says it is otherwise. All men are condemned through Adam, without exception. However, the good news is given in this same verse. “Even so” indicates “in the same manner.” Just as happened through Adam will now happen through Christ. “Through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men.” This Man is Jesus. His righteous act, His death on our behalf, is now available to all men, “resulting in justification of life.” This is also universal in scope, however, it is universal potentially, not actually. In other words, Jesus’ work is available to all, but it will not be realized in all. One must choose Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul says –

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

One must move from Adam to Christ (be “in” Christ) for the change to be realized. All are in Adam and all die; all are offered Christ and shall be made alive if they are in Christ. This understanding of 1 Corinthians 15:22 is accurate because elsewhere the Bible makes it clear that condemnation remains for those who are apart from Christ.

Understanding this, we can see that there are three types of imputation being spoken of in this one verse –

1) The imputation of Adam’s sin to all humanity (with the caveat that sin transfers through the male, thus Christ did not inherit Adam’s sin).

2) The imputation of man’s sin to Christ, which occurs by faith in Him. This includes all sin, both that imputed from Adam and that which is committed by the individual.

3) The imputation of Christ’s righteousness to man who has demonstrated faith in God’s provision through Christ.

Life application: One sin resulted in condemnation for man. If this could be repeated after coming to Christ, it would be repeated continuously until our death. The good news is that receiving Christ is a one-time event. The efficacy of Christ’s work is absolute, complete, and eternal. Stand fast in this. You are saved despite yourself.

Heavenly Father, you alone know the dark thoughts which arise in my mind and the black recesses of my heart. Search me, O God, and purify me from my secret faults. Cleanse me and make me a vessel worthy of the precious contents I possess – the Gift of Your Spirit. May my life and my actions be pleasing to You and edifying to others. Amen.

Romans 5:17


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)  Romans 5:17

This verse is taking what was previously explained and re-explaining it in a condensed way – “For if…”

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned…” This one man is Adam. Only one offense occurred because there was only one command given. This is to show us the magnitude of sin. One man, the only man on earth, was given one command, “You shall not…,” and he violated that command. Because he disobeyed, the Bible teaches that “death reigned through the one.”

This one offense by the one man caused death to enter the world and it spread to all people from him. Remember, this is a “spiritual death.” When he sinned, he continued to live physically for 930 years even though he was told he would “die” on the day he ate of the fruit. The death was spiritual and it resulted in a chasm between the man and his Creator. Physical death was merely a consequence of the spiritual death. This death reigns in all humans and it came about by an act of the volitional will.

However, next comes the introduction of the Good News; the fulfillment of the promise which was given moments after the fall. Christ came to undo Adam’s misdeed. We are told that if this one offense committed by this one man caused death to reign, “much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” This is stated to show the contrast between the magnitude of even one sin and the overwhelming majesty of the work of Christ.

It is almost beyond comprehension to consider! Those who will simply “receive” what Christ has done will “reign in life.” The contrast is absolute – where death reigned through offense, we can now reign in life through the gift. The “much more” comes in a variety of ways. Adam was created, but Christ is the Creator. Adam sinned in innocence, but Christ prevailed with knowledge. Adam had only one command to obey, but Christ was born under the law. Adam was never exposed to other sin; Jesus walked throughout His life in a world of sin. Adam died for his own sin, but Christ died for our sins.

As has happened on numerous times so far in the New Testament, and which will continue to occur throughout its pages, a word which requires action on the part of the lost soul is used. One must “receive” what is offered. Just as Adam’s fall was because of sin which was willful, our restoration must come about by faith which is willful. The concept of God, “regenerating” a person to believe is unbiblical. We are dead spiritually, but we are not dead beings. We have a free-will and we must exercise it.

The importance of this cannot be understated because if man is “regenerated” in order to believe as Calvinism teaches, then there is truly no point in evangelizing anyone. If God chooses those who will believe apart from the free will of the individual, then the work is already done; the Great Commission isn’t really so great. But when we understand the magnitude of our sitting by idly and not telling others about the Lord, we will be impelled to act and to tell of the greatness of the work of Christ as is revealed in today’s verse.

For reasons such as were noted concerning His act, “much more!” Because of Jesus’ work, those who receive Him are granted not just grace, but an abundance of it. Those who receive him move from death to life. Those who receive Him move from abasement to supremacy. The thought of today’s verse is one of superabundance in that what was wrecked is now restored, plus. It is the grandeur of a plan conceived in the halls of eternity and instituted in the stream of time. It is the surest guarantee of eternal life and absolute security. It is the gift of God. It is Jesus.

Life application: Much more is much more. We are completely fallen in Adam; we are completely rescued in Christ. Adam failed and you came from him; Christ prevailed and you moved to Him. Stand fast in the truth that Christ is completely capable of saving.

If the sunrise is beautiful, how much more the One who painted it. If the body is intricate, resilient, and magnificently woven, how much more glorious is the One who fashioned it. If Adam brought death, how much more will Christ restore to life. In all ways, You are exalted O God. I am humbled at the splendor of Your majesty. Hallelujah and Amen.