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.