We’ve been going through the of Romans seeking out God’s grace in each chapter. This part of Romans 5 shows so us so much grace, we cannot comprehend it. As you read it, focus on God’s love for the world. Adam’s one act of sin brought the world into sin and death. But because of God’s great love for the world, He sent His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins and completely redeem and transform Adam’s failure. Read the passage below and take in the bold parts as Paul contrasts Adam & Christ and their one decision each that changed humanity.
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
That’s a lot of bold parts! Adam’s one act of disobedience brought sin, death, and condemnation into the world. Christ’s one act of obedience brought grace, righteousness, triumph over sin, new life and eternal life! As you can see, Jesus came into the world and “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”(Phil. 2:8). His one act overthrew sin, death and condemnation forever! We can now enjoy God’s wonderful gift of grace. Even when God gave the law to show man’s sin which increased sin, His grace abounded all the more! Spurgeon explains well why the law was given:
“It was the practical result of the giving of the law that men became greater sinners than they were before, and it was the design of the law that they should see themselves to be greater sinners than before. The law is the looking-glass in which we see our spots, but it is not the basin in which we wash them away. The law has a provoking power, for such is-the perversity of our nature that, no sooner do we hear the command, “You shall not do so-and-so,” than at once we want to do it. Our nature is very much like quicklime. Throw cold water upon it, and straightway it generateth heat; acting, as it were, against the nature of that which is cast upon it. So, the more God says to a man, “Thou shalt,” the more the man says, “I will not;” and the more God says to him, “Thou shalt not,” the more doth the man resolve that he will. “The law entered, that the offence might abound.” It reveals the depravity and disobedience of human nature, and lays us low before God as convicted criminals.”
And he continues about God’s abounding grace:
“Blessed be God for that! Sin may be a river, but grace is an ocean. Sin may be a mountain, but grace is like Noah’s flood, which prevailed over the tops of the mountains fifteen cubits upward.”
We are sinners because of Adam. Our sin was revealed to us by the law. But because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we can step into His grace that He lovingly extends to us every moment. Yes, we were dead in our sins but Christ has given us a new life!
Ephesians 2:1-10 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time,gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”