This section of scripture says the following and it presents a wonderful blessing to all who understand it.
20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let us look at these few words and see what the blessings and promises are and how they work for us in Jesus Christ. In them we see the power that was at work in Jesus, and that is now at work in us to redeem us from this world. And by anyone’s standards, that is a truly wonderful blessing.
Purpose of the Law
There are a great many people who look to the law as being a wonderful gift from God…and they are right to do so for there is great wisdom contained in the law.
As we see in verse 20 above, the primary reason for the introduction of the law was to increase the trespass. That is, by the power of the law sin became more sinful for prior to the law no-one knew it was a sin, but after the law was given sin was clearly defined for all. Anyone who deliberately and wilfully chose to violate the law and commit sin after the law was given would be dealt with much more harshly because they should have known better being instructed by the law.
So while the law has great wisdom for it shows us right from wrong, man still chose to flaunt the law and commit sin as they followed the sinful passions and desires of their own evil natures.
As a result sin has reigned even though the law was there to curb it. The law exposed sin and made it more sinful than ever, but still man chose to reject the authority of God’s law and follow their own evil desires.
Reign of Sin
Thus sin has reigned for thousands of years. We live in a time where the reign of sin continues for no man has the power to keep the law fully. With the exception of Jesus Christ, no man has lived on the earth without sin.
And because sin reigns so supreme, death reigns with it for death is the end consequence of sin. The process under the reign of sin works something like this.
- The law defines what is sin
- When we break the law we sin
- When we sin we build up a debt of sin that must be paid
- The debt of sin is only paid in full when we die
No person can escape this vicious cycle of the reign of sin except by coming to Jesus Christ. Every person suffers for the sin they commit and every person will have to pay the penalty for sin in this life and the penalty is death.
However if you have read any of the few articles that precede this one you will know that there is an escape. In Jesus Christ, even though our bodies will die because of sin, our spirits live because of righteousness. We take the death of Jesus as our own to pay out the debt of sin we build up in this life and His death cancels the debt between us and God. This is the power and the way of the reign of Grace.
Reign of Grace
In verse 21 above we see that as sin reigned in death in this lifetime, God through Jesus Christ has established a new way and grace reigns in righteousness through him which leads to eternal life.
Grace is the power that sits beneath the promises of God to reconcile man, to redeem man and to save man from his sins AND to work a transformation in man that will eventually lead man to be perfect in the image of God.
Grace is the power of God given to man to achieve all of this and much, much more. We access this grace through faith for it is by faith that we receive the free gift of righteousness from God. Without faith we receive nothing for all the gifts and blessings of God are given to the faithful. Nowhere is this more evident than in the working of his grace for us and in us through faith in Jesus Christ.
Grace overcomes sin. Totally. Completely. It destroys sin so completely that God does not even see us as sinners anymore when we come to Him in Jesus Christ, but He sees us as perfect in faith, washed whiter than snow by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Jesus blood on our behalf was perfect and it cleanses us perfectly and completely.
Sin cannot overcome grace but grace overcomes sin. Sin does not have the power of grace for when sin occurs it’s power ends at death. When death occurs there is nothing more. But with grace when grace covers and washes away a persons sins through faith in Jesus Christ, it goes on and on and on into eternity. Grace never ends because grace is powered by the love of God and we know love never ends because God is love.
Grace is the undeserved kindness and favour of God towards those of mankind who come to Him in accordance with His will and His ways. They come to Him humbly, by faith and seeking to be obedient to God. And God offers this grace to overcome all of our sinful ways and wash them away because, quite simply…He loves us when we seek Him out.
That is why the reign of grace is essentially a reign of love and the love of god conquers all things. May He be blessed and reign forever and always show us His unending love, mercy and compassion as we seek Him out and learn to walk in the ways of The Lord.
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