Trespasses Brought the Law, the Law Brought Death—Romans 5:20-21

"The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:20-21)

It surprises many well meaning Christians to find out that the Law brings death. We learn the Ten Commandments as children and society as a whole believes in the golden rule, 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Both Christians and society understand the need for law and order in order to function. However what religion has done is take the very thing that was given to destroy us and has made it into a vehicle whereby to obtain salvation. This is misleading and destructive in every way. What religion fails to tell you is that this is impossible to obtain the righteousness required by the law through works the law. Paul said in II Corinthians 3:6, 'that the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.' In other words, the law brings about death and the only way to live is by the Spirit.

Paul supports this revelation in today's passage giving us clarity to why the law was given. The law was given so that trespasses might increase. Remember up until the time the law was given, sin was not taken into account nor held against man. ( Romans 5:13 ). But humankind mistook God's forbearance with sin as His acceptance of it, so the law was given to show mankind the contrast between their sin and God's holy standards. In the same way, the sole purpose of the law was not to fulfil it in order to get to God, but instead it pointed towards faith in Christ as our Savior. He was only one who could fulfill the letter of the law breaking the curse of death, providing the means to be reconciled to God. Galatians 3:19 makes this very clear, "What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed [Jesus] to whom the promise referred had come..." ( Galatians 3:19 ) The laws sole purpose was to point us to Christ. The law requirements in stark comparison to our sin and good deeds shows us how utterly unobtainable fulfilling it is. That is why we must have faith. Faith in Jesus who provided that precious payment for our sins. Through him we are made perfect thus fulfilling the law. Romans 3:28 summarizes this most profoundly, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law." ( Romans 3:28 ) Which means the only way to be justified is by faith in a Savior and that savior is Jesus.

So trespasses increased under the law. The law brought death. 'But where sin increased, grace increased all the more..." ( Romans 5:21 ) So through Jesus we received abundant grace and abundant life. And if we are alive in Christ, then death at the result of sin has no hold on us. And if we have been forgiven and cleansed of all sin, then we no longer are in need of the law, which brings death. Colossians 2 is a powerful passage of scripture, it says, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." ( Colossians 2:13-17 ) So knowing that we have died to the old man, or sinful nature we are free to live in Christ, reigning in righteousness. Christ has cancelled the written code that stood opposed to us calling for death and has made us alive in him through faith.

Today, remember that you are freed from the law in order to live to the Lord. His spirit gives us freedom to celebrate eternal life. Today I celebrate his grace and thank him for freedom in his beautiful name!

Posted in Romans 5

The Sin Nature, The Source of All Grief, is Defeated in the Born Again Believer—Romans 5:16-19

"Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:16-19)

Many people misinterpret the effects of sin as inherited from Adam. Many assume that this offense caused us to sin. While this is true, we do sin on an individual basis, the effects of Adam's trespass was much more devastating. In this chapter Paul clearly teaches that not only do we sin on an individual basis, but more accurately, we sin is on a continual basis because Adam's transgression made all men sinners. In other words, through Adam, we inherited a sin nature.

Trying to live a good life, trying to live at harmony with each other and trying to live in accordance to the ten commandments does not work. We were born with a sin nature and therefore cannot break free from sins grip on our own accord. This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." This is a hard idea to grasp until you know understand this concept of the sin nature. You were born with the spirit of this world, you belonged to the kingdom of darkness and polluted by a sin nature because of what happened in the garden. However, II Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Meaning that, when you trust Jesus as your savior and put all your hope of righteousness in Him alone, you are born again. At that time the most miraculous thing happens. God took the sin nature, the nature of this world out of you and puts His Spirit inside you. The old is gone, and the new has come. Colossians 1:13 says, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." ( Colossians 1:13 KJV ) You were freed from the sin nature when when you trusted Jesus as your Savior and were born again.

Not only did Adam's trespass create the gap between us and God and created a sin nature, it also made reconciliation with God on our own accord impossible. More importantly, just as sin, through Adam brought death, life which is what Jesus offers, brought justification. And Paul stresses that the grace we received was much more in every way. Jesus completely undone what was done through Adam, and this truth is powerful. Through faith in Jesus we have a new spirit that no longer belongs to this world. The sin nature has been completely destroyed and removed. God's abundant grace overwhelmed and overcame it much in every way.

The next thing that Jesus completely reconciled was condemnation and guilt due to our old sin nature. If the judgement that followed the creation of the sin nature caused condemnation, the gift of grace through Jesus completely annihilated sin and the affects of it upon our person. Under judgement we are fully aware of and fully condemned of sin. So the opposite must be true. Through Jesus we should be fully aware that we are forgiven, righteous and a holy consecrated people because of him. No longer suffering under the spirit of this world, but rejoicing through the spirit of the kingdom of light through whom we have no received reconciliation ( Romans 5:11 ).

Today passage is a marvelous thing to understand and rejoice in. Gods grace is so abundant so that we should be celebrating it every chance we get. I pray that God will enlighten your spiritual eyes and give you a revelation of this wonderful truth. God bless you!

Posted in Romans 5

The Gift of Righteousness Far Surpasses the Trespass—Romans 5:15

"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!" (Romans 5:15)

In the same way that the world inherited sin on account of Adam, those who believe in Jesus inherit righteousness in the same matter. This is called the Law of Substitution. Paul stresses the importance of this principal in today's passage of scripture by mentioning it five times. Adam brought things from good to bad and Jesus brought things from bad to good, if one is true than the other is true as well. Adam may have brought destruction upon humankind, but Christ brought upon humanity righteousness and grace for everyone who calls upon his name and accepts this free gift.

In life, it is easy to downplay great success and victories by focusing on negative circumstances. We focus on the fall and what Adam did to creation in the garden by disobeying God. However the Apostle Paul reminds us that the result of what Christ accomplished on the cross far surpasses the trespass. Christ's sacrifice and payment for sin was so extravagant that it completely overshadowed the transgression in every way imaginable. The Amplified Bible puts it this way, "But God's free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass..." ( Romans 5:15 Amp ) The gift couldn't even be measured against the trespass because there was no basis for comparison. The gift overshadowed, outweighed, overcame and outshined it in every way imaginable. One drop of Jesus' blood would have been sufficient to pay the price, but instead it flowed out for us. And so did his love, compassion and grace.

Although we didn't deserve it, this grace benefited all of us. Jesus has completely undone what Adam did. Our sins have been completely paid for and completely forgiven. ( Romans 6:10, I Peter 3:18, Hebrews 10:18 ) As born again believers, we have also been redeemed from the curse of the Law ( Galatians 3:13-14, Romans 3:21-26 ) and are holy and righteous in God's eyes based solely upon Jesus' complete victory on the cross ( Romans 3:22 ). Today I am so thankful for Jesus' extravagant gift, I am so thankful to know that what he did far surpassed the original trespass and that his gift is free and available for everyone who chooses to believe in him.

Posted in Romans 5

The Pattern of the One to Come—Romans 5:14

"Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come" (Romans 5:14)

Do you find it curious that the result of sin brought death even when sin wasn't credited to the accounts of men? Why did death reign during this time period if God didn't impute transgressions to the human race before the Law was given? The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death ( Romans 6:23 ) and death is a result of sin, but wages cannot be earned if the account is not credited. If sin wasn't taken into account on behalf of God's mercy with humankind, why did they still suffer death at the hand of sin?

This is a fair question that must be answered to fully understand the power of God's grace. Since God was not holding mans sin against them, it also meant that there was no punishment for sin during this time. However, the effects of sin were obviously present, because death abounded. Paul said that death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even void of God's punishment for sin. This gives us amazing insight to the effects of sin upon our lives. Even when God doesn't judge sin, as is the case with the New Testament believer today, sin is deadly. Paul adds clarity to this in Romans 6 when he says, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" ( Romans 6:16 ). So death reigned during this time from the effects of sin and not according to the punishment for sin.

The same principle is true for the born again believer today. When we open ourselves up to unresolved sin, it gives Satan and inroad into our lives. God does not reject us or punish us for sin because Jesus took the full weight of God's wrath for our sin upon the cross. Sin has been completely paid for and completely forgiven. However the effects of sin are still evident in the world in which we live. Problems arise when we expose ourselves to Satan because of continuing on in sin. He is called the accuser of the brethren and he will not think twice about using it to destroy you. So just as the effects of sin claimed lives during the period of grace in which the Patriarchs lived, the effects of sin play a part in our lives today, even though we are not held captive to it.

When Adam transgressed, he plunged mankind into sin, shame and into the control and dominion of Satan. With that, came death, disease and everything the corrupted God's perfect creation. This passage clearly teaches that Adam was a type and a shadow of the One who was to come. Adam was a foreshadowing of Jesus. Hebrews 2:14 says, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil" Jesus came in the flesh to regain dominion and control from Satan and to conquer the power and effect of sin once for all. Because of this, we also live in a state of grace, where to God does not hold sin against us.

Today I am thankful for what Jesus did. I am thankful to be born again and rescued from the power of Satan. I belong to the Son and share in victorious inheritance with all the saints. Today, if you have made Jesus your Lord and Savor then the same is true for you! Amen!

Posted in Romans 5

Absent of the Law, Sin is Not Imputed—Romans 5:13

"For before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law" (Romans 5:13)

This verse paints a dramatically different picture of God, than religion usually records. Even as a small child in Sunday School I learned that God had pronounced judgment upon Adam and Eve immediately after the fall in the garden. They were kicked out of paradise and left alone to toil upon the earth until they died in their sins. However, Paul makes it perfectly clear that God did not credit sin to the accounts of men from the time of Adam to the time when Moses received the law from God. In fact God operated in grace and mercy from the very beginning of time, the same way He deals with us today by blood of Jesus. Why is this truth not widely known among Christians?

The truth is, that God's immediate reaction to their disobedience was based on mercy not in banishment from his presence, as many churches teach. God removed Adam and Eve from the garden to protect them from eating from the tree of life in their sinful state. If they had eaten from it, they would have remained captive to the effect of sin forever. This is recorded in Genesis 3, "And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken." ( Genesis 3:22-23 ) Removing Adam and Eve was an act of mercy on God's part. It would have been terrible for mankind to live captive in a sinful body, subjected to the decay and disease that sin brings upon us, throughout eternity.

After the fall, God remain in close fellowship with Adam and Even and with their children, even after they were removed from the garden. It is clear that the result of their sin was not being cast away from God's presence. Instead, for mercies sake, they were removed from the garden, lest the reach out and partake of the tree of live and live forever. In mercy, God put cherubims with flaming swords in front of the entrance to the garden to protect the way of the tree of life. Even after Cain killed his brother, the Lord, in mercy, put a mark upon Cain to protect him from anyone seeking Abel's vengeance. The Lord continued to operate in this manner of grace and mercy with mankind until the Law was given to Moses. It is clear that before this time, sin was not imputed upon the individual.

Now over time, sin and corruption exploded and people mistook God's forbearance with sin as His acceptance of it . So the Law was given to remove any doubt concerning God's righteous requirements. The Law clearly defined what God ascribed too. The Law is what actually brought death, because no one was capable of fulfilling the letter of it. In our passage today, Paul tells us that '"before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law." ( Romans 5:13 ) So sin was nothing new, it has existed since the fall of mankind. But with the Law, came a different way of dealing with sin. Before the Law, sin was not held against us. After the law, sin was imputed or credited to our accounts showing us our unrighteousness and our inability to be reconciled unto God by our works. The purpose for the Law was to lead us to Christ as our Savior so that we could be justified by faith in him. And God once again, could impute mercy to our accounts instead of sin. Now that Jesus has come and fulfilled the Law, by faith we are no long subject to it. ( Galatians 3:23-24 )

This one small verse nestled in the middle of chapter 5, has huge implications for us. This one small verse give us amazing perspective into the character of God. God has always operated in love and mercy on our behalf from the moment that sin entered into the picture, until the moment that Jesus died upon the cross to take care of the sin problem. His goodness, love and mercy has been his banner over us since the beginning of time. Today I thank God that he deals with us in mercy, not giving what we deserve but graciously giving us what we don't.

Posted in Romans 5