His Grace Reigns!

Rom 5 is the end of a great section of Romans that begins in chapter 3, which is all about our justification through faith in Christ’s payment for our sins on the cross.

Of course, you cannot have chapters 3-5 without chapters 1-2. They are essential set-ups to the payoff verses about how we may be saved. So going all the way back to chapter 1, we have the introduction of peace, the declaration of “the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.” And we also have the declaration of the gospel of Christ, which “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” And then Paul gets into the state of affairs of mankind, how every man knows that God exists, how mankind rejected God, and in return, God gave them up and gave them over to their sins and reprobate thinking. Mankind plunged headlong down a path of darkness and self-destruction knowing full well “the judgment of God.”

In chapter 2, Paul dives into judgment, the righteous judgment of God who will always do right, who will render to every man according to his works, and then Paul speaks directly to those who rejected God, and tells them that “after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Then he explains how mankind was guilty before God before and after His law was given.

At the beginning of chapter 3, he asks the question, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?” And the answer is “Much every wayunto them were committed the oracles of God.” And then Paul levels the playing field between Jews and Gentiles by bringing to light the equality of mankind’s sinful condition and unrighteousness before God. In vs. 10, he writes, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

He talks about the law in vs. 19 – “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Then in vs. 21, Paul begins this magnificent 3-chapter section on justification with the phrase “but now.” There are 21 “But now’s” in Paul’s letters and I’d argue that this is the most significant of all marking the most dynamic change in God’s dealings with man which will now be on the basis of our faith and His grace. He says, Rom 3:21-26 “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

William R. Newell said that by the law sin became trespass but His grace transcended all.

In chapter 4, he continues with this theme of justification with the illustration of the God-glorifying path of faith exemplified by Abraham. Vs. 3 – “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

He explains that Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness,” and that this was “not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

We, like Abraham, have righteousness imputed to us for exhibiting faith in His Son’s sacrifice and resurrection, and it’s amazing that the story of Abraham in Genesis was “written for our sake,” which brings to mind 2 Tim 3:16, that all of Scripture was written for our learning. God had us in mind when he inspired Moses to pen Abraham’s story.

Then Paul ends the chapter by pointing out that Christ was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification. Ever since, the Lord has been received up in glory, and the Holy Spirit now witnesses to the amazing fact that the one who hung on a Roman cross, who was numbered with transgressors, and forsaken of God in the just judgment of our sins, that same Jesus was raised and glorified by the same God who forsook Him on Calvary.

And as a result of our faith in His blood, we are set in a new place of acceptance with the Risen Christ, which has nothing to do with our old place with a fallen Adam. God will go on to “create us in Christ Jesus.”

Then we get to chapter 5 opening with the phrase, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” You see – in Chapter Three, Christ was set forth as a propitiation for our sins; in Chapter Four, Christ was raised again for our justification; and in Chapter Five, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, with a sure standing in grace, and the hope of a coming glory.

In vs. 12-21, we’re given a historical perspective of 3 time periods going all the way back to Adam. Vs. 12, by Adam we have the entrance of sin. Vs. 20, by Moses, we have the knowledge of sin. Vs. 20-21, by Christ, we have the forgiveness of sins. From Adam to Moses (the time in which ” we were yet without strength”) we have the reign of death through Adam. From Moses to Christ (the time in which “we were yet sinners”) we have the reign of sin through the Law. From Christ to the Present (the time in which “we were enemies”) we have the reign of grace, through Christ.

3 points –

1. We have the offence entered by Adam.

2. We have the law entered by Moses.

3. And finally, we have grace reigning today unto eternal life by Christ our Lord.

His grace reigns. His grace is supreme. His grace transcended all, that as sin hath reigned unto death, His grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

This section of verses 12-21 in chapter 5 is bookended with this wonderful comparison between Adam and Christ, which I love. In vs. 12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…”

I love the contrast between Adam and Christ.

We know in 1 Cor 15, that Adam was the FIRST Adam whereas Christ was the LAST Adam. Adam was made a living soul whereas Christ was made a quickening spirit. Adam was the First Man, earthly, whereas Christ was the Second Man, heavenly. Here in Rom 5:12, we learn that sin entered the world by one man’s disobedience whereas the righteousness of God was extended to the world through one man’s obedience. In Adam all were made dead whereas in Christ all are made alive. In Adam we have judgment whereas in Christ we have justification. In Adam sin reigns whereas in Christ grace reigns. By one man’s disobedience all were made sinners whereas by one man’s obedience, all who place their faith in Him are made righteous. In Adam, the law entered so that the offense might abound whereas in Christ, where sin abounded, His GRACE did much more abound. In Adam, sin has reigned unto death whereas in Christ, grace reigns unto eternal life. The fact that His grace reigns today (vs. 21) is the ultimate culminating point of every verse that came before it. Everything about our justification, about our transformation, about this victory program we have in Christ may be summed up in this – His grace reigns.

The nearer to God we are by His grace, the greater the love we have for Him and the more passionate the service.

His grace reigns today!

God is not punishing anyone today through circumstances because His grace reigns. Instead of punishing us, God punished His Son on our behalf at Calvary because His grace reigns. God isn’t making us work our way into Heaven because His grace reigns. Salvation to all the world today is by simple faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son as a payment for our sins, because His grace reigns. The moment we believe, we’re identified with the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection, because His grace reigns. We live in Him and He lives in us; we’re members of His body, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, because His grace reigns. The old man is crucified, the new man brought to life in us; we’re new creatures blessed with all spiritual blessings, because His grace reigns. We’re made free from sin and alive unto God because His grace reigns. We’re made sons of God led by the Spirit, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, because His grace reigns. We are promised a “glory” that shall be “revealed in us” that is “not worthy to be compared with” the “sufferings of this present time,” because His grace reigns. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost,” because His grace reigns. We are given a “newness of life” that we may forever enjoy, because His grace reigns. We become utterly inseparable “from the love of God,” because His grace reigns. We all, “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory,” because His grace reigns. We become empowered by His grace, which is sufficient for us in our sufferings, in which His strength is made perfect in our weakness, because His grace reigns. We may now appropriate the fruits of the Spirit, which “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,” and “temperance,” because His grace reigns. We are “accepted in the beloved,” grace into the beloved, because His grace reigns. We are “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” “unto the day of redemption,” because His grace reigns. We may now know “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” because His grace reigns. We are “his workmanship,” His great work of art, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” given “access by one Spirit unto the Father,” “partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel,” and “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,” because His grace reigns. We may now “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” and be “filled with all the fulness of God,” because His grace reigns. We can now “do all things through Christ which strengtheneth” us, because His grace reigns. We are given a “hope which is laid up” for us “in heaven,” made “us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” delivered “from the power of darkness,” and “translated into the kingdom of his dear Son,” because His grace reigns. We are made “complete in him,” “forgiven all trespasses,” “hid with Christ in God,” and made able to “walk worthy of God,” because His grace reigns. We are empowered having all sufficiency in all things, because His grace reigns. We now have and we look for “that blessed hope,” because His grace reigns.

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