The bible says that the grace that Jesus Christ provides is out of all proportion to the sin that Adam and Eve released. Romans 5:15-18 restates the same message 5 times, just to make it really really clear…
1. But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man’s failing away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow for [the benefit of] many. (v15)
2. Nor is the free gift to be compared to the effect of that one [man’s] sin. For the sentence [following the trespass] of one [man] brought condemnation, whereas the free gift [following] many transgressions brings justification (an act of righteousness). (v16)
3. For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (v17)
4. Well then, as one man’s trespasses [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men (v18)
5. For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him). (v19)
– Rom 5:15-19
The one act that led to imprisonment of the whole human race, leading to the establishment of spiritual strongholds right across the earth… strongholds such as violence in europe, rape in the congo, racism in germany, genocide in africa and south america… these things all came from one act of unrighteousness.
But we are assured that the free gift of grace coming from Jesus Christ’s one act of righteousness is out of all proportion to the fall. How incredible! I struggle to perceive the full impact of the fall, this single event that cause vast and untold amounts of hurt. But God is saying through Paul that the grace that was made available through Jesus Christ’s one act of righteousness… the grace is so much larger. It’s hard to fathom the size of the bad, I cannot even begin to imagine the good that was released.
But before we get too excited at the complete work He has done, we need to take note of verse 17 which says that it has to be received. These verses don’t say it’s hard to receive, just that we have to receive it. And Jesus Christ taught us how to receive… He said to believe that we have received it, through Him on the cross.
Here are three simple explanations of why the church has remained powerless for 2000 years…
- because we keep asking Him to do what He has already done
- we expect Him to do in the future what He has already done
- rather than believe we have already received it through His completed work on the cross, instead we hope to receive it at some time in the future.
That kind of faith receives little or nothing, because we are denying the power and promises outflowing from that one single most important event in human history.
In Rom 5:15-19 God speaks through Paul to state 5 times that our expectation should be that what was by Jesus Christ on the cross is incomparably greater than what was released at the fall. So my prayer for you (and for me!) is that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, to know the greatness of His power when God raised Him up… and to comprehend our roles (as the church) which is His body…
Eph 1:17-21 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,
according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ
when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Eph 1:22-23 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
What response can we have when we understand that the fall is insignificant when compared to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross?
Our response – as the church, His fullness – is to receive, accept and believe.
Book: If My people (v35!) (1+MB) – A free daily devotional which is under development. 167 pages.