In the last chapter I quoted Rom 5:15-19 and showed the 5 statements of reasoning that Paul was presenting in it which point to the finished work of Jesus Christ. Now permit me to show Paul’s coup-de-grace, his pivotal statement…
So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord – Rom 5:21
Let’s break it down…
- Instead of sin and death reigning
- Now the undeserved grace and favor of God must reign
- It can reign because we all have right standing with God
- And that right standing came through the life-death-resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
This is the pivotal conclusion of his argument. Now let me phrase it my own way. Through the transformational faith of believers, sin and death must be removed and God’s race must reign.
What remains is to comprehend what it means to “reign”. Intellectually we already know what it means that sin reigns, because we can see the results in our lives. So we can easily figure out and guess what it would mean if God’s grace began to reign (as a result of our faith).
But let’s look at the Greek meaning, just to be 100% sure. The Greek word reign was the same both time when used for sin and for God’s grace. The Greek word is…
G936, βασιλεύω, basileuō
1) to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign
1a) of the governor of a province
1b) of the rule of the Messiah
1c) of the reign of Christians in the millennium
2) metaphorically to exercise the highest influence, to control
Part of Speech: verb
From G935; to rule (literally or figuratively): – king, reign.
I boldly say to you that this changeover will occur as a result of your and my faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ… take a moment to remember the words: “If My people, who are called by my name will”… it is only when His people – no matter how few – when they activate their faith, that is when God’s grace will begin to reign and supplant the reign of sin and death.
Is it a simple changeover? Not at all. And as Paul explained in Rom 5:15-16 the free gift is “not at all to be compared” with the consequences of the fall.
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.
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). – Rom 5:15-16
And we believers must not grab all the freedom for ourselves, this affects the whole world. Think about it, when Adam and Eve made their mistake we all fell with them. Paul is incredibly clear about how this occurs in the same way, but to a greater degree and in a superabounding way.
The one act of righteousness leads to acquittal and right stand and LIFE for all mankind…
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 – Rom 5:18
The underlying logic is indisputable. Jesus Christ took the sins of the whole world, past, present and future and He paid the full payment of death that was owing for all of that sin. It was so complete that the bible actually says “He became sin” and then He paid the full penalty of death for all sin.
I think we can easily draw at least three conclusions…
- There is NO need for a further payment to be made.
- People do not need to keep on paying for what He has already paid for.
- Sin and death has no legal right under the law to continue reigning in our lives.
And let’s not make the mistake of grabbing all the benefit for ourselves as believers, because the bible is explicit that Jesus Christ took the sins of the whole world…
And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world. – 1 John 2:2
Paul has explained that there is no need for sin and death to reign in anyone’s life. I love it! I know so many people who need the unearned and undeserved favor of God to rule in their lives!! I know so many countries who need that too. Imagine… a complete end to sin and death. An end to wars. God’s unearned and undeserved favor wiping away all tears. Isaiah wrote about this.
The more I learn about Jesus Christ, the more I admire God’s love for us and the more grateful I am to Jesus Christ. I am astonished at God’s provision of undeserved and unearned generosity in restoring us back to Himself.
And the more I learn about Jesus Christ, the more I see the pivotal role He has placed His people, the church, in. We must mature and become His body here on earth so that we can perform our role. The world is in a mess, we must urgently bring salt and light and be transformational.
Book: If My people (v35!) (1+MB) – A free daily devotional which is under development. 167 pages.