Romans 5:12-21 has boggled my mind for many years, especially when I read it in the Amplified version.
Then recently I watched a truly amazing teaching by Bill Johnson called “The resting place” which is on YouTube and its about 1 hour long.
In it he pointed out that under the law when a leper touched you, you became unclean. But. When Jesus Christ touched a leper… the LEPER BECAME CLEAN!
Boom! That cemented something in me. Instead of the leper making Jesus unclean, the righteousness of Jesus Christ made the leper clean!
Is that doing something to your thinking? Instead of seeing sin and death coming at me from all sides, this makes me think of righteousness, grace and life shooting out from me in every direction.
I wondered… where have I heard that kind of scripture before? Yes. In Rom 5:12-21. In v14 it says “death held sway”.
Then in v15 it says “but Gods free gift is not at all to be compared”.
Then in v16 “nor is the free gift to be compared”
Each verse explains the same amazing turnaround more and more profoundly… until the triumphant summary…
“so that just as sin has reigned in death, so grace might reign also through righteousness” – v21
What I can see in these and other scriptures is that the law determines what is sin… and the consequence of sin is this death. This judgement happens outside of us. In eastern religions its called karma. Its simply a law. Its how this world works.
But. The power of grace is something WE release. Let me explain.
Grace is a far more powerful force in this world… instead of Jesus becoming unclean when He touched the leper, because of His righteousness He made the leper clean. That is grace.
The law judges sin and death is released. This happens outside of us without our involvement. But grace comes only through righteousness and we put that righteousness on by faith through Jesus Christ.
The thing to really get is that sin and death happens outside of us, but grace and righteousness requires our involvement, our agreement, our faith.
Bill Johnson put it well in that teaching when he said we must move from a sin consciousness to a righteousness consciousness.
Our righteousness comes by faith through Jesus Christ. We are sinners and underserving of this free gift… but dont let that stop you from taking the free gift of righteousness which is being offered to you.
Without accepting His righteousness the leper will make you unclean under the law… BUT… when you receive and daily wear His righteousness by faith His grace through you makes the leper clean!
So go ahead and put on Jesus Christ’s free gift of righteousness and give His grace to all who need it. No matter where you go, no matter who you touch, sin and death wont make you unclean, Gods grace of Jesus Christs “abounds and overflows to and for the benefit of many” – v15
Lepers everywhere! Rejoice! The sons of God are being revealed, Jesus Christs bride is permitted to wear His clothes of righteousness!
Then in v17 it says something even more profound. In the other verses it says repeatedly that this grace covers all. But in v17 it speaks specifically those who choose to RECEIVE Gods overflowing grace… we reign as kings.
What that says to me is that everyone passively benefits as the lepet did, but those who choose to believe are the ones in the role of kings.. Gods grace is flowing through them to the world, changing it.
So how do we release Gods grace to the world around us? First we need to clearly establish WHAT is Gods grace? Grace is a Person… Jesus Christ! God free gift of peace IS Jesus Christ and the practical effects of what He did on the cross and in His resurrection.
WHAT did He do? He made all things new. He restored us to God. He brought the Kingom of God to earth. He tore the Heavens open. He destroyed all the works of the devil and He took captivity captive.
So then HOW do we release Gods grace… all that Jesus Christ did for us… He taught us this “when you enter a house invoke your peace on it, if its worthy let it rest, if its not not worthy remove your peace” – Matt 10:12-13
HOW did Jesus Christ give His peace to His disciples when they were frightened… He said “peace to you”.
In that same way 2Cor 4:13 says “with that same spirit of faith we also believe and we also speak”