12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. 17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. 19 For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
…just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
How did sin come into the world? Through one man, Adam.
It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Because of one man, we all sin. The truth is we all sin by nature and by choice. We’re all without excuse (Romans 1:20) and we’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23).
As we study this passage, there’s a great cosmic battle raging around us and within us and we must choose a side. Any guesses what the battle is? It’s not the ongoing battle of good vs. evil. It’s the conflict between grace and guilt.
Which one will have your allegiance?
Which one will guide your choices?
Which one will characterize your relationships?
Which cause will you advance?
We can live under the guilt of Adam or we can live under the grace of Jesus. It’s our choice. That’s why Paul says “therefore” in verse 12.
Therefore, there’s a solution to this sin problem. Yes, it all started with Adam, but there was a plan before the beginning of time. God’s grace in Christ.
What was Adam’s response after he sinned? He hid and blamed someone else (Eve). He was guilty and he knew it.
We have the same choice. We can remain in hiding in fear of the cold winter of God’s wrath, or we can live in grace and enjoy the relationship we have with Him thru His son. Where are we living? How do we know if we are living under guilt or grace?
Salvation could never be gained through obedience to the law. It’s a gift of grace (Romans 5:20). The law was given to show us our need for grace. It’s easy for us to talk about grace from God to us, but what about our grace toward other people?
The best way to determine whether you’re living in guilt or grace is to look at how your treat others.
Do you look for the best in people or the worst in people? Do you forgive easily when you have been wronged? Are people drawn towards you because they sense the love of God (grace) in you or do they hide because you make them feel bad (guilty)?
Do you live in guilt and fear or grace and power? The choice is yours to make. His gift is free, extended by grace and received thru faith. Receive it and share it with others.
Father, help us to live in your grace each day. Help us to see our own sins more clearly so that we can recognize, appreciate, share and extend your grace more and more with others. Amen.