Romans 5:20, “Moreover the law entered that offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
When our first father, Adam sinned, death entered into the world. But until the law was given through Moses; over 2000 years later, death continued to reign in the lives of all men – though man had been given no specific laws to keep or any specific criteria for righteousness. Every man however, had a conscience and knew in our hearts those things that are good and that which is evil.
The perfect law of God came in later and was given to God’s people, Israel, so that humanity could understand that there was a God-given standard of righteousness. Before the law was given, men were unaware that they were breaking God’s standard of holiness because no standard had been given. Nevertheless, death reigned in the bodies of every fallen man; and the wages of sin is death – which means experiencing eternal condemnation; being separated from God.
The more we recognize our sins, the more we realize our desperate need for forgiveness, salvation and reconciliation with our God. However, the more we sin, the more we realize that the law was impossible for anyone of us to keep. The more man recognize his sinfulness, the more sin increases and the more man knows he is guilty. But the more that sin increases and the more that man become aware of his sinfulness – so God’s grace is abound towards us.
God’s law came to increase and expand men’s awareness of their trespasses and sins, because the law defined sin and unmasked man’s transgressions. But because sin increases and men recognized their sinfulness, the more God’s remarkable gift of grace expanded the more to cleanse the penitent sinner. The more men sinned; the more grace of God is increased.
CONTINUING IN SIN? Romans 6:1-14.
Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”
Apostle Paul begins this chapter by posing a question about the implications of the statements that ended chapter 5. There, he wrote that where sin increases, God’s grace super-increases. That is, as sin increases, so did God’s grace abound to cover the sin of all those who trust in Christ’s death to cover their sins. We literally cannot out-sin the grace of God.
What could be more glorious than to know that we are forgiven of our sins, redeemed from slavery to sin and saved from eternal condemnation by God’s amazing grace, through faith in the redemptive work of Christ. Yet some would argue that this superabundant grace not only permits the believer to keep on sinning, but encourages a life of sin. God forbid, is Paul’s emphatic response, how shall we, that are dead to sin, still live in sin?
At salvation we were given a new position in Christ Jesus. When we were born again we were made a new person in Jesus Christ. When we were saved, we received a new Christ-like nature and were given a new standing in Him, for we had become a new creation in Christ. Having been forgiven of our sins, imputed with His righteousness and received the indwelling life of Christ within our hearts.
Because of Christ’s substitutionary death, our old life is dead to sin and our new life is alive to Him. We are no longer positioned in satan but positioned in Christ. We have been given a secure, permanent and eternal position, which is a free gift of God’s super-abounding grace to all who trust in Christ as Saviour
(The Rt Rev Enoch Atuboyedia is the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Okrika, Rivers State, Nigeria).