Week 21, Day 1 and 2
May 23-24, 2022
Scripture: Romans 5-6
The Greatest Gift
“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15)
How great is the sin in the world?
It’s overwhelming to think about, isn’t it? It is heart wrenching to consider all the pain, suffering, wars, greed, brokenness that has come because of sin. News is filled with the consequences of sin. But so are our families, so are our communities, and the places we work. The far-reaching consequence of sin works its way through, our hearts, our lives, our world.
The reach of sin knows no bounds, and destroys everything.
“But the gift is NOT like the trespass.” Paul draws on the sin of Adam, for which we can blame everything.
Paul begins a comparison. Consider the consequences of sin.
Now consider the power of Christ, and this wonderful phrase, “How much more!”
“How much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”
Consider now, the weight of sin, of all the pain, and all the war and all the greed. Now consider the light of grace. God’s grace is more. Where sin is great, God’s mercy, forgiveness, kindness in Jesus Christ is Greater.
Where sin is breaking, Grace is healing.
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17, TNIV)
This does not mean that we keep on sinning. We don’t go down the path of sin so that the power of Grace can stay on display. It will do that naturally, but we don’t encourage it! We live a new life in Christ. We enter into a death like Christ, and we trust that he will raise us from the grave. This is what is anticipated, celebrated, embraced, and even participated in with our own baptisms. It’s not just an outward expression. It is a joining with Jesus, entering into a new life filled with the Spirit of God.
This new life is shaped by baptism.
“The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:10–14)
Offer yourself to God.
Consider the weight of sin. Consider the light of his grace.
How Great is God’s Grace?
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.