Monday – The Reign of Grace
By David Dickmann
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5 compares and contrasts two representatives of the human race. The first is Adam, the first man, from whom we all are descended, and through whom the whole human race was put under the reign of sin resulting in death for all.
The second is Jesus Christ, who defeated sin, and rose from the dead. For all who are Christ’s, God is pleased, through His grace, to grant righteousness through faith in Him.
In Adam all died; in Christ all shall be made alive. This is the reign of grace, the defeat of sin and death and the victory of righteousness and eternal life.
Through our representative Adam’s disobedience, we all came under the reign of sin. A reign in which Adam’s sin is credited to the whole human race. Through our representative Jesus Christ’s act of righteousness at the cross, we all came under the reign of grace. A reign in which Christ’s righteousness is credited to our account.
Our righteous standing before God is not something for which we can take credit, it is imputed to us. Christ’s righteousness is counted to our credit, just as our sin was credited to Christ’s account. He paid for sin and by God’s grace we are counted righteous in Him.
Note that the Law, an expression of God’s righteous standards, resulted in an increase in sin. Sinful man, encountering God’s law, wants to break it. But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.
If we compare our thoughts, words and deeds to the standards of the Law we stand condemned as sinners. The Law shows us we are sinners, we need a righteousness apart from the Law and that was God’s eternal plan – to save by grace.
When I look at my life, it doesn’t measure up. When I compare my performance to God’s righteous standards, I stand condemned. Where then shall I turn to find righteousness for myself? Where then shall I find release from my guilt and the condemnation I feel? I turn to Christ, in whom, by grace, I am counted righteous in God’s sight.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 1