18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
This is a wonderful continuation of what the word taught us in Romans 5.17: through Adam we were all made sinners, but through Christ’s life of perfect obedience that was offered up to the Lord for us, many people shall be made righteousness. On the cross, Jesus was made sin so that we could be made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21) – to make it more real, I like to say it like this: Jesus who knew no sin became sin with our sin so that we who knew no righteousness could be made righteous with our righteousness.
That is one powerful realization: Jesus took our sin and became our sin on the cross. Everything you have ever done wrong, every impure thought you have ever had, every lie you have ever told, every sin you have ever committed, every time you crossed the line, every time you acted like there was no line but you knew there was a line – every sin was placed on Him and He became sin with your sin.
No wonder He told the Father: if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. No wonder as He died He yelled “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” No wonder the sky was black and the earth was shaking. He took your sin. He took my sin. He took the sin of the world.
Adam disobeyed and his nature became the nature of wrath, he was a child of satan and therefore took after his father, satan (read John 8 – I will post some articles expanding this at some point). Adam’s whole nature changed – he was spiritually alive created with the spirit and breath of God inside him (Genesis 2.7) , and on the day he sinned he spiritually died losing his communion and love and life, and becoming bound with fear and guilt and shame and blame.
Since then every child of Adam (that is, every single human) has been born dead in their sins and trespasses, unable to please God, unable to serve God, unable to live in victory. The only solution for this sin issue was if someone completely righteous, someone who never sinned, someone who was born differently so they were born spiritually alive. Someone who lived their entire life without ever sinning and therefore never dying spiritually.
And then that someone would have to offer up their life on our behalf, to take all of our sin, to carry it all into their body, and pay the total penalty for all of our sin. And that is what Jesus did. Because all the price has been paid for our sin, then we can be made righteous – not by doing anything right – but by believing in Jesus and realizing what He did and then receiving His righteous and His life which then transforms our spirit. This experience is so life shattering it is called in the Bible being born again (John 3.3,5) – your whole inner nature changes from being dead to being alive, you stop having the nature of death and satan; and start enjoying the nature of God – being a partaker of the divine nature.
20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
This is Paul re-iterating that this salvation, this life of abundance, this partaking of the divine nature, this being born again, this being made totally righteous and being able to stand before God without sin, without fear, without a sense of judgment or sense of inferiority – being able to come boldly to the throne of grace has NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR MERIT. The purpose of the law is not to make righteousness abound, but to make offence abound.
The rules and regulations that were in the Old Testament were not to make the people good, but to show them how bad they were. The Ten Commandments are not to make you good, they cannot make you good, they just make you want to disobey them, they just show you that you fail. They have no power to change your heart and your attitude.
What is wonderful about this verse is that the more you sin, the more grace there is. The more you have disobeyed, the more goodness God extends to you. It is not your goodness that causes God to move towards you and bless you, it is His grace. Even if you have broken all 10 commandments, and sinned in huge massive ways: God’s grace is more massive. It is greater.
If you go back to the law and try and obey God and try and be good and try and obey God, the more you do that the more you will fail, the more you will mess up, the more you will offend against God’s holy law. However, if you come to God and just accept that He is good, that He loves you, that He blesses you – not because you have been good but because He is good and He is kind and He is lovely, you will find that His grace is greater than your sin. As soon as you stop trying to be good and start to trust in the fact that God is good, then you will be more holy and more loving by accident than you have ever been on purpose. Say it outloud until you believe it from the core of your being: “God’s grace abounds more than my sin.”
21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
You see sin rules over your life before you are a Christian. You are dead spiritually and sin is your master. Because sin is your master, satan can come into your life whenever he wants. You were the tail and not the head – just following around the circumstances of life. Whenever you managed to succeed in one area of your life, you started to fail in another.
But when grace entered your life because you heard and believed your entire nature changed, your entire life changed. You stopped being spiritually dead and started being spiritually alive, you stopped being a sinner and started being righteous. You started enjoying eternal life, you started enjoying a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
You stopped being the tail and started being the head – you can speak to mountains and they move, you can walk in victory, you can rule and reign and love life. That is the joy of being born again, that is the fun of being a Christian: being in right relationship with God (His Son), being in right relationship with the world (it’s dominator) and being in right relationship with satan (your foot on his head, not the other way around).
Now you might read this and say: hold on Ben – I am not experiencing this. This does not describe my life. Well it should. It is what you are in the spirit. If that is not manifesting and not flooding out of you then you need to do three things:
1. Think it. Spend time in the Bible reading Scriptures about you reigning in life.
2. Believe it. Let your mind paint pictures of you reigning, of you enjoying a great relationship with God, about you walking in health and wealth and victory and joy.
3. Say it. Mark 11.23: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
You need to speak to everything in your life that is in your way, and you shall have what you say.
Next time we will begin to answer one of the most important questions that a study of Romans 5 brings up: if we have peace with God because of what Jesus did, and no matter how much we sin, God’s goodness and graciousness is more than our sin, can we live however we want and sin as much as we want? The answer will probably not surprise you, but the Biblical reasons for the answer probably will.
If this has blessed you or if you have any questions, please comment on the post and I will respond to all comments.
Blessings and love,
2 thoughts on “Run Through Romans (ch 5.18-21)”
Hi Ben, I just read your post, and I think you a have a typo. You say “I like to say it like this: Jesus who knew no sin became sin with our sin so that we who knew no righteousness could be made righteous with our righteousness.” I believe you meant to say “so that we who knew no righteousness could be made righteous with his righteousness.”
I think you are right! Thanks Lyle!