It’s divine one-upmanship . . . that’s what it is. You read the end of Romans 5 and it’s like a see-saw . . . one claim of notoriety outdone by a successive claim of notoriety . . . the consequence of a single man’s actions topped by the result of another Man’s actions. And by the time you’re done reading it, you can’t help but being praising God for abounding grace!
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. (Romans 5:15 ESV)
In this corner . . . wearing the black trunks . . . is “the trespass” . . . introduced into the world by Adam . . . the fleshly DNA of disobedience . . . bringing death . . . and judgment . . . and condemnation.
In the other corner . . . wearing the white trunks . . . is grace . . . personified in the Man Jesus Christ . . . the spiritual DNA of regeneration . . . the source for forgiveness . . . justification . . . righteousness . . . and eternal life.
And anything the trespass can do . . . grace can undo. The wages of sin is paid by the free gift of God’s grace. The widespread impact of iniquity is trumped by abounding grace.
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 5:20-21 ESV)
I love that word, abounded. And there is “abounded” . . . then there is “abound all the more” or hyper-abounded. Where sin increased, grace hyper-abounded!
Abound, perisseuo, has the idea of being over the top . . . to be over and above . . . to be in excess. Abound all the more, huperperisseuo, is to be over the top beyond measure . . . to be exceedingly in excess . . . to super-abound. As bad as sin might be . . . grace is able to win the day every time.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17 ESV)
Abundant grace . . . greater than my sin . . . reversing the consequence of sin . . . paying the debt of what I owe and crediting my account with the free gift of Christ’s own righteousness . . . replacing the rule of death with the reign of eternal life. Who’s not cheering on “the guy” in the white trunks? Do it, Grace!!!
To be sure we need to fight the good fight . . . we need to run the race in such a way as to not be disqualified . . . we need to lay aside every weight which impedes the marathon before us . . . but sometimes we also need to be reminded about abounding grace. He is our “corner man” . . . his is the all-sufficient, sustaining refreshment given freely at every “water station” along the way . . . ’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.
Abounding grace . . . how sweet the sound . . . that saved . . . and is saving . . . and will save . . . a wretch like me . . .
Gotta love divine one-upmanship! Amen?