Sin is like a spreading disease. Grace like a covering cure. Sin, like yeast, starts at the place where it is introduced and then dispenses itself and permeates everything that touches it leading to death. Grace is sourced outside of that which it remedies. Applied from without, it converts what was once corrupt as it envelops it with its life-giving properties. That’s what I’m picking up from what Paul is laying down in the latter half of Romans 5.
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)
Those infected with sin really have nothing to look forward to but subjection to that sin. And while they may enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, when all is said and done, they’re done. Nothing to live for beyond these few earth-bound years because there’s nothing to look forward to beyond the grave. The disease consuming its victim. Dulling the eternal senses of those infected by it so that life becomes only about what is done under the sun. The yeast infiltrating not only this life but destroying the life to come.
But, praise God, “the free gift is not like the trespass” (5:15a).
The “abundance of grace” poured out from heaven imparts the “free gift of righteousness” so that those covered by it and cleansed by it will “reign in life.” Not just exist, but reign. Not just gut it out, but thrive to the highest degree. No longer subject to the decaying realities of a sin-infected world, but exercising kingly power now and in a place of perfection. Knowing triumph over sin, though imperfectly in this life, but fully and victoriously in the life to come. The life beyond the grave.
And we will reign, because grace reigns. And grace reigns through righteousness.
. . . 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 5:20b-21 ESV)
Grace reigns through righteousness. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.
The power of grace is in the imputing of righteousness to those once enslaved by sin. A righteousness that comes from outside ourselves. A righteousness sourced in the righteousness of the spotless Lamb of God. A righteousness empowered by the same power that raised Christ from the dead. The righteousness of the Son of God, Himself. And through that righteousness, the dynamics of grace govern every aspect of our lives from here to eternity.
Thank God that grace reigns through righteousness. And that, not my own, but a righteousness which is revealed by the gospel “from faith for faith.”
. . . as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:17b ESV)
Robed by grace. Redeemed by grace. Regenerated by grace. Righteous by grace. Ruled by grace. And, one day, relocated by grace into His glorious presence.
Let grace reign!
For His glory alone.