Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 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! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 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!”
I love the way verse 15 signals a transition of thought. The word “but” serves to connect two thoughts: the gift and the trespass. We’ve seen the results of the trespass of Adam and how it affected all of humanity. If it were left like this, there would be no hope for us; we’d be hopelessly lost. Instead, we find great news for us—“the gift is not like the trespass.” This is good news for us!
In the same way that Adam’s sin infected all of us—in that it gives us a sin nature—the gracious gift of Jesus overflows into our lives. What’s the gift? God’s grace—His unmerited favor that is accessed through faith. It frees us from the result of Adam’s sin. It’s all because of Jesus.
You may have noticed in verses 15-17 that the word “gift” is used five times and “grace” is used three times. The gift is Jesus’ substitutionary death; Him freely dying in our place, baring our sins on the cross, to set us free from sin’s condemnation. His grace toward us is unmerited; there is nothing we can do to earn it and it’s freely given to those who would receive it.
Notice that the word “overflow” is used. It means to be over and above, to abound; it’s beyond all measures. Think about what that means for you and me…one act of God forever changing us. No matter how bad we have been or even could be, His gift and grace are poured into our lives to the point of overflowing.
Don’t miss the phrase “Abundant provision.” It means more than enough. God’s grace is more than enough for anything we may ever need.
Yes, it is true that Adam’s sin affected us all. One man—Adam—and his sin broke the relationship with God that was intended for humanity. But just as one man broke the relationship, the one man Jesus, through His death and resurrection, provided a way of restoration for those who would receive it. Adam’s death may have reigned as a cruel tyrant over us, but now because of Christ, those who believe and put their faith in Him alone, now reign as kings. Jesus’ grace and gift is for the present and for eternity.
Take some time today and think about the gift that has been freely given to you.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Story of Reality, Gregory Koukl.