So one night, I was chatting with a new friend, and before she logged off, she asked me to read Romans 5:15. She later told me she just felt she could share it with me after it came to her mind. So I decided to read it.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:15 HCSB)
Then I decided to read around it. As in, the verses surrounding it.
And when I did, there was a lovely message deciphered to me.
From verse 12 downwards, the apostle Paul was pointing out the effects of the first and Second Adam’s ultimately defining acts. Through the actions of Adam, sin and death came into the world, but through Christ’s sacrifice, eternal life is available to all.
It was then that the first sentence in verse 12 started to really dawn on me. Indeed, the gift of grace is not like the trespass that affects every man. I saw it as a thread that ran right through the rest of that passage. Inasmuch as the effect of sin was crippling and devastating, the free gift of grace was not like it. Not only in terms of the effect, but in terms of the efficacy. It is way more powerful than the trespass.
I found verse 20 to be a culmination of the message: But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more…
Indeed, though sin’s effect on humanity runs deep, God’s grace runs so much deeper.
I came to understand that it’s not just cliché talk when we say there’s no sin too big for God to forgive. No matter how deep the rot is within the soul, no matter how much evil abounds within the heart, it can never, ever be a match for the free gift of grace through Jesus.
Of course, there’s always the tendency for one to think that we can sin more because of grace, and that’s the very thing Paul addresses straight away in the next chapter with a big ‘GOD FORBID!’
But what a beautiful reminder we can stand upon! Even if we slip up and mess up big time, the feeling that God has given up on us and will not forgive us for our mess will never be true. Once we are aware of how we’ve fallen, His hand is always outstretched, reminding us that His grace is way more powerful than our sinfulness, and we just need to repent and continue running this race. It’s beautiful news that should smash most of our ingrained religious beliefs to pieces. No need to continue living in the wrong type of fear of God, scrambling to do good stuff to ‘impress’ Him so He ‘grudgingly’ decides to forgive us when we go wrong. His grace is greater than our sin. The free gift is indeed greater than the offence.