“And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 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. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” Romans 5:16-18
God is in the business of glaring contrasts. Condemnation. Justification. Sin. Righteousness. Death. Life. In other words, He loves reversals. What a rich, beautiful idea. When I dwell on these thoughts, hope, comfort, joy, and peace rise within. I mean life sucks sometimes. I could use reversal. Couldn’t you? I have to view things visually. So, to see the contrasts of Romans 5:16-18, I made myself two lists. One man’s sin brought judgment, condemnation, death’s tyrannical reign, and death itself. But in my other column, one man’s righteousness created reconciliation, justification, the reign of grace, and life. Within these list are radical implications. Jesus reversed the curse of sin and death. Amen! In Jesus we have “abundance of grace” and the “free gift of righteousness.” I could park there for a while. But, what is more, our conquering warrior destroyed earth’s most villainous tyrant, thoroughly reversing the reigning authority. He is the King, bringing life and grace. Death no longer condemns the believer. Rather, we reign with Christ. Death and condemnation have no spiritual power over us. And someday when Jesus returns, He’ll reverse even the presence of physical death! Do these truths blow anyone else out of the water? Surely then, the ultimate reversal indicates that infinite grace is also available for daily life. We stand in abundance of grace. Because Jesus reversed my greatest need, He’s already reversed the suckiness of life. After all, if He went so far as to turn death into life, then I can confidently expect that the glaring contrasts of my life are good.