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Romans 5

Romans 5

Tape #8122

Pastor Chuck Smith

In the third chapter, the twenty-third verse, Paul declares that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  The whole world is guilty before God.  The whole world is hopelessly lost in sin.  Because the law cannot make a man righteous.  Nor can rituals make a man righteous.  I can not be made righteous by good works.  And so having placed the whole world guilty before God, in verse twenty-four of chapter three, he introduces the answer that God has for man’s sin and that is this justification through faith.  And he shows how that justification by faith is something that is not new.  It goes back to Abraham.  That he was justified before the law was ever given by faith.  And he was justified apart from the ordinances. 

So coming to chapter five, he said, Therefore, having been justified by faith, Having laid out that this is God's plan.  This is God's provision whereby He can accept you.  Whereby He can declare that you are righteous by your faith in Jesus Christ and the fact that He bore your sins.  He died in your place.  So the righteous demands of the law have been fulfilled for you by Jesus.  Thus as we believe in Jesus Christ, God can account our faith for righteousness.  Therefore, having been justified by faith, first of all we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  At one time we were at war against God, against the laws of God.  We were rebels, rebelling against God's laws.  Feeling that they were too restrictive.  Mistaken in our concept of the law, we thought that God was seeking to hinder us from a full, rich life, when in reality, the purpose was to bring us to a full, rich life.  But Satan had deceived and blinded our eyes.  Sin looked attractive.  It looked exciting, but the consequences of sin was something that we didn’t see.  How that it was like a cancer, slowly eating and destroying until finally there was no cure.  So showing to us how that we are no longer rebelling.  Our eyes were open.  We see the law of God now and it’s good for us.  I consent to the law.  It is good, but still the inability to keep the law; therefore, God provided for me.  A righteousness apart from the law.  A righteousness through faith in Jesus.  But by believing in Him, I am no longer fighting against God.  How glorious it is to have peace with God!  Jesus said come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden.  I will give you rest.  Or I will give you peace.  And you know when a person accepts Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior, suddenly you realize that the war is over.  I’m no longer fighting against God.  There is such peace!  There is such rest. You go home and you lie there on your pillow.  You look up and say, hey God, I’m on Your side now.  Not fighting against You anymore.  And you just feel that warmth and that glow of knowing that there is no more war.  There’s no more rebellion.  I’ve surrendered.  And now I belong to Him.  And the glorious peace because I’m no longer at enmity with God. 

But then not only does justification by faith bring me peace with God but it also gives me access.  2through whom also we have access by faith (In Jesus Christ.  Now I become the recipient of God's blessing.  God has loved us.  He has always loved us even when we were in sin.  He sent His Son to die, not for the righteous, but for the ungodly.  God desired to provide for us a way back.  A way back for the fellowship with God into oneness with God.  God created man for that purpose.  That man might live in fellowship with God.  When He created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden and gave them all of the beauty and the glory of the Garden of Eden, He said it’s all yours to enjoy.  Of all the trees you may eat freely except the one tree.  In order that man might be proved if his love for God was genuine.  That man might not be just a robot responding because there is nothing else.  And that one man Adam ate of that tree that God said he shouldn’t.  And by him, sin entered the world and death by sin, so that death passed on us all because we all sinned.  But God still loved man.  God still wanted fellowship and longed for that fellowship that had been lost.  When Adam ate of that fruit, he went from the kingdom of God into the kingdom of Satan.  Whom so ever you yield yourself servant to obey, his servants you become.  We’ll find that in our next lesson, chapter six.  And yielding himself to the suggestion of Satan, he became a servant of Satan.  Alienated now from God.  The fellowship with God was broken.  But he found out that when he went through that door from the kingdom of God into the kingdom of darkness, it was a one way door, there was no way back!  There were no works that he could do that would restore him back into fellowship with God.  It was one way out and no way back in.  And so God desiring that fellowship still, provided through Jesus Christ, the way back in.  In order that we might have fellowship with God and in order that God might do for us the things He longs to do because of His love.  So that I now have access to this glorious grace of God.  That is the blessings and the goodness that God bestows upon me though I am undeserving and unworthy of it.  I don’t have to try to be good enough to receive the blessings of God.  I never could be.  But God loves me even in my weakened state.  And He blesses me with His grace and with His love and with His goodness. 

So I have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, (By God's grace I am what I am.  My standing is in the grace of God tonight.  I don’t stand before God in my own righteousness.  I don’t try to.  I stand before God in that righteousness that God has imparted to me in my faith in Jesus Christ.  Through the grace of God I have this standing before Him.) and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  As God reveals His glory.  As God reveals His love.  As God pours out upon me His blessings, I glory!  I rejoice!  I give thanks!  I praise God!  As we mentioned this morning, the truest form of praise is that which rises spontaneously from my heart in response to God's grace towards me.  It is not true praise, that is seeking to praise God in order to receive a blessing.  That’s not true praise at all.  Many people are engaged in that kind of praise.  They have praise meetings.  They have praise services.  And the whole thought behind it is that we are going to praise God in order that we might receive the blessings of God tonight.  That isn’t true praise. That’s very self centered.  The motivation is wrong.  I praise God because of who He is and what He has done.  And because of His wonderful grace to me.  And it’s something that just rises spontaneously from my heart.  Oh, God You are so good!  Oh, God, I love You! 

    3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, Now, that’s an interesting statement!  That shows you how far we’ve come.  How can I glory in tribulation?  I know that all things are working together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 3:28).  Now I may not be able at the moment to see the purposes of God, in the complete cycle.  I only see the present hardships, the present difficulty.  Maybe even the present pain and suffering.  As I was driving home from church, of course the fact that our daughter and the family are leaving for England is, well, it’s difficult.   I described to Kay, it’s sort of, I feel like I am bleeding inside.  The pain of not being able have the joy of the grandkids on my lap and you know, the things that we do together because of the distance by which we will be separated.  And as I was on my way home today, just sort of that feeling of, Oh, you know.  And then as soon as that feeling came, the comfort of the Spirit as the Lord spoke to me and said, if you only knew what I was doing you’d be rejoicing!  If you only knew the full story! 

We’re so often like Jacob when the boys came back and said, that guy in Egypt is mean!  He treated us roughly.  Oh man, he is a terror!  And he wants us, if we are ever to see his face again, to bring Benjamin with us.  Jacob said, I’ll never let Benjamin go.  I’ve lost my one son, Joseph, I’ll never let Benjamin go.  But because of the dire need of more grain, he finally had to consent to let Benjamin go.  As Benjamin went off with his brothers to Egypt, Jacob said, “All things are against me!”  And how many times like Jacob have we felt that all things are against me.  But Jacob, you don’t know all things!  You only know a part of the things.  God has a glorious plan.  You are soon going to be hugging and kissing your son, Joseph, whom you thought so many years was dead.  You don’t know the excitement and the joy that awaits you!  And the Lord sort of spoke that to my heart today.  You don’t know the whole story!  You don’t know the joy that awaits!  There was a song that was popular a few years back in the church.  And a lot of truth in it.  The lyrics went, if we could see beyond today as God does see, then all of our tears we would wipe away. Our sorrows would flee.  Over these present griefs we would not fret.   For many joys await us yet. And if we could see, we even, if we could know, we often say.  But God in love avails us through across our ways.  We cannot see what lies before and so we cling to Him the more.  He’ll lead us til this life is over.  Just trust and obey!  And many times that is all we can do.  We can’t see.  We don’t know.  And so we just cling to the Lord.  We just trust and we obey.  But I know that God loves us.  I know that God has a plan that He is working out in our lives.  I know that God is far wiser than I could ever be!  And so I just cling to Him.  And I know that God is going to bring joy, blessing, out of this whole experience.  And so that faith, I cling by faith to the word of God and to the promises of God.  And I can smile because I know that there is a glorious hope for the future that God has for us.  So we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!  How God is going get glory out of this whole thing that He has planned.  And I rejoice in the glory of God. 

And not only that, but we also we glory in tribulations knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; As we are going through these testings and trials, we are in a position where we can’t do anything about it.  We’re sort of helpless.  All I can do is just wait on the Lord.  Wait for Him to work it out.  Tribulation worketh perseverance or patience.  And I just wait for God to bring the full cycle and reveal His complete purpose.  This perseverance or patience brings character or experience.  Now you see through the years, we’ve gone through many hardships, we’ve passed through the fires.  We’ve gone through deep waters.  And God has always been faithful.  We’ve always come through.  God has revealed his wonderful plans as we’ve waited patiently upon Him.  He never did fail us.  So that brings experience or perseverance.  Had this happened earlier in my Christian experience, I probably have been wiped out.  But I’ve experienced the faithfulness of God.  I’ve experienced the goodness of God.  And thus this is a part of the growth of spiritual maturing.  It comes about through tribulation.  So I can glory or rejoice in the tribulation because I know that God is working out His purposes.  In time we’ll see the whole plan of God in which we will rejoice.  And in the meantime I’m learning to wait upon Him and I am experiencing again the faithfulness of God. 

4and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  You see I have hope for the future because I know what God has done in the past.  Character or experience gives you that confidence.  It gives you that confidence.  It gives that hope.  You don’t fall into that slough of despond or despair.  Oh,  I don’t what’s going to happen!  No, you know, you don’t do that because you have that hope that God has a plan that He’s working out.  And it’s glorious because He loves me!  And He is working it out. 

5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Oh yes!  Not worried because the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.  Now in the Bible, God is made a Father figure.  Our Father, which art in heaven.  Our Father knows what we have need of.  I sometimes wonder  if maybe He shouldn’t have been put in a grandfather figure.  If I had known that grandkids were such a joy and a blessing, I would have tried to have them first!  What joy there is in just lavishing your love on those little lives!  Even as God just loves to show His love to you.  Loves to be with you.  Loves to do good things for you.  Loves to see your excitement as you come into an understanding and an appreciation of His love. 

Now God manifested His love to us.  In verse six, he said, 6For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  I didn’t have any ability to save myself.   I couldn’t do any works.  I was without strength.  I was hopeless.  But in due time, Christ died for who?  The ungodly. 

Paul goes on to say, 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  There have been those who were willing to give their lives for their family, for their loved ones, or for a good cause.  A good purpose.

8But God demonstrates (manifested) His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  He died for the ungodly.  He died for us when we were yet sinners. Still in rebellion against Him, still coming short of His glory.  Still missing the mark, and yet God’s love was manifested in that Christ died for us when we were still sinners.  It wasn’t that we were righteous.  It wasn’t that we were good, but while we were sinners, God showed His love by sending His only Begotten Son to die for us. 

Now here is the first of the much mores that you found in the chapter, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  If when I was a sinner, God loved me so much, He sent His Son to die for me, how much more now that I am reconciled?  Now that I am His child.  If He did that for me when I was in that rotten state of sin in rebellion against Him, oh how much more now that I have justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him.  God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish.  Perish in the wrath and the judgment of God against sin.  How much more now that I have been justified, will I be saved from the wrath through Christ.

10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, Here I am, an enemy of God, and yet I have been reconciled through the death of Jesus.  The second “much more.” much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  If His death could take me from the place of being an enemy, to being reconciled, now much more I am reconciled, will His life (the death brought reconciliation) but how much more now His life, you see, He was delivered for our offenses.  But he rose again for our justification.  So He lives!  And through the power of the risen Christ, I’ve been saved by His life.

11And not only that, Another result of justification by faith, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, It causes us to rejoice!  And to give thanks to God for what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.  Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the love and the goodness of God, that words were inadequate to express it?  That happens to me every once in a while as God continues to reveal His love and His grace.  There are times when I just have to pull off the road and just sit there for a little while, just rejoicing in God's love that He is revealing.  And in His grace.  It’s really sort of dangerous to drive in that condition, so I pull off the road and just park for a little while.  And just give thanks to God.  Just rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  Or atonement.  Another effect of the justification by faith, is that we’ve received the atonement.  Now the word atonement in the Old Testament, comes from a Hebrew word “kaphar.”  It’s easy to remember because the idea of atonement in the Old Testament, the kaphar, is a covering.  Kaphar.  You can get “kapharing”, covering.  I mean, you know, that’s the way I remember it because, but it didn’t make us one with God.  All it could do was to cover our guilt.  The sacrifices, this is for a covering, a kaphar.  It made a covering for the guilt.  It didn’t take away the sins.  But it made a covering.  The New Testament word, atonement, to understand it, you need to break it up.  You have “at one.”  You’ve  become one with God!  Through Jesus Christ I now am one with Him!  You see when man was created, he was created in the image of God.  God said let us make man in the image of our likeness.  But as the result of sin, man fell.  And so we talk about the fall of man.  And we’re referring to falling from this position of fellowship with God, at one with God.  He had fallen from the image of God.  Now the purpose of God was to restore man back into the image of God.  This was accomplished through Jesus coming, taking our sins, dying in our place.  Then coming and living in us.  And through His life in us, changing, transforming us and making us again back into the image of God.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, it doesn’t yet appear what we are going to be, but when He is through, with His work in us, we are going to be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.  The Lord is working in us day by day, to restore us into the image of God. 

Paul, writing to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 3:18), said and we with open face as we behold the glory of God are being changed from glory to glory into the same image.  That’s God's purpose is to restore you back into His image.  Back into His likeness that you might become one with God in fellowship.  That is communion and fellowship with God. 

Paul, writing to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:11-14), said that God has placed in the church the apostles and the evangelists and the prophets, pastor teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, building up the body of Christ until we all come into the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God into this complete man unto the stature of the measure of image of Christ.  Restoring you back into the image of God. 

Man is not highly evolved from the lower forms of life.  That is a myth.  Man does not have a missing link somewhere between him and the baboon.  The missing link is there indeed but it’s between man and God!  And Jesus Christ came to restore man and through Him we can find our roots.  Not in the animal kingdom but in God.  So now we’ve received this oneness with God, this at one ment or atonement.        

12Therefore, (Now this therefore, you have to go back to verse twenty three of chapter three.  Paul just has taken a little digression, a little detour, a side trip.  He brings up justification by faith.  He says, Oh, yes, justification!  And gets all into the thing and spends several verses on justification!  Then he say, oh yes, I was talking about, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.  So now he comes back to the subject of us all being sinners, having made this beautiful digression into this wonderful grace of God and justification through faith, he comes back now to the subject of our being, all of us sinners.)  just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned--  The word have is really not there.  Just “all sinned.”  I am a sinner by nature.  The nature that I have received from Adam.  Adam was acting as a federal head for all of man.  Acting in our place.  And in his sin, we all became sinners because he, having fallen from the image of God, could not pass on to his descendants, something that he no longer had.  And so we were born in sin.  We are by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  Man’s natural bent is toward sin.  For I am a sinner.  And because I am a sinner, I sin.  I did not become a sinner when I sinned.  Because I was a sinner, I did sin.  My sinning only proves the fact that I’m a sinner.  And so this is something that I cannot control.  This is something that I am by birth.  Born of the flesh.  That which is of the flesh, is flesh.  And it is sinful flesh, alienated from God.  And that is why I had to have a new birth.  Now God said to Adam in the day you eat, you will surely die.  When he ate of that fruit, he died spiritually!  That is that part of man. We are three parts, body, soul, spirit.  When man sinned, the spirit died.  And there he lost this fellowship or this oneness with God.  Because God, a superior trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, it is by the Spirit of God that man has union with God.  God is a Spirit, Jesus said, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth.  The Bible says, His Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a son of God.  Man meets God in the realm of the spirit.  I worship Him in spirit and in truth.  So as long as the spirit of man was uppermost, man had this fellowship with God, oneness with God there in the Garden of Eden.  But as the result of sin, the spirit of man died as God predicted.  And with the death of his spirit, this fellowship with God was broken by man, so that when God came into the garden to commune with Adam, he hid himself from God because he was aware of his sin.  Now, Jesus recognizing that man is dead spiritually, said to a very religious man, righteous by man’s standards, He said, you’ve got to be born again if you are going to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Don’t marvel when I say you must be born again. 

Now Jesus is talking about your spirit has to be born anew.  Your spirit is dead in trespasses and sin.  You have to have a new birth.  A birth of your spirit.  Now this was confusing to this religious leader of the Jews.  He said how can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb?  Jesus said you are supposed to be a teacher among the Jews?  And you can’t understand this.  If I talk to you about earthly things and you don’t understand them.  How in the world can I ever talk to you about heavenly things?  But then getting back to the issue, the subject, He said as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,  so must the Son of Man be lifted up that who so ever believes in Him might have everlasting life.  For God so loved the world!  So how can a man be born again?  How can this spirit come alive?  By believing in Jesus Christ.  So Adam, by one man, sin entered the world, death by sin so that all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.  Back to Romans 3:23, death passed unto men for that all sinned.        

  13(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Adam had only one law.  Don’t eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, there.  The only law.  You are free to do anything and everything, just don't eat of that tree!  He ate of the tree.  One law, but he broke it.  Now, God did not lay out the law until Moses.  So that where there was no law there is no imputing of sin.  That is you can’t break a law that doesn’t exist.  To be guilty you have to break the law.  But if there is no law how then how can you be accounted guilty?  If we had no speed limits on our freeways, then they could never pull you over for speeding.  If we had no laws that told you how fast you could go on the freeway, then you couldn’t break then the law.  In Europe on the autobahn, there is no speed limit.  Thus a person isn’t arrested for speeding, he is arrested for reckless driving.  They figure if you are driving one hundred fifty miles per hour, it’s a little reckless.  But there is, you see, if there isn’t a law you can’t break it.  So the law wasn’t imputed though men where doing things.  In fact, so horrible, that God wiped out through the flood those people who had turned their minds over to evil continually.  And God's judgment came upon them.  God's judgment had come upon Sodom and Gomorrah because of the things they were doing there.  But though there was no law such as came under Moses.  And still there was death.  

14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.  Adam the first man placed here in fellowship with God.  He violated the law of God and led mankind into sin.  He is the likeness of the one who was to come.  Another one coming, and placed here innocently and in purity, who remained true unto God and by His righteousness, then, are many made righteous.

15But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, (Many have died in sin and trespasses.  Through the sin of one.) much more (And here is the next much more in our chapter.) the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.  If one man’s sin could make us all sinners, then one man’s righteousness can make us all righteous.  Now there is a teaching and it is called “moral government” teaching. That is that all men are created innocent.  There is a denial of the sinful nature.  And they say in the  moral government doctrine that God really has placed us here, innocent.  And that we have all of us sinned and thus we are sinners because of our sin.  It is my sinning that made me a sinner.  But if I deny the fact that I am a sinner  because of Adam’s sin, then this idea that I am righteous now through Christ’s righteousness, is destroyed.  If I could not be made a sinner by Adam’s sin, then I can not be made righteous by Christ’s righteousness.  So it is a dangerous doctrine.  They say that God really doesn’t know whether or not you are going to sin until you sin.  And then He is so hurt and disappointed because you messed up and you sinned.  And God is crying all the time because people are always disappointing God when they turn to sin.  No, that’s not so.  But God has made provision for our sins.  And by one man’s sin if we can all be made sinners, how much more then this grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.  

16And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.  The one sin brought condemnation.  But now this free gift has taken all of the offenses and made justification for all of us. 

17For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more (the next much more) those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)  Death reigned because of Adam’s sin.  How much more we who have received the abundance of God's grace.  And this gift of righteousness that God has given to me because of my faith in Jesus, how much more will we reign in life?  Death no longer is reigning over us.  We are reigning in life by Jesus Christ. 

18Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.  So you see how the one man made us guilty sinners.  The other One has made us righteous if we believe in Him.  Justified by faith.  Therefore, being justified by faith.  It is by my believing and trusting in Jesus Christ that I have been accounted righteous. That I have been forgiven my sins.  That I now reign in life by Him.

19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.  20Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound.   The law didn’t enter to make men righteous.  God didn’t give the law and say okay, you keep this law now and you will be righteous.  That wasn’t God's intent in giving the law because when God gave the law, He knew we were sinners by nature and that we would be rebelling against the law, which man does.  The natural man rebels against the law of God, so much so that our Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional to put the law of God in a public building, the school classroom.  Why?  Because the natural man is still in rebellion against the law of God.  The law entered not to make us righteous, not to give us rules of righteousness, but to show us how utterly sinful we are. 

Now man has begun to misinterpret the  law.  And so when Jesus came, He reinterpreted the law for us, because man in his scheme, you know, you can start working things.  The law said that you should remember the Sabbath Day and to keep it holy.  Six days shall thou labor and do thy work and the seventh day is a day of rest and you are to observe the Sabbath.  And they began to add to it.  You are not bear a burden on the Sabbath Day.  What constitutes bearing a burden?  So they got into the whole issue of trying to define what is a burden.  What is not a burden?  Is a wooden leg a burden?  Yes, it weighs something.  So you put it on the Sabbath Day and you are carrying extra weight around.  You are bearing a burden.  So you have to just stay around the house and hop on your one leg on the Sabbath Day.  And they began to try and define the law.  As they were refining and defining what the law actually meant, they came to the conclusion, that you shouldn’t buy anything on the Sabbath Day.  So today on the Sabbath Day you will find Jews in the restaurant.  But they will never pay with cash.   They will pay with credit cards because you are really not exchanging money; therefore, you are not really buying today.  You are not buying until you pay, you know, the visa charges.  Man always has an angle.  He can always scheme.  So they began to take the law and they began to interpret the law in a way that they could keep it.  And they felt they were keeping it.  And they were seeking then to develop this righteousness because I keep the law.  Manifested by the Pharisee who was praying and said, Father, I thank You that I am not as other men, I’m not an extortioner and I’m not a murderer.  I’m not an adulterer.  And I thank You I’m not like that guy, you know.  And it was a self righteousness because they felt they were keeping the law of God.  They were keeping it according to their interpretation.  But they weren’t keeping the spirit of the law.  And so when Jesus said to His disciples, unless your righteousness exceeds that of these Scribes and Pharisees, you’re not going to enter the kingdom of Heaven.  The disciples were so shocked that Jesus went on to explain what He meant by that.  He said, you’ve heard.  They have been telling you that the law says thou shalt not murder.  But I say unto you the spirit of the law.  If you hate your brother, you are guilty.  Just as guilty as if you had killed him.  The spirit of the law.  The law said thou shalt not commit adultery.  But if you are looking on a woman and lusting after her in your heart, you have violated the spirit of the law.  And as Paul is going to show us in a couple of chapters, where when he came to the realization that the law was spiritual, he said I was dead!  I mean, it’s all over.  I’m destroyed.  Because although he had kept the outward aspect of the law.  He never, well I guess he sort of was involved in killing people.  But he felt justified in it.  And he said as concerning the righteousness which is in the law, I was blameless.  Until he came to the realization that the law is spiritual.  And then he realized,  Oh, I haven’t got a chance.  I’m guilty.  So the law was given that the offense might abound, not that we might be made righteous by keeping it but that the offense may abound.    

But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,  Grace did much more abound or overflowed!  Did much more abound or grace overflowed. 

21so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I was once in sin.  A sinner by nature, living in death.  Dead in trespasses and sins.  The spirit was dead.  Alienated from God.  An enemy of God.  At enmity with God.  And in that position God loved me.  He manifested His grace towards me by sending His only begotten Son, who died in my place.  Took my sin that I might now reign in life and have that eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Now we pick this up next Sunday as we go in to chapter six, where Paul asks the question, “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Oh, God forbid!”  And he is going to teach us now the new principle, I am dead to sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ.  So we go on into chapter six.  It’s going to just get “gooder” and “gooder” as we move on into Romans.  What an exciting book! 

Father, we thank You for the grace of God wherein we stand.  We thank You, Lord, that we reign in life in Christ Jesus.  That our sins have been put away.  That the body of sin no longer rules but that the Spirit of God rules now in our hearts and lives.   And thus that new life.  No longer living after the flesh but living now, Lord, after the Spirit.  Living in fellowship with You.  At one with You, Lord.  Through the work of our risen Savior.  Oh, thank You, Father, for that righteousness which You have imparted to us, imputed to us, not by the works of the law but by faith.  Lord, help us to just enter in that we might receive the fullness of the blessing that You wish to bestow because of Your grace and Your love and mercy towards us through Jesus Christ our Lord.  In His name we pray.  Amen.      




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