A friend of mine is spending the summer exploring, taking apart and mulling over the idea of grace. I’m not sure what started her down that path, but it’s got me thinking about it too. There’s a verse that always jumps out at me when I pass it. Sometimes it makes me smile. Sometimes it makes me sad.
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. ~Romans 5:20
Why it makes me smile: Often, I read this verse and am relieved that no matter what I’ve done, God’s grace covers it. The verses before this one are talking about how Adam sinned and as a result, the entire human race is sinful but because Jesus was righteous, we too can be made righteous in God’s eyes. God’s grace given to us through Christ is stronger than the power of sin. Sin is our legacy. Grace is our inheritance.
Why it makes me sad: This verse reminds me of all the times I’ve deliberately sinned. I have looked at a temptation and said, “Sure, why not? I can do that and still be forgiven.” I have taken advantage of grace. I have trampled grace. But even in those moments, “grace increased all the more”. We can not out-sin grace. But I admit that there have been times in my life when I’ve tried.
The beauty of grace is that it is always there, ready to envelop our sin. When we’re willing to fall on our faces before our righteous God and confess that we have failed once again, He stands there, holding the blanket of grace, waiting to pick us up and wrap it around us.
The full result of grace is that we are no longer subject to the full result of sin. Sin brings guilt, shame, death and separation from God. Grace, on the other hand, brings relief, freedom, and a life lived in relationship with God. The full result of grace will always be stronger than the full result of sin. Praise be to God!
What have you learned recently about grace? How would you describe grace to someone who’s never heard of it?