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. . . . so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:17, 21
When Avengers: Endgame was released last year, it brought in USD 1.2 billion in its opening week, revealing that people all around the world love a good hero story. But this is not just a recent phenomenon. Throughout history and in every culture, people have been enamored with heroes, men and women who overcame great odds to triumph over evil. There is something about the epic hero that speaks to us. We all hope that there is something in us that resembles these heroes, while deep down knowing that we are the ones who need saving.
In Romans 5:17, Paul says that at one time sin reigned in our life, but because of the abundance of grace, we now reign in life with Christ. When we first come to know Christ, we experience the joy of this abundant grace, as we are forgiven of our sins and welcomed in as a child of God. But what we learn pretty quickly as we begin to follow Jesus is that the battle against sin is far from over and that grace is not just needed for the forgiveness of sins, but for this battle against sin.
In verse 21, Paul goes on to say that this grace that is given to us in Jesus does not just abound to us, but that it reigns over us. Grace reigns over our sin, it reigns over our temptations, it reigns over our weakness, and it reigns over our despair. Often we try to overcome our sin, weaknesses, or despair in our own strength. We want to be the hero of our own story. But it is not by trying to be our own hero, but by acknowledging that we need a better hero that grace will abound to us.
In this chapter of Romans, Paul demonstrates how Christ has triumphed over Adam’s sin, becoming the ultimate hero who has overcome and defeated sin and death. This grace that abounds to you and reigns over you through Jesus Christ is greater than the power of sin and death that once reigned. And as we trust and surrender to Jesus, we can walk in the victory that is his.
Because of Christ’s abundant grace, you will reign in life.
- Write specific examples in your life where Christ has been your hero through his grace.
- Sometimes we don’t realize when we are trying to live in our own strength. Why is it sometimes difficult to accept grace?
- How does grace enable you to overcome the power of sin and death?
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. Romans 5:18
Lord, thank you for your gift of abundant grace. Your grace has not only saved me from sin but now reigns over me through Christ’s righteousness. Thank you for paying the ultimate sacrifice that I may come into relationship with you. Help me to live in your victory over sin and death. I claim your righteousness over my life and thank you that your grace is stronger than my failures. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.