“The Grace Of One Man” ( Romans 5: 15, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

“How much more do those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ,” writes Paul to the church at Rome. (Romans 5:17) “How much more does the grace of God and the gift overflow to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:15) “Through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone.” (Romans 5:18) “Through one man’s obedience the many are made righteous.” (Romans 5:19) “Grace is multiplied even more.” (Romans 5:20) “Grace reigns through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21)

Whose obedience does Paul highlight? Certainly not Adam’s or Eve’s. Certainly not mine or yours. Rather, Paul writes of one man’s obedience, of the one man, Jesus Christ who obeyed God the Father completely. Through Jesus’ obedience is “life-giving justification.” Through Jesus’ grace, “the many are made righteous.” Jesus’ grace overflows to us as does the gift of His own righteousness.

“What shall we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:1) “What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:15) “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He does not even spare His own Son but offers Him up for us all; how does He not grant also with Him us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.” (Romans 8:31-33)

“He Himself Is The Remedy” ( 1 John 2: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“My children, in writing thus to you my purpose is that you should not commit sin. But should anyone commit a sin, we have one to plead our cause with the Father, Jesus Christ, and He is just. He is Himself the remedy for the defilement of our sins, not only our sins only but for the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2: 1 – 2)

Yes, we sin. And, sin defiles us. But, a greater truth exists: Jesus is the remedy for our sin and defilement. Both are destroyed on the Cross.

“God’s act of grace is all out of proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing,” writes Paul. “For the judicial action, following upon the one offense, issues a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following upon so many misdeeds, issues a verdict of acquittal.” (Romans 5: 15, 16)

Acquittal, a verdict of not-guilty, is the gift of Jesus Christ to those who believe.

“The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus, for in Christ Jesus the life-giving law of the Spirit sets you free from the law of sin and death. What the law can never do, because our lower nature robs it of all potency, God does: by sending His own Son in a form like that of our own sinful nature, and as a sacrifice for sin, He passes judgment against sin within that very nature, so that the commandment of the law finds fulfillment in us, whose conduct, no longer under the control of our lower nature, is directed by the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 1 – 4)

God’s Spirit within us directs us. “Thanks be to God! In a word, then, I myself, subject to God’s law as a rational being, am yet, in my unspiritual nature, a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 25)

The only rescue, the final remedy is Jesus.

“If we claim to be sinless, we are self-deceived and strangers to the truth. If we confess our sins, He is just, and may be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every kind of wrong; but if we say we have committed no sin, we make Him out to be a liar, and then His Word has no place in us.” (1 John 1: 8 – 10)

“Alive To God” (Romans 6: 23, ESV) by Carley Evans

Sin costs. The price of sin is death. God’s gift, on the other hand, is free — priceless. The gift is “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus pays the price for the free gift — He buys it with His blood so that we are able to accept God’s gift of eternal life as our own.

“The free gift is not like the trespass. For if many die through one man’s trespass, much more does the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abound for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brings condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.” (Romans 5: 15 – 16)

The free gift is not only eternal life, but an “abundance of grace” and of righteousness. (Romans 5: 17)

So God’s grace leads to righteousness. “So you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6: 11)

“Saved From The Wrath Of God” (Luke 23: 34, ESV) by Carley Evans

If Jesus is able, while suffocating on the cross, to ask His Father to forgive those who are crucifying Him, then how much more is He able and willing to intercede for us, for those whom He has chosen as His own.

“For while we are still weak, at the right time Christ dies for the ungodly.” (Romans 5: 6)

“Since, therefore, we are justified by His blood, how much more are we saved by Him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5: 9)

I find little sense in the argument that God is unwilling to save those who disobey Him. He dies for those who disobey. He sheds His blood precisely because we are disobedient children whom He wishes to bring back home.

The father of the prodigal son sees his son “while he is still a long way off.” (Luke 15: 20) This brokenhearted father runs to embrace his son and kiss him. God runs to us, wanting to embrace and kiss us and kill the fatted calf for us. He does not begrudge us His love.

Instead, God dies for us while we are still His enemies. “If while we are enemies we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, are we saved by His life.” (Romans 5: 10)

“Access By Faith Into This Grace” (Psalm 86: 5, ESV) by Carley Evans

David sings, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to You do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 86: 3 – 4)

“Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.” (Psalm 86: 6)

“For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.”

David relies on the grace of God. David trusts in God’s abounding and steadfast love available to “all who call upon [Him].” David knows God is “good and forgiving.”

Paul writes, “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we obtain access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5: 1 – 2) “For by grace you are saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2: 8)

Peter exhorts, “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1: 13)

Paul and Peter, along with David know and proclaim that God’s grace is sufficient. Our hope rests on God’s gift which is His “steadfast love” and His “good and forgiving” nature. Let us rejoice. I say it again: Rejoice and be grateful.

“We Will Not Pay Attention” (Jeremiah 6: 16, ESV) by Carley Evans

The Lord proclaims that He shows us “where the good way is” and He offers us “rest for [our] souls.” He reminds us that we, each one of us at one time or another in our short lives, say: “We will not walk in it.”

We say, at one time or another in our short lives, “We will not pay attention.” (Jeremiah 6: 17)

Therefore, says God, “I am bringing disaster.” And the disaster God is bringing is this: “The fruit of [our] devices.” (Jeremiah 6: 19) He proclaims that He “will lay before [us] stumbling blocks against which [we] shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.” (Jeremiah 6: 21)

“[We] are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; [we] are bronze and iron; all of [us] act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed. Rejected silver [we] are called, for the Lord has rejected [us].” (Jeremiah 6: 28 – 30)

“Cut off your hair and cast it away; raise a lamentation on the bare heights, for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.” (Jeremiah 7: 29)

Paul responds, “For while we are still weak, at the right time Christ dies for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows His love for us in that while we are still sinners, Christ dies for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by His Blood, much more are we saved by Him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5: 6 – 9)

“Saved By His Life” (Titus 2: 11 – 12, ESV) by Carley Evans

God’s grace appears in Jesus, bringing salvation to all. His grace teaches us “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”

Jesus says, “Do you see this woman? I enter your house; you give Me no water for My feet, but she wets My feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. You give Me no kiss, but from the time I come in she does not cease to kiss My feet. You do not anoint My head with oil, but she anoints My feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many are forgiven — for she loves much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7: 44 – 47)

He tells this woman, “Your faith saves you; go in peace.” (Luke 7: 50)

“Where sin increases, grace abounds all the more, so that, as sin reigns in death, grace also may reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!” (Romans 5: 20, 21 – 6: 1)

Instead, through faith, we put off the “body of sin” which is “brought to nothing, so that we are no longer enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6: 6)

Jesus’ gift of grace leads us to live in this freedom from sin. “Since, therefore, we are now justified by His blood, how much more are we saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we are enemies we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, are we saved by His life.” (Romans 5: 9 – 10)

Saved by His life — to God be the glory.