I’m preparing for a sermon this Sunday. We are talking about Romans 5:12-21. This text has a lot of really big ideas that Paul wrestles with, like original sin, justification, the purpose of the law. It’s a big one.
I was reading in Douglas Moo’s Romans Commentary in the NICNT and came across this passage that I wanted to share. He is addressing specifically Paul’s statement in 5:20, “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more . . .” The idea being that the Law as was given to Moses made sin obvious to all who read the Law. I love Moo’s explanation:
“Paul has emphasized throughout this paragraph, God’s grace is more than sufficient to overcome the increase in the power and seriousness of sin brought by the law. For in that very place where sin “increased,” grace ‘super-increased.” Paul’s purview is salvation history, considered in its broadest dimensions, and his point is simply that the law’s negative purpose in radicalizing the power of sin has been more than fully met by the provisions of God’s grace. However deep in the power of sin Israel may have sunk, God’s grace was deeper yet. How many times, after reminding Israel of her blatant, repeated sin, do the prophets yet proclaim the willingness of God to forgive; indeed, his settled purpose to bless his people, in spite of themselves. In Christ, of course, we find the fulfillment of the promise of God’s “superabounding” grace.” (Moo, NICNT 348-349)
I love the idea of grace super-increasing. Through the work of Jesus on the Cross, his grace is maginified and amplified in the midst of all of our depravity. ”Superabounding” grace is a wonderful thing and it’s available to all who put their faith in Christ. It’s available to all of us, we just need to receive it.