Category: Daily Devotionals

Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

The good news Paul just delivered was that God’s grace is so magnificent and all-encompassing that it abounds over all of our sin—past, present, and future.  Unfortunately he also knew one of the objections that would follow that announcement:  “If God’s grace covers my sin and my righteousness doesn’t save me, can I simply go on sinning?”  Paul’s answer to that question is to point out its absurdity.  The believer, once united to Christ, is a new creation.  As Paul also wrote to the Corinthians, the old has passed away and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Paul’s point in Romans 6:2 is that once become new, we have died to the reign of sin in our lives.  How can we desire to have that which we’ve died to?  It is ridiculous.  His argument against this question is to point out who we are now.  We are new, reborn, and this new life is one that has died to rule and reign of sin.  Yes, we do still sin, but what rules in us is the desire to be sanctified, living a life that glorifies our Father.

Study/Meditation:  Why do we still sin when we have died to it?  What does it mean that we died to sin?

*Father, help me as I live in this mortal body.  I am new in You and sin does not rule me, but I am still sinful by nature.  Help me in this fight with my own depravity that I might live to instead serve and glorify You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:21 “(Grace abounded all the more), so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

As we stated yesterday, grace abounds even more than sin as it covers our transgressions from yesterday, from today, and from tomorrow.  Before the saving work of Jesus Christ, sin reigned in our bodies and in our minds.  It ruled.  We may have thought we were in control, but without Christ, the only thing that controls us is sin.  It reigned, and it reigned in death.  So God in His great love and mercy satisfied His own justice in presenting a righteousness outside of us but on our behalf, and this grace is so powerful and so complete that it reigns in life, thus canceling out the reign of sin in death.  This life is eternal; it is everlasting, and it is determined solely by God’s grace through the righteousness and sacrifice of the perfect Son and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Grace abounded more.  It paid for our sins and brought us to life.

Study/Meditation:  How do you see that sin reigns in the lives of mankind without Christ, even when non-believers do “good” things?  (Hint:  What truly makes an act “good”?)

*Father, Your grace is measureless and amazing.  Thank You for giving me the gift of eternal life through Jesus so that sin might not reign in my mortal body.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:20 “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”

Before the Law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, mankind knew right from wrong.  Cain knew he had done wrong when he killed Abel.  Abraham knew he did wrong when he lied to Pharaoh about Sarah being his sister.  It’s not that the world didn’t have a moral compass, but it did not know the extent of its depravity.  God gave the Law to His people so that they would see just how sinful they really were.  It showed the measuring line for perfection and thereby showed mankind just how far it was from this line.  In this sense, it was given as our spiritual mirror.  However, it also showed us how much we are in need of grace, and the beauty of God’s grace is that it increases not only in proportion to our sin, but far beyond it.  God’s grace covers the sins we have committed, are committing, and will commit.  The Law was never meant to save us; it was meant to show us that only God’s grace can.

Study/Meditation:  James speaks of our sinful spirituality in terms of a mirror.  Read James 1:22-26.  How is the Law used as a mirror for us?

*Father, thank You for Your abounding grace.  Thank You for loving me, a sinner, and giving me the only thing that could ever save me—Your grace.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:19 “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one’s man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

Often men and women will cry “foul” when they read or study of the imputation of Adam’s sin onto them.  The claim is that it is unfair that a man who lived over 6000 years before them sinned and now they pay the penalty for that sin.  There are many responses to such a cry, but the one that is most significant is the juxtaposition of the imputation of righteousness from Christ.  For while the cry of “foul” can often be heard in regard to Adam as our federal representative in sin, a cry of thanksgiving is heard in regard to Christ as our Federal Representative in righteousness and salvation.  We did not live at the same time as the man Jesus Christ, just as we did not live at the same time as Adam, yet we gladly accept the obedience of the One on our behalf while trying to reject the disobedience of the other on our behalf.  We must be careful in looking for fair treatment from our Father, but instead live in thanksgiving that in His justice and love, He provided salvation to us who are nothing more than sinners on our own behalf.

Study/Meditation:  How would you respond to someone who claimed that God is unfair?  How is His justice served in His dealings with us?

*Father, thank You for Your justice that is served while You are so loving and merciful.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”
Who is the “all men” that Paul speaks of in this verse?  Is he talking about universalism in sin and salvation, that condemnation and salvation are for every human being?  The answer is yes and no.  Context is extraordinarily important when dealing with language, especially in Scripture.  This verse, as all writing, must be interpreted contextually.  Adam’s sin brought sin and death into the world, and therefore “led” to condemnation for every person.  Everyone sins.  There are no perfect human beings.  “For all sin and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  That “all men” is indeed every person.  However, Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross “leads to justification and life for all men” who, when we look simply to the previous verse, “receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17)—in other words, to all who believe on Jesus as Savior.   They “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24)  Once again Paul is pointing us to the necessity of only Christ’s saving work on the cross as the means to our salvation.

Study/Meditation:  How is context important in interpreting everything?  Why do you think some people use context to interpret other things but shy away from doing so with God’s Word?

*Father, thank You for making Jesus Christ my Federal Head of salvation.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:17 “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.”

Grace is surprising.  It’s not surprising that condemnation and death come from sin, even the sin of one man leading to the reign of sin in all others.  Death naturally brings death, doesn’t it?  But our Lord does something amazing and surprising when He reverses what is expected and brings life and righteousness to those who would believe through the death of His Son.  Man brought death from death, but God brought life from death.  It is truly astounding and surprising, but it is the way He has demonstrated to us our absolute dependency on Him for this salvation.  We could not do anything differently than Adam had done; we are simply man.  However, God is God and only He could do something so completely opposite and life-giving.  Let us lay down the burden of self-dependency and take up the free gift of God-dependency.  Only He can bring life from death and this is exactly what He has offered.

Study/Meditation:  Think of the moment in your life when you realized you had received life where there was only death.  What differences can you point to that reign in you now that did not reign in you before?

*Father, only You are God and only You could bring life from death.  I bow before Your majesty and glory and worship You as the one and only God of all salvation.  Amen.