Saturday, May 25, 2013

The offense and the gift

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Romans 5:6-21

TO CHEW ON: "But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man Jesus Christ, abounded to many." Romans 5:15

In a rich part of today's reading Paul draws an analogy between Adam's offense —a deliberate choice to disobey God in Eden—and Christ's free gift—our salvation through His death for us.

These two things are similar in that both acts affected and continue to affect all of mankind. But they are also different:

1. They are moral opposites - Romans 5:15-16.
  • Adam's act is called an "offense." A margin note in my Bible gives synonyms: "trespass or false step." It was sin,  a deliberate act which missed the mark.
  • Christ's act is called a "free gift" and described as "grace." 

2. Their results are different - Romans 5:17-18.
  • Adam's sin resulted in death—condemnation.
  • Accepting the gift results in receiving God's lavish graces of justification, righteousness, and the ability to "reign as kings in life" (Amplified), i.e. victory - Romans 5:17-18.

3. They spring from different attitudes - Romans 5:19.
  • Adam's act was one of disobedience ("… failing to hear, heedlessness and carelessness" - Amplified).
  • Christ's  gift came from His obedience  resulting in "the many ... constituted righteous—made acceptable to God; brought into right standing with Him" - Romans 5:19 Amplified.

What have we done with Christ's gift? Have we accepted it? Are we living in the truth and power of it, resisting Satan's attempts to make us feel we have to do more and thus put ourselves in the chains of having to earn/pay for our salvation? What is the attitude of our lives? Are we disobedient—deaf, heedless, careless? Or is your life, is mine characterized by yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, moment-by-moment 'Yes's to Jesus?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your free gift! Please help me to begin to understand its implications for my life—and to live those out in habitual obedience. Amen.

MORE: "My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness"  - Keith and Kristyn Getty


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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