The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. –Romans 5:16
In Romans 5:16, Paul pointed out contrasts between the condemnation that came from Adam’s sin and the salvation that came from Christ’s obedience.
One contrast is this: condemnation came after one sin, but salvation came after many sins. Verse 16 says, “The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.” If you want to know how intolerant God is toward sin, just look at what He did to Adam in the Garden. One measly sin, and God condemned the entire human race. Isn’t that an overreaction? Why can’t God be more tolerant? We often think God is just as indifferent toward sin as we are. We continue to sin and think nothing of it. We do not understand the absolute holiness of God. God has zero tolerance for sin. It just took one sin to bring God’s judgment against all mankind.
Here is the grace of God: condemnation came after one sin, but salvation came after many sins. After Adam’s sin, mankind kept sinning and sinning and sinning and sinning, but all those sins did not cause God to withhold His grace. After thousands of years of people sinning, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the atonement for our sins. That is a testimony to the grace of God.
This is a message of hope for those who think, “God could never forgive me because of what I have done.” Notice what Paul said in Romans 5:20: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” That word “abounded” literally means “super-abounded.” As the sin of mankind increased, the grace of God increased even more. The good news of the gospel is that you cannot outsin the grace of Jesus Christ. His blood is sufficient to cover all of your sin.
This is not an excuse for a Christian to keep on sinning. One man said, “Of course God is going to forgive me; that’s His job.” No. Paul said, “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” (6:1). In other words, if I enjoy sinning, and God enjoys forgiving, why don’t we both have a good time? Paul answered, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (6:2).
As Christians, we are to have the same attitude toward sin that God has–zero tolerance for it. But Romans 5 is a passage that talks about before we become a Christian. You cannot outsin the grace of God. Condemnation was a result of one sin. Salvation came after many sins.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “One for All” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.