Where Sin Abounds, Grace Abounds All The More

The blood of Jesus cleansing sin of a woman kneeling in prayer. The hand of Jesus touches the woman. Based on Romans 5.

BELIEVER’S ROAD SERIES

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SOLD, Acrylic and Pen on Mat­board, 18.5 cm x 19.5 cm (7.5″ x 8″), Prints Available

 

But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through right­eous­ness to eter­nal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20–21 NKJV)

In him [Jesus] we have redemp­tion through his blood, the for­give­ness of sins, in accor­dance with the riches of God’s grace that he lav­ished on us with all wis­dom and under­stand­ing.” (Eph­esians 1:7–8)

Our sins have sep­a­rated us from God, but the won­der­ful news is that God still loves us and has made the way for us to be rec­on­ciled to him. (See “Mes­sage”)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that who­ever believes in him shall not per­ish but have eter­nal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to con­demn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16–17)

God, who cre­ated the heav­ens and the earth, also cre­ated us to be in a lov­ing, per­sonal rela­tion­ship with him.

God is also per­fect in holi­ness and right­eous­ness and can­not be in the pres­ence of sin. Sadly, because we have all sinned, we are all alien­ated from him, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

God, who is per­fect in love and jus­tice, declares that the just pun­ish­ment for our sins is death and hell, where we will be cut off from him eter­nally. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eter­nal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Thank­fully God still loves us despite the fact we are sin­ners. He longs to redeem us so that we may enjoy a rela­tion­ship with him. There­fore, he made the way for us to be rec­on­ciled. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still pow­er­less, Christ died for the ungodly…God demon­strates his own love for us in this: While we were still sin­ners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6,8).

God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to live the per­fect, sin­less life we could never live. Jesus then took upon him­self all of our sins and bore the pun­ish­ment for them through his death on the cross. He gave his life to ran­som us from our sins (Mark 10:45).

In order to be rec­on­ciled to God and to enter into a lov­ing, per­sonal rela­tion­ship with him:

You must first repent (turn away from your sins). Sec­ond, you must trust in Jesus to be your per­sonal Sav­ior. That is, believe that Jesus has paid the pun­ish­ment for your sins by dying in your place.

When you receive him in faith as your Sav­ior like this, then all of your sins (past, present and future) will be for­given and eter­nally removed. You will enter into a lov­ing rela­tion­ship with God that will last through­out eternity.

Even when our lives are abound­ing in sin, God’s grace and mercy has made full pro­vi­sion for it and abounds all the more. Black sin leaks out of the woman in this pic­ture, going every­where, but Christ’s blood fully sur­rounds her, envelop­ing the full­ness of all her sin and washes it all away. Christ’s mer­ci­ful, lov­ing hand grants this repen­tant woman his mercy and grace as she prays to him in faith.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still pow­er­less, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will any­one die for a right­eous man, though for a good man some­one might pos­si­bly dare to die. But God demon­strates his own love for us in this: While we were still sin­ners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been jus­ti­fied [put into eter­nal right stand­ing with God] by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s ene­mies, we were rec­on­ciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, hav­ing been rec­on­ciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.” (Romans 5:6–11)

“There­fore, since we are jus­ti­fied (acquit­ted, declared right­eous, and given a right stand­ing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Mes­siah, the Anointed One). Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, intro­duc­tion) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of expe­ri­enc­ing and enjoy­ing the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1–2 AMP)

I sadly admit that when my faith is weak some­times my sin­ful nature rages, and I com­mit many sins against God and against oth­ers. Like King David, I say:

Do not with­hold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always pro­tect me. For trou­bles with­out num­ber sur­round me; my sins have over­taken me, and I can­not see. They are more than the haris of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD come quickly to help me.” (Psalm 40:11–13)

Wash away all my iniq­uity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my trans­gres­sions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and jus­ti­fied when you judge.” (Psalm 51:2–4)

Some­times in our bat­tle against sin (as Chris­tians), we can become so over­whelmed with sin and our aware­ness of it (Romans 7:14–25, 1 John 3:20), that we sink into con­dem­na­tion and despair (though all our sins have already been fully con­demned and pun­ished in Jesus–Romans 7:25–8:4, 8:28–39).

Some­times we think our sin is big­ger than the blood and sac­ri­fice of Christ (Satan would like to have us believe so). This, of course, is not true, for:

…the blood of Jesus, his Son, puri­fies us from all sin. If we claim to be with­out sin, we deceive our­selves and the truth is not in us. If we con­fess our sins, he is faith­ful and just and will for­give us our sins and will purify us from all unright­eous­ness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. My dear chil­dren, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if any­body does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Right­eous One. He is the aton­ing sac­ri­fice for our sins…” (1 John 1:7–2:2)

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through right­eous­ness to bring eter­nal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20–21)

God’s grace and Christ’s blood is much big­ger than the size and quan­tity of our sins. One of our great­est bat­tles as Chris­tians is against unbe­lief in this truth. It is when we lose sight of the full­ness and com­plete­ness of our Savior’s work on Cal­vary that we tend to strug­gle with sin and get over­whelmed with con­dem­na­tion and despair when we sin.

We have a strong ten­dency in our nat­ural selves to try and earn God’s approval and prove our own right­eous­ness to him. This is almost always rooted in our pride, and it is ulti­mately a rejec­tion of God’s grace and a rejec­tion of the Right­eous One (1 John 2:1) who was per­fectly right­eous in our place and has granted his right­eous­ness to us through faith (Romans 10:2–4). Remem­ber Jesus’ para­ble of the Phar­isee and the Tax Col­lec­tor (Luke 18:9–14); it was the sin­ner who was hon­est to God about his sin rather than the self-righteous reli­gious per­son who went home jus­ti­fied in God’s sight. (See “Events of The Bible Series: The Para­ble of The Phar­isee and The Tax Collector.)

Fully accept­ing God’s grace and for­give­ness (even though we don’t deserve it) is what sets us free from the cycle of sin and con­dem­na­tion! Faith in Christ’s blood, not our good works, is the only thing God accepts as the basis of our for­give­ness, “…with­out the shed­ding of blood there is no for­give­ness.” (Hebrews 9:22) We must fully embrace that, and when we do, we imme­di­ately know the blessed­ness of being for­given and of peace with God.

Some­times when we strug­gle with sin, we begin to view our­selves as dirty, con­demned, defeated sin­ners rather than cleansed believ­ers who are rec­on­ciled to God and are posi­tion­ally at peace with him because of what Christ has done. When our per­cep­tion of our­selves changes like this (because we are walk­ing by sight, not faith (2 Corinthi­ans 5:7)) we are los­ing sight of the com­plete­ness of the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion which Christ has achieved for us once for all. Remem­ber that when Jesus washed his dis­ci­ples’ feet (John 13:1–17) he declared that, “A per­son who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean…” (John 13:10) and else­where, “You are already clean because of the word I have spo­ken to you.” (John 15:3)

When we grasp the fact that we are com­pletely clean (because Christ has jus­ti­fied us) and only need cleans­ing for the sin we have walked in, then grace works both peace and obe­di­ence in us. God’s love and grace is a much more effec­tive restrainer of sin than fear and threats of pun­ish­ment (which Christ already took for us) and the re-application of the Law (which Christ already freed us from). (See 1 John 4:13–19). God’s grace, kind­ness and love is what con­strains us to obe­di­ence and teaches us to say “no” to ungod­li­ness (See Titus 2:11–14).

We are also meant to live in full­ness of joy because of these facts (Romans 5:1–2) ! When we live by faith in God’s grace rather than works, the fruits of the Spirit form all by them­selves and obe­di­ence to God becomes glo­ri­ously easy, for God’s Spirit reigns in grace, “…for the let­ter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthi­ans 3:6).

There is always abun­dant grace, mercy and for­give­ness for those in Christ Jesus, even for those times when sin abounds, much to our godly grief. God has made pro­vi­sion for us in that place so that, like the prodi­gal son (Luke 15:11–32), we may come back and enjoy lov­ing fel­low­ship with our Father. (See “Events of The Bible Series: The Prodi­gal Son”).

God’s grace, mercy and for­give­ness abounds for all sin­ners who come to him, despite their unclean­ness. Come just as you are and he will cleanse you.

Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doc­tor, but the sick. I have not come to call the right­eous, but sin­ners to repen­tance.” (Luke 5:31–32)

(See also “Believer’s Road Series: Unwor­thy, But That’s the Grace of God”, “Believer’s Road Series: Depths of Grace”, “Believer’s Road Series: Empty Hands”, “Events of The Bible Series: Forgiven Much” and “Believer’s Road Series: Look To Christ”).