Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sin. We’re surrounded by it. Our passage says that death has spread to all because we have all sinned.
But there is an antidote: a rescue plan is already in place. In fact it is more than that, because, verse 15, the free gift – God’s plan to overrule and defeat sin – is not like the trespass. God’s grace isn’t just rebalancing the scales weighed down by sin. It changes the game completely.
The free gift, the grace of God in Jesus, so completely changes the game that one – the effects of sin – cannot be compared with the other – God’s endless love for us all.
The doesn’t mean that the effects of sin in the world and in our lives has disappeared or counts for nothing since Jesus came. We are all still in need of forgiveness. But that forgiveness is freely given to us when we ask for it. Forgiveness comes through Jesus Christ, which abounds, overflows, exceeds our wildest hopes and dreams.
“You can take the person out of , but you can’t take the [favourite location] out of the person…” The phrase would suggest something fundamental to a person’s identity based on where they began. Not so for us: It’s where we belong now – in Christ – that matters. The old has gone, the new has come. You can’t take God’s love found in Christ Jesus out of us now!
Holy God, we give you thanks that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus you have so completely defeated sin. Help us not to linger in the thoughts of sin, failure and despair, but to embrace daily the Good News and so live as people of deep, undamaged, unbridled hope. Help us to live our new reality as those beloved by you and set free by your grace.
The Rev’d Steve Faber, Moderator, West Midlands Synod