Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 5

The greatness of grace

Romans 5:20-21

Before God gave his law, it was impossible to measure peopleís evil deeds (5:13). Then God gave his law to show his perfect standards for our lives. However, people could not live by those standards. So, their evil deeds increased.

In fact, some peopleís evil deeds increased even more than if there had been no law (7:9-11).

Our first reaction to Godís law may be to feel guilty that we are not obeying it (7:7). Our next reaction may be an evil desire to do even more of those wrong things (7:8).

However, our situation is not hopeless. Our wrong and evil deeds are great and terrible, but Godís grace (kindness) is even greater. When God gave his law to Israelís people, he also showed them how to serve him. He permitted them to offer animals to him (Leviticus chapter 1 to 7 and chapter 16). God would accept the deaths of those animals so that his people could have a relationship with him.

Now God has shown an even better way for people to receive a right relationship with him. God can forgive peopleís wrong and evil deeds because of the death of his Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8; Hebrews 10:11-17), God is adopting his people as his own sons and daughters (8:13-19). We can have a closer relationship with God than ever was possible before (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Formerly, our evil deeds ruled our lives. The certain result was death, with Godís punishment afterwards (6:23). Now, however, Godís grace (kindness) can direct our lives. We can have a right relationship with God, because of Jesus. We can know the kind of life that never ends. That life will continue even after the death of our bodies (8:38-39), and we will always live with God, in heaven and the New Jerusalem. That is Godís promise to those people who receive Christ into their lives (Acts 3:19; Revelation 3:20-21).

Next part: God does not want Christians to do wrong things (Romans 6:1-2)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.