The expression much more in the New Testament is frequently used in a way that is roughly equivalent to our saying, “If you think that was something, what do you think about this?” Many times the inspired writers of the New Covenant used this expression as a way of drawing attention to a set of circumstances that was worthy of special notice due to its great significance. The focus text that immediately follows contains two such expressions, both of which serve to draw the reader’s attention to God and to the extraordinary (supernatural) love that His Gospel extends to man.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned — (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the 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. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.). (Romans 5.12-17; emphasis mine, jb).
Paul argues: “If it was the case that sin spread from one man and hence came to inflict the entirety of the human race through their disobedience, then God wants everyone to know that a countermeasure of greater significance has been provided. Specifically, ‘much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.' If we think that (sin introduced to the human race) was something, what ought we to think about this (God’s marvelous gift of Grace that came through His only begotten Son)?’” This is the first much more focal point in today’s text.
Paul’s second statement is similar, but it looks at a different aspect of God’s goodness and grace. As if forgiveness itself were inadequate to marvel, God took the process one step further! He allows the redeemed to reign eternally with Him as a result of that grace! “If you think the fact that sin reigned through death is point worthy of attention, what about this fact: ‘Those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.’” Once again the much more expression serves to call our attention to facts which demand that praise and worship be poured out to the One who loved us enough to devise, execute, publish abroad, and confirm the Gospel message!
What this really says is this: Where sin abounds and the negative effects of sin, God’s love and grace abounds to a much greater extent. Just when evil seemed to expand to the point that it could not be contained, God flexed His muscle and demonstrated that He simply will not be bested by sin; neither will He allow His creation to be defeated if they will but cooperate with Him. The gospel of Christ is much more than we deserve!
1. According to the focus text, how did men apart from Adam become guilty of sin?
2. What did man do to deserve his second chance?
3. What does it mean to reign in life through Jesus Christ? How does that compare with the alternative?
4. What chance does sin have of defeating God or those who obey Him?
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