Romans 5:20-21 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It is easy to get discouraged these days. Bad news seems to be everywhere we turn. Whether it is in the news, the internet, or headline tags on our phones, we cannot seem to escape it.
Yet, every saved child of God is commissioned to tell of the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and His salvation. For us to be faithful witnesses, we first must know who we are speaking.
Paul so wanted to know the Savior he met on the Damascus road. He saw a faith when he witnessed Stephen’s stoning that caused him to desire to know this God who Stephen saw sitting on the right hand of the Father. Paul shares with us:
Philippians 3:10-11 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Paul knew that to know Him meant certain death. A death he was willing to carry out in the zealousness of his religion. Having met the Lord Jesus Christ personally, Paul knew that His resurrection stories were true.
He wanted to see that power displayed in his life and the lives of others.
Paul also knew that this path in life would involve suffering. Having witnessed the crucifixion, he knew the cruelty and horrific pain involved. If Jesus was willing to go through that for him, he was ready to lay down his life to serving.
Bob Jones Sr. once said, “The test of your character is what it takes to stop you.” For some today, it was the feeling of being overwhelmed by the bad in this world. Our passage tells us to know that where sin may be in abundance, there will always be more grace to be had.
Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Not one of us possesses the good to overcome the evil we see. Truth be told, if we do nothing, we are more a part of the problem than the solution. The apostle Paul saw that the answer was not within himself.
Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
He shares throughout the 7th chapter of Romans his struggle with the flesh and his will.
Simply, Paul had character and will.
Paul’s character was his work ethic, his loyalty, and his obedience.
His will was the desire to do right, his motivation, and passion.
In this life, we all have some measure of both character and will. NONE of us possesses enough to do the will of God correctly. We can show ourselves to possibly do more than most, but even that will fall woefully short.
Allowing grace to abound in our life is what God does through us, not to us.
So what does that look like?
Our obedience to God’s commands opens the door for Him to use us to affect the lives of others uniquely. Words are spoken, acts of service and love showed are avenues for Good to reveal Himself in our life.
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
There is a tough one.
Matthew 5:39 “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
For grace to abound in our lives, it does not mean all will be sunshine and rainbows. The path God has for us to follow is personal, thought out, planned, and prepared for us from before the foundation of the world.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Take it to heart that God will see us through till the end. He will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able but makes a way to escape if we cannot bear it.
As His child, we have all the promises of God’s Word. We have His protection, His provision, and His eternal, undying love. We just need to remind ourselves of that when the world and its care seems to overwhelm us.