Is sin an essential part of our journey?

Yes, sin is part of our journey. We can’t avoid it. And God made sure of it by creating the 10 commandments. They were “added so that trespass might increase,” Romans  5:20.  Check ourselves against any of the 10 commandments – especially the expanded version of them in Matthew chapters 5 to 7 – and it soon becomes clear how much we sin. Not only can we see our obvious “sinful passions” (Romans 7:5), but our hidden sins too (verses 7-8).

“BUT,” verse 20, “where sin increased, GRACE increased all the more.” So the reason God created the law to reveal our sin as part of our journey was to show us how great his grace is by comparison. His grace is enough to cover every sin. And why do we need to know that? “SO THAT,” verse 21, “just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Through the law we see how much we sin so that then we can see how much our eternal life depends on God’s grace. Without his grace we’d never make it. But to get to that stage in our journey we need the law to show us, first of all, how horribly vulnerable we are to the influence of sin. It “entered the world” with ease, verse 12, “and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” No human being can resist the power of sin. But God has us covered – by grace.

An understanding of both sin and grace, therefore, is an essential part of our journey, summarized in verse 17, “For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned (on all of us) through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

First we learn that sin is powerful. But next we learn that grace is even greater, because with sin comes death but with grace comes Jesus Christ. And with Jesus Christ comes verse 19: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Jesus Christ obeyed God for us. It’s through his obedience, not ours, that we are “made righteous.” But how would we ever come to accept that or believe it unless sin was part of our journey first. Sin reveals how helpless we are, but it also reveals the wonder of God’s grace, because in our journey to eternity it’s grace – and grace alone – that gets us there.


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