Heavens Light 10-31-07 The Law, The Gospel and Abounding Grace Part 1


The Law, the Gospel and Abounding Grace

Romans 5:19-21


Defining Terms

I want to give you a little background to help give you an understanding of the passage we will look at this morning. So lets start by defining a few terms…


The Law – The commandments contained in the Pentateuch, or Torah, the five books of Moses(the first 5 books of the Bible). That Law was really threefold:

·        Ceremonial Law, that which prescribed the worship of God by Sacrifice and offering and all of the temple worship ceremony with it  

·        Civil or Political Law, that relating to the people in their national, political life.

·        Moral Law, the 640 as summed up in the 10 Commandments, and presents to all mankind the perfect standard of God’s righteousness which He expects all mankind to fulfill.  The very definition of sin is a violation or transgression of this Moral Law of God. This is the Law most often referred to in the New Testament.


The Gospel – The message or “good news” of the person and work of Jesus Christ, God the Son, come to the earth to fulfill God’s eternal plan of salvation. The message of Christ’s Life, Death, Burial, and Resurrection pronounces God’s favor and forgiveness of sin to all who will believe in or trust in the finished work of Christ as a substitution for their sin, the sacrifice He gave of Himself to atone for sins. The message carries within it the power to transform the sinner by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, and affords to the believing sinner eternal life.


Grace – Favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves. Grace is one of the key attributes of God. The Lord God is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Ex 34:6). Therefore, grace is almost always associated with mercy, love, compassion, and patience as the source of help and with deliverance from distress. We commonly refer to it as unmerited favor or “favor we do NOT deserve, or haven’t earned.”

Brief Overview of Romans 1-5

In the book of Romans, Paul is laying out a technical discourse on the Gospel. In its chapters, he is giving a progressive understanding of the state of mankind before God, and what God has done about it, and also therefore how we should respond to this.

Chapter 1 &2 –

v-1:1-5 – Immediately describes the Gospel

v-1:18-32-2:16 – describes mankind’s deplorable state of rebellion against God and the subsequent wrath of God which is being revealed from heaven(v-18) and stored up(2:5) against those who continue to sin against God without repentance, all leading up to God’s Day of Judgment(2:16)

v-2:29 – describes the fact that even the Jew is condemned by the Law of God

Chapter 3 –

v-3:1-20 – discusses how the whole world is condemned by the Law and subject to this judgment of God

v-3:21-31 – Paul announces the good news of the Gospel and the free justification of God by faith in Jesus Christ to all who will believe

Chapter 4 –

v-4:1-25 – The entire chapter 4 is dedicated to establishing that mankind is justified before God on the basis of faith and not on the basis of works(or religious deeds)

Chapter 5 – When we arrive at chapter 5, Paul gives a tremendous explanation of the benefits and results of being justified before God. These benefits are a theme which is taken up again later in Chapters 8-11.

v-5:1-11 – Paul discusses the wonderful state of grace in which we stand in the free and unmerited favor of God. He explains that this grace was given to us when we were “helpless”(v-6), “while we were yet sinners”(v-8), and also “while we were enemies” of God(v-10). Here we see the true meaning of God’s marvelous, infinite, matchless GRACE which was given to us when we were still in a helpless and sinful state of rebellion against God. It was then, yes even when we were sinners, that God loved us(v-8), justified us by Christ’s blood(v-9), saved us from His wrath(v-9), and reconciled us to Himself(v-10-11). This is truly amazing grace!

v-5:12-21 – Now in these verses Paul describes the fact that although we have all become sinners through Adam’s disobedience(v-12), and that because of this, death has reigned in this present world since that time(v-14), that we shall be justified(v-18), made righteous(v-19), and that grace will reign in righteousness and bring us eternal life through Jesus Christ!

Now to our text……


Romans 5:19-21 – 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. NASB


In this text, several points are made concerning Sin, the Law and the Gospel of Grace.


I would like to highlight these 5 points….

1)    We are sinners in a helpless and deplorable state.

2)    We are made righteous by Christ alone.

3)    The Law has thoroughly condemned us and left us in a desperate situation which is not humanly repairable.

4)    God’s grace is MORE than sufficient and abundantly conquers sin.

5)    Grace reigns in the life of a Christian.


Romans 5:19 – 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. NASB

1)    We are sinners in a helpless and deplorable state –


A. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinnersWe are sinners …that is what we are…..and of this we are all aware….as verse 5:12 says…

Romans 5:12 – 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned — NASB

Romans 5:15 – 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. NASB

Romans 3:19-20 – 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.  NASB

Romans 3:23 – 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God NASB


This state of sin is a deplorable state. Because of this, we are subject to all the sufferings of this life. Consider all the suffering that has happened in the history of the world is all a result of mankind’s sin against God. Because of your sin and my sin we suffer pain, health problems, frustrations of all sorts, great trials and problems which plague us all the days of our lives, and all of these very uncomfortable dilemmas we face take us to the grave. Because of your sin and mine, we die. And this dear family is the very thing that God warned Adam about…. “In the day that you sin you shall surely die!”….and the very thing the devil lied about in tempting Adam and Eve…. “you shall not surely die”, he said…so now we have found ourselves reaping the consequences of this.


But how is the Christian to see himself in this world? “Simul iustus et peccator” – “At the same time righteous and a sinner”….of this John Knox the Scottish Reformer says…

“We confess and acknowledge that the law of God is most just, equal, holy, and perfect, commanding those things which, when perfectly done, can give life and bring man to eternal felicity; but our nature is so corrupt, weak, and imperfect, that we are never able perfectly to fulfill the works of the law. Even after we are reborn, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth of God is not in us. It is therefore essential for us to lay hold on Christ Jesus, in his righteousness and his atonement, since he is the end and consummation of the Law and since it is by him that we are set at liberty so that the curse of God may not fall upon us, even though we do not fulfill the Law in all points. For as God the Father beholds us in the body of his Son Christ Jesus, he accepts our imperfect obedience as if it were perfect, and covers our works, which are defiled with many stains, with the righteousness of his Son. We do not mean that we are so set at liberty that we owe no obedience to the Law–for we have already acknowledged its place–but we affirm that no man on earth, with the sole exception of Christ Jesus, has given, gives, or shall give in action that obedience to the Law which the Law requires.

And so…through Adam’s disobedience, we were made sinners……we cannot fulfill the Law but are in a hopeless state…..


But look again at verse 19….


B. even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. – We are made righteous by the obedience of Christ!!!! Now this is good news!


2)    We are made righteous by Christ alone.


Here the Bible explains to us the source of our righteousness before God. It happens by the “obedience of the One.” By Christ’s obedience we are made righteous.


Dear Christian do you constantly struggle with guilt and shame wondering why you cannot seem to overcome your battle with sin? Do you constantly fail at perfect obedience and wonder if there is any hope for you? Let me tell you….your hope is not in you or in your ability to be righteous before God! Your hope is in the obedience of Jesus Christ, and He obeyed the Law perfectly on your behalf! The Bible affirms this again and again….and it is ours simply by trusting in His perfect work to cover and atone for our sins.

Romans 3:21-24 – 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; NASB

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 – 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” NASB

2 Corinthians 5:21 – 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. NASB

Colossians 1:21-22  22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-

Hebrews 10:14 – 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. NASB


Christ then, is Himself our righteousness before God!


We then, are sinners who have been justified and declared righteous because of the merit of Christ. This is amazing grace!


Part 2 & 3 to follow….



This sermon can be heard on audio here:







If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and receive eternal life…..click here





If you have comments or questions, please do respond to shaan@heavenslight.org

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Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life

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