Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Where Sin Abounds

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more … Romans 5:20

The best person to explain the meaning of “where sin abounds” is Paul, the man who first wrote the words. In Romans 7:8a he writes:  

But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. . Romans 7:8 (NIV)

Earlier in the same chapter Paul writes that after experiencing “life” as a new believer, he began to attempt to keep the 10th commandment, “you shall not covet”. Read the result:

But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.  Romans 7:14b

As Paul tried not to covet, he was filled with every kind of covetous desire.

So, the first thing we can say about abounding sin is that it is the result of seeking to keep commandments in human strength. The second thing we see about abounding sin is that it leads to grace.

… where sin abounded, grace abounded much more …

Many can testify that this is the story of their lives. With a passion they attempted to keep the commandments. The result was abounding sin. In desperation they turned to God knowing that if they were to be delivered from sin, God had to make it happen.

In that state of despair God guided them to the truths of the new-creation life.

In living out their crucifixion, burial, and resurrection God began a work of delivering them from sin. The result was victorious living.

those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

Through grace the victorious life is available to all believers.