Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Romans 5:12-21 - Homilies By C.h. Irwin

Grace abounding.

Here the apostle contrasts the reign of sin with the reign of grace, and shows that, while there is a point of similarity between them, there are many points in which they differ, and in which grace is triumphant over sin. All this is for the encouragement of the sinner, that he may be led from the captivity of sin to hope and live under the influence of God's mercy.

I. GRACE AND SIN BOTH CAME BY ONE PERSON . "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin" ( Romans 5:12 ); "Through the offence of one many died" ( Romans 5:15 ); "Death reigned by one" ( Romans 5:17 ); "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners" ( Romans 5:19 ). So also with the reign of grace. "The grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ" ( Romans 5:15 ); "They who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ" ( Romans 5:17 ); "So by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous" ( Romans 5:19 ). Observe here the power of the individual for good or evil. Our acts are widespread in their influences, perhaps eternal in their consequences. "None of us liveth to himself." Shall our life be a curse to those around us, or a blessing? Shall we be among those whose aim and errand in the world seem to be to do all the mischief or all the harm they can? Or shall we be amongst those who try to follow in the footsteps of him who "went about every day doing good"?


1. Sin brought condemnation; grace triumphant brings pardon. "The judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification" ( Romans 5:16 ); "As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men to justification of life" ( Romans 5:18 ). Grace and mercy triumph over the guilt of sin.

2. Sin brought sinfulness; grace brings righteousness. "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" ( Romans 5:19 ). One man's sin imposed upon the race an hereditary taint of sin. The depravity of human nature, as already shown, is universal. "All have sinned." But here, too, grace can triumph. Grace can change the corrupt and unregenerate heart. Grace reigns through righteousness God's purpose in justification is not merely that his people may be saved from sin's guilt, but also that they may be delivered from its rower. As St. Paul elsewhere says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" ( Ephesians 1:4 ). The experience of many a true child of God has shown how grace can triumph over the hereditary sinfulness of human nature, and over the special temptations to which some natures are exposed.

3. Sin brought death; grace brings life. "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord" ( Romans 5:21 ). It is sin which has cast the gloom over the dark valley. "The sting of death is sin." But Jesus has come to give us light. "Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" ( 1 Corinthians 15:57 ). Truly, if sin has abounded to the corruption and despair and death of human nature, grace has much more abounded to its regeneration and hope and everlasting life.—C.H.I.

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands