Day 11

Death through Adam and Life through Christ

from the Romans reading plan


Romans 5:12-21, Genesis 3:17-19, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22


Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard the phrase “love wins.” It has become a rallying cry for a collection of voices, an umbrella-like conviction wide enough for many to stand under. But while inspiring, the phrase begs for clarification because there are a number of different kinds of love in this world.

C. S. Lewis highlighted four loves. Someone else might insist there are more or less, but the point is there is more than one kind of love. The sacrificial love a spouse practices on a daily basis may indeed reflect the kind of love that wins in the end, while the “I sure do love my Ford F-150” kind of love may not. So it’s not so much a wrong phrase as a vague phrase. Something more specific would serve we the people better.

And here’s something. In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul gives us an alternative for “love wins” that covers the necessary bases. In other words, it is just as powerful while at the same time rings even more clear. Paul’s phrase? Grace wins.

“Wait, isn’t there more than one kind of grace in the world as well?”

Yes, good catch, as there most certainly is. There is the grace the old hymn writer called “amazing” and there is also the grace said before supper. But leave it to old Paul and that thing called “context” to provide our needed clarity. When Paul uses the word “grace,” he is talking about, as one translator renders it, “aggressive forgiveness.”

Now chew on that for a second or two. Grace is God’s aggressive forgiveness. And if we fancy ourselves as people of grace, which we like to believe we are, then aggressive forgiveness will be a defining characteristic of our lives as well. But far too often we practice something along the lines of dragging-our-heels forgiveness, which is why far too often we are not winning.

So grab your used copy of C. S. Lewis and drive around in your F-150 and love everything and everybody, okay? But remember—“for just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

When all is said and done—when there’s a loser and a winner—grace wins.

Written by John Blase

Post Comments (3)

3 thoughts on "Death through Adam and Life through Christ"

  1. Chris Greenwood says:

    “Grace is God’s aggressive forgiveness. And if we fancy ourselves as people of grace, which we like to believe we are, then aggressive forgiveness will be a defining characteristic of our lives as well. But far too often we practice something along the lines of dragging-our-heels forgiveness…”

    Wow. What a very convicting statement.

    Romans 5:20

  2. Adam says:

    18-19 “Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

    20-21 All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life — a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.”

    What an awesome way The Message puts this concept. Grace will always win. It’s a beautiful concept and Paul puts it together perfectly. One man caused death, one Man caused life! Help me to chew on that.

  3. DES says:

    I like the phrase aggressive forgiveness. That is a great picture of how the Father pursues us. Unrelentingly and constantly. As the evil one lurks and waits seeking what he may devour, the Father seeks and pursues and beckons that which he may redeem. Lord, thank you for your love and your forgiveness. Thank you for pursuing me. Thank you for calling me holy and worthy. Thank you for choosing me.

Leave a Reply to Adam Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *