21. Grace that Reigns

Grace Short Meditations: 21. Grace that Reigns 

Rom 5:21 just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life.”

Paul continues on from yesterday’s verse. For brevity we omitted in that verse yesterday, who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life….”, but now he mentions it again. We focused yesterday on how grace enables us to reign as kings in life, how the resources of God that we summarise in shorthand as ‘grace’, enable us to live like that but, and this is the bit we omitted to be picked up now, we have also been given the gift of righteousness through the work of Christ. The moment we believed, because of what Christ did on the Cross, we are declared righteous. It was a gift alongside grace, if we may put it like that.

But now, a few verses on, Paul puts a different slant on it by saying that it is grace that is doing the reigning, and it reigns “through righteousness” so let’s unpack that.

Before we knew Christ we were spiritually dead and sin prevailed. Now we are alive to God, grace flows in and through us in the form of righteousness – right living, right thinking, right words, right actions – as His Spirit lead and guides, equips and empowers. Not only have we been declared righteous, but we live righteously.

Grace, it is, that now reigns in our lives, not sin. It is the continuous flow of God’s goodness to us and through us. That is what reigns, dominates, controls and governs us now. Not only was us being declared righteous an act of grace by God, but the lives we now live, being righteous, are fueled by grace, expressing this righteousness. Grace predominates, rules, reigns, prevails, is there working to express this righteousness even more and more. We sometimes get ourselves in a twist worrying about what we ought to be doing, what good things we should be doing but that is simply a human, person-centred outlook on life. How about turning it around and seeing it as a Christ-centred, biblically based, Spirit-led life (as I heard someone put it recently), so that it is not us looking to see what we should be doing, but simply responding to the prompting of Jesus through his Spirit to lead us, and when he does and when we follow him, we will find all these resources we’ve been considering, are there for us, to enable us to live out this life of right thinking and right activity (righteousness!). He calls us to step out on the water, we respond and do and he does the enabling. When he says fill up the jars with water and we do, he changes the water into wine. How easy is that! That’s how grace works – it leads, it guides, it calls, it enables, it equips, it prevails. Hallelujah! 

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