The Reign of Grace
Scripture: Romans 5:12-21
Through God’s grace, part of a believer’s experience should be an element of triumph over sin. While none of us are perfect, we should no longer be enslaved to sin. Where have you experienced triumph over sin in your life recently?
Some of us struggle to believe in the power of God’s grace because we have deeply rooted shame over our sin. How is holding onto shame actually an act of pride? If this is a struggle for you, what step do you need to take towards humbling yourself and giving that sin over to God?
Others of us battle self-sufficiency. When you place your value in your efforts and achievements, how does it detract from your recognition of your need for God’s grace? How can you move away from self-confidence and live in the reality of your sinfulness and need?
When Adam and Eve sinned, it created a new fallen reality that we all inhabit. Although Adam’s role as our representative may be difficult to understand, we all choose to join his sinful state and contribute to the brokenness of the world.
By God’s grace, we have another representative in Jesus. While Adam’s sin brought death and destruction, Jesus’ willing and sacrificial death brings hope, right standing with God, and eternal life to all who believe.
Although we have hope and freedom in Jesus, we live in “the already but not yet.” We can be discouraged because we still sin, but we can also begin to experience freedom from sin and death through God’s grace.
One sign that we don’t believe in the power of God’s grace is living in shame. When we refuse to release our shame, we essentially adopt the role of judge and deem our sin too weighty for God to forgive.
Others of us fall into the trap of self-sufficiency and don’t see our need for God’s grace. We also adopt the role of judge—believing that our performance outweighs our sin.
In reality, we are all helpless in Adam. Only through God’s gracious gift of his Son can our status of death be reversed so that we may live in freedom, hope, and eternal right standing with God.