Home | Archives | Guest Book | Links | churches of Christ | Contact Us
Plan of Salvation
 | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Store | World Evangelism
Gospel Gazette Online logo

Serving an international
readership with the
Old Jerusalem Gospel
via the Internet.

Vol.  10  No. 4 April 2008  Page 9
powered by FreeFind
Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

D. Gene WestAbounding Grace

By D. Gene West

    In Romans 5:20b, the apostle Paul, by inspiration, wrote to the saints at Rome, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more...” We sing of this abounding grace when we rightly sing that the grace of God is greater than all our sin. Today, we wish to look at the words that are translated in this text by our English word “abounded.” In the first portion of the sentence in which the Holy Spirit caused Paul to write that “sin abounded,” he used a word, which according to Perschbacher, in this text means “to come into wider action, to be more widely spread” (331). Consequently, when Paul spoke of the sin abounding, he was simply saying that it had become so widely spread that it would seem there was no remedy for it whatsoever. However, then, he added that in this case “grace abounded much more.” Literally, the words “abounded much more” come from one Greek word, which would perhaps be better translated “super-abounded.” Nevertheless, the idea is that where sin had become so widespread that no one could see its parameters and man could see no way of ever controlling it, the grace of God had become much more widespread. That makes the grace of God the only solution to sin!

    If the words here translated “abounded” and “abounded much more” are interesting to study, and they are, the word “grace” draws an even greater interest. The word “grace” in this passage comes from a Greek word that in English is spelled “charis.” This word is usually defined by English speaking people as “unmerited favor,” and it is that, but there is a bit more depth of meaning to the word that we will do well to consider. The word, in various lexicons, has rather long definitions. Most of them include such words as beauty, favor, pleasing, kindness and other such beautiful terms, it is fundamentally defined as a “charitable act,” or a “generous gift” (Perschbacher 436). A charitable act is a positive act of love. God certainly has had that for His creatures all down through the centuries of time. Jesus testified that, “... God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16‑17 NKJV). That which is given is a gift. When God wanted to show both the immutability and the greatness of his love, He sent man a gift in the person of his unique Son. If man would, by faith, accept that gift, he would be born to eternal life.

    The sending of Christ to overcome sin in the hearts of men was most certainly a charitable act! We did not deserve that gift, nor could we with anything known to us, pay for it. It was and remains free to all who will accept it. By the same token, it is a generous gift, as a matter of fact, the most generous gift that has ever been proffered to mankind. The Father has never given a greater gift, nor can He give a greater gift than a part of Himself for the redemption of man. So, wherever sin has spread, the grace God offered through His only begotten Son has spread in an even greater way.

    One tries to imagine what this world would be like had the gift of God that brings salvation never been given by the Father of lights. How much more sin would there be in the world? What would be the magnitude of murder, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness or any other sin conceived by Satan and committed by man? There is no way of answering this question! We are thankful to God that this is the case. How thankful we are that where sin flooded, the flood of grace was even greater, and it was something that we did not have to earn nor buy; it was a gift that came from the generous heart of our God who loved us so much He was willing to give for our salvation the one thing that not even heaven could have two of! Thank God for his abounding grace!

Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20