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“Grace abounded more….”

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

One of the great results, or fruit, of Christ’s work on the Cross is in Romans 5:20 — “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Think of the Apostle Paul, who had been Christ’s greatest enemy, the chief of sinners. After God’s mercies in Christ were shown to him, and he was brought to Christ, he declares himself to be the great example of mercy and grace: “I obtained mercy.” God’s display of mercy has an intended result: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” And again: “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (I Cor. 15:10; I Tim. 1:16).

If we turn in the pages of the Old Testament we see glorious examples of the overflowing heart of God in mercy:  think of David; and, many years later his descendent on the throne, Manasseh.  Think in the history of the Church those rescued and redeemed who we see as trophies of God’s grace: the reckless profligate Augustine, whom God made a shining light in His Church; or John Bunyan, the profane tinker, who wrote his wonderful experience of the goodness of God in “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners”; or John Newton, once a libertine and infidel, “a servant of slaves in Africa,” as he wrote of himself for his epitaph,—whom God transformed into one of the great vessels of mercy of the eighteenth century, and whose hymns of praise all the saints sing. It was Newton who wrote:
“In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object met my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
“I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
“Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
“My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.
“Alas, I knew not what I did,
But all my tears were vain;
Where could my trembling soul be hid,
For I the Lord had slain!
“A second look He gave, that said,
‘I freely all forgive!
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I died that thou mayest live.’”
Can you look to this saving, merciful God and cry out with gratitude? If not, then call on Him while He may be found! There is mercy and grace in Christ. Come to Him!

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