Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thank God for the liberty that the grace of God brings to our life. It is certainly the major truth that set my life free from sin and sinning. This liberty is not so we are free to sin but that we can be free to serve (Gal. 5:13). Grace was never given to us as a cover or as an excuse to continue sinning. I’ve often heard Romans 5:20 quoted saying something like this, that people sinning causes grace to abound so don’t be concerned if they are sinning. I heard an internationally famous preacher say that we shouldn’t focus on the younger generation’s sinning we should focus on the grace abounding to them. He was saying their sinning is causing much more grace to abound. Oh my!
Romans 5:20 does not say grace keeps abounding as we keep sinning. The comparison is between how the sin of one man’s offense (Adam) multiplied, abounded, and increased into countless transgressions when the Law came on the scene, grace DID much more abound when the one man Jesus came on the scene. Grace doesn’t abound when we sin, grace DID already abound when Jesus died at the Cross. It doesn’t say grace DOES more abound it says grace DID much more abound, implying a past tense finished work. The grace Jesus made available at the Cross abounded more than the transgressions that abounded due to the Law. (The Greek grammar supports this as a past action where the phrase “did much more abound” is one word “hupereperisseusen” and is in the “first aorist active indicative” which indicates a past action).
Without even knowing Greek grammar further reading of Romans 6:1, 2, 15 makes it even more clear and destroys the argument that our sinning causes more grace to abound when it says Rom 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we CONTINUE in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? In other words shall we continually sin, or habitually sin that grace may abound? God forbid, (or let it not be, far from it, by no means or let it never be said).
Then again in Romans 6:15 What then? shall we SIN, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Shall we SIN once in awhile or a little bit that grace may abound and once again, God forbid. We are not given grace to reign in our lives for ongoing sinning but that we would sin not. Grace isn’t a license to sin but to serve because we’ve been freed from sin’s enslaving power.