But the free gift is not like the transgression… (5:15).
Where to even begin? Romans 5 presents a broad range of doctrinal truths tightly packed into this theological essay written by the apostle Paul.
Paul methodically compares and contrasts His Free Gift through Jesus Christ with the result of the earned works of Adam. The comparison examines the results incurred through their lives, and the contrasts presented are glaring.
Six times, in detailing all we have through Christ, Paul enlists the concept of a “gift given” and twice this gift is identified as “free.”
And in Romans 6, this free gift is succinctly defined:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
His Free Gift is granted to all who would believe and accept everything He has freely given through His Son’s life, death and resurrection.
Consider His Free Gift
His Free Gift in Jesus encompasses more than we can explain or imagine, and is extended to all who have trusted in what He, and only He, can do.
- His Free Gift: Justification/Justified (declared righteous: “Just-as-if-I’d” never sinned)
- Therefore, having been justified by faith… (5:1).
- His Free Gift: Peace
- … we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (5:1).
- His Free Gift: Introduction to Grace
- through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand… (5:2).
- His Free Gift: Hope
- …and we exult in hope of the glory of God, (5:2).
- His Free Gift: Perseverance
- And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, (5:3).
- His Free Gift: Proven Character
- and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; (5:4).
- His Free Gift: His Love Poured Out through the Holy Spirit
- and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, (5:5).
- His Free Gift: His Love Demonstrated through His Son’s Death
- For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly… 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (5:6, 8).
- His Free Gift: Salvation from the Wrath of God
- Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him, (5:9).
- His Free Gift: Reconciliation
- For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation, (5:10-11).
- His Free Gift: Abundant Grace
- But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace… (5:15-17).
- His Free Gift: Righteousness
- … and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ... 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous, (5:17, 19).
- His Free Gift: Eternal Life
- so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, (5:21).
How do we respond to His Free Gift?
When we spend time considering and meditating on His Free Gift, how can we possibly contain our overwhelming joy and gratitude?
Let us intentionally live thankful, every day, even in the midst of trials and suffering, for His Free Gift is beyond abundantly generous.
In closing, let’s spend some time on this idea of “our introduction by faith into this grace.”
through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand… (5:2).
Some versions express this reality as our “obtaining [or] gaining access by faith into this grace.”
And while the Greek language definitely implies “obtaining [or] gaining access,” there is also an added context which furthers our understanding.
4318. προσαγωγή prosagōgḗ; gen. prosagōgḗs, fem. noun from proságō (4317), to bring near… meaning access, approach (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:18); used in an absolute sense (Eph. 3:12). The term was commonly used for the audience or right of approach granted to someone by high officials and monarchs.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
His Free Gift grants us an audience with Him, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords! And as we are introduced to Him and His amazing grace through faith, it is really just that… our introduction, the beginning of our learning of the vast treasures He has prepared for those who belong to Him; only the beginning of our realization of all He has prepared for those who love Him.
but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him,” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Although we can’t really even begin to imagine all He has made available to us, we can commit to lifelong learning. May we spend our days here on earth resolute in our seeking Him through faith, that we would so grow in our desire to know everything we can possibly learn and thereby love Him more and more; for He has provided everything we need until the day we see Him face to face and experience every facet of His Free Gift.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen, (Ephesians 3:20-21).
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:1-3).