Receive to Reign
"For if by the one man's offense, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).
This is a word that awakens the spiritual hunger of the believer who seeks to please the Lord and a word of encouragement for those who have encountered difficulties in their path, either by their own failures or by being defrauded by others.
Paul, with the grace of the Lord, that inspires him, sends us a precious challenge: we can be able to reign in this life, if only we receive the abundant grace that is offered to us!
We know that Adam's transgression and fall passed on all the consequences that we see daily in ourselves and in the evils that thrash humankind. The expression: "For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing" (Rom. 7:19), resumes the drama of the human race. There is no scope in human tasks that does not have this seal. For example, we are aware of the damage that we cause the environment, yet we continue to pollute it. We know that certain foods are not healthy for us, but we continue to consume them. Like these examples, we could continue to name many more.
Man continues to be a slave to the principle of "good and evil", knows what good is without being able to put it to work, and recognizes evil without being able to avoid it. It is Adam's syndrome, whose transgression passed on death, pain, impotence, and failure in all its forms.
On the contrary, the expression, "much more" has the strength to give us hope; thus, being witnesses of the fatal effectiveness of Adam's principle, we see death everywhere. What is now being offered to us must be much more effective; since, without a doubt, Christ is much greater than Adam, the transgressor.
Our Lord Jesus Christ provided us with a new start; his precious blood cleansed all our sins (its remembrance no longer produces frustration, another form of death), his death on the cross has become our death, because "I have been crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20), and even more "raised us up with him" (Eph. 2:6). What is this but "the abundance of his grace"?
Forgiveness of sins is a wonderful experience for the believer; yet, if the believer does not receive God's provision in Christ, if the believer has not appropriated the Lord's death and resurrection, he is still fighting with his own strength. This explains the failure of many Christians, who are conformed only with the initial experience of receiving forgiveness which causes them to be an easy target of discouragement; death reigns over them.
The abundance of the grace that the apostle invites us to receive includes the fullness of the work and the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us, therefore, take hold of everything that has been given to us in Christ. By receiving the abundance of his grace we will reign in life, thus being buried with him (Rom. 6:4), we were also risen with him. The powerful life of resurrectionwhich the ones who are of Christ have received cannot be touched by death in any of its forms. By this life, standing firmly over this terrain in Christ, and having risen with him, we begin to reign.