WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE RADIO SERMON August 22, 1976

THE TRIUMPH OF GRACE
Romans 5:20 21
The salvation of a sinner is a triumph for the grace of God. From beginning to end salvation is a work of grace. "For
by grace are ye saved, through faith" is the Biblical explanation of salvation.

Grace has been defined as "the unmerited favor of God". The object of grace is always undeserving and unworthy.
However, in our text the emphasis is upon the actiČvity of grace rather than the quality of grace. Grace "much more
abounds". Grace reigns. Of course the guilty sinner is the beneficiary of this activity of grace.

Focusing the attention upon the triumphant activity of grace brings great enČcouragement and assurance to the
believing sinner. His assurance is the product of his conviction about divine grace. Listen again to the Apostle,
"moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
That as sin both reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through rightČeousness unto eternal life by Jesus
Christ our Lord". Let us consider the triumph of the grace of God in the salvation of the sinner.

THE GRACE OF GOD TRIUMPHS OVER SIN AND DEATH
Whenever you use the word "triumph" you intimate that there must be a foe to be conquered. This is a military, or
conflict word. In this case the enemy is sin, and the cohort of sin, death.

The sin conquered, in this case, is abounding sin. The abounding of the sin is related to the giving of the law. "The
law entered that the offense might abound". Already we have learned that sin made its grand entrance into the human
situation through the act of Adam. The result of that act was that "all sinned". Then in time the law entered right along
side the sin of man. The law in this case is the Mosaic law, the law of God. What happened? Did the law stop the
progress of sin? Did the law destroy the sin? Did the law deliver man from the reign of sin and death? No! In fact the
law resulted in sin abounding. This is an important statement. How did the perfect law of God cause sin to increase?

The law gave man a greater knowledge of sin. The law defined sin for man. The law uncovered the depths and the
nature of sin for man: The law exposed sin for what it really is. Because of this work of the law, the end result is that
man was left with a greater awareness of his sinfulness. Many of his former practices which had seemed to be
harmless suddenly were understood to be sinful.
Added to the knowledge of sin was a conviction of sin. The law had the power to convince men of their sinfulness.
Once they were convinced, it did not have a sure remedy, but it did convince. Later in this very epistle Paul will bear
testimony to the power of sin to utterly slay a man's self confidence through conviction.

In another special way the law even incited man to sin. It is not the fault of the law, but further evidence of the
sinfulness of man. Whenever sinful man hears God say, "Thou shalt not", his most likely response is "But I will". Just
because God prohibits it encourages the sinful man to do it. The natural man is at enmity with God.

The sin over which grace triumphs does more than increase, it reigns like a king. It had the whole human race under
its power before the manifestation of the grace of God. It reigns "unto death". The end result of the reign of sin is
always death. This death is both spiritual and physical, temporal and eternal.

Do you see the subjects? Sin and death! What a terrible duo! Yet it is over these very two that the grace of God
super abounds and triumphs for the benefit of the sinner. The recipient of God's saving grace has no reason to fear
either sin or death     the grace of God has dethroned both of them.

THE GRACE OF GOD TRIUMPHS SUPERABUNDANTLY
The victory of God's grace over sin and death is no "squeaker". While our English text does not really make it that
clear, Paul really affirms a super triumph for grace. While sin "abounds", grace doth "much more abound". The
Apostle actually uses different words here. The word for sin abounding means to increase, to go beyond what is
expected. It is in itself a very strong word. However, the word "much more abound" is actually just one word. It is the
strongest word possible. It means to superabound and then a little bit more. The grace of God just exceeds all
expectations; it overflows the banks in a flood tide.

Consideration of what the Apostle says will indicate just how true this is. The message is that the grace of God gives
to man more than sin ever took away. The beČlieving sinner gains more in Christ than he lost in Adam. While in Adam
man lost his innocence, in Christ he gained divine righteousness. Man never had true righteousness  Čnot even in the
Garden of Eden. There has never been a truly righteous man. There is a difference between innocence and
righteousness. Righteousness is the result of having performed that which is right by God's standard not just the
absence of transgression. While man lost his innocence and gained guilt in Adam, in Christ we are given through
grace the gift of positive, acceptable righteousness.

While in Adam man lost his creature life and access to eternal life, in Christ through grace he is given the gift of
eternal life. Adam never had eternal life. He had access to the tree of life, but he never actually possessed eternal life.
Through his sin, he acquired death. But grace superabounds. It not only removes sin, and gives to man access to the
tree of life; it gives to him the actual gift of eternal life. Eternal life is more than just life forever. It is a quality of life
known only by the living God Himself.

While in Adam man lost his place in the Garden of Eden through sin, by grace through Christ he is given the new
Jerusalem. I am not sure what heaven will be like but I am sure that it will be more than a restored Garden of Eden. It
will be the ultimate in fellowship with God in every way   all as a part of the victory of grace.

There is more that could be said, but this is suggestive enough to let you see that grace has truly triumphed. Grace
has super abounded over sin and death, and then some.

THE GRACE OF GOD TRIUMPHS THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
There is a note of praise in the heart of Paul as he closes this statement about grace. It is almost as if he is having to
restrain himself lest he break out in an extended doxology to the Lord God. Consideration of the triumph of grace will
do that to you.

Paul could not close without reminding us that all of this is "through Jesus Christ our Lord". Grace abounds and reigns
through Him. Obviously all of the gifts bestowed by grace were purchased by Christ through His death on the Cross.
They are the product of His one righteous deed for us. The forgiveness of sin and the gift of divine righteousness are
possible only because He died for our sin. The gift of eternal life is possible only because He gave His life and took
our death. He died for us!

Another thought may have been in the heart of the Apostle. This triumph of grace is "through Jesus Christ our Lord"
because the bounty of grace comes with Christ. When the guilty sinner receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, He brings
with Him the gift of Divine righteousness and eternal life. Unless Jesus is received as Lord, you cannot know the
triumph of grace in your life.

The triumph of grace through Christ is a matter of history, yet it becomes a part of your experience only when He is so
received. Everything God does for man is through the Lord Jesus and by grace.

Where are you this morning? Are you under the rule of sin or under the rule of grace? Every person in this
congregation is either in Adam or in Christ. You are also either under sin or under grace. If you are under sin then
you are subject to eternal death. If you are under grace, then you are the possessor of a divine righteousness and
eternal life.

Determining where you are is rather simple. If you have received Jesus as your personal Lord by faith, you are under
grace. If you have not so received Christ, you are under sin. The possibility is present this morning for you to receive
Jesus as your Lord and to thus know personally the triumph of God's grace.