June 8, 2003 Northwest Bible Church
Worship Service Alan Conner
We have learned how sin entered the world through Adam’s sin, now we will be taught by Paul how sin increased in the world. The law cannot remedy the problem of Adam’s sin. In effect what we will learn is that Adam’s sin planted the seed of sin in the world, but the law acted as the fertilizer to cause it to grow. This then brings us to the grace of God which like an axe can alone chop it down and fulfill God’s righteousness through Jesus Christ.
I. THE FUNCTION OF THE LAW
A. The character of the Law. The Law in and of itself is good because it reflected the character of God. Rom. 7:12, 13, 14, 16.
The function of the Law: to all men generally, acc. to the WLC, Qn #95-
1) to inform men of God’s holy nature and will and of their duty to obey that will;
2) to convince them of their inability to keep the commands and of the pollution of their sinful nature;
3) to help sinners to a clearer sight of their need for Christ of the perfections of His obedience.
B. The relationship between the Law and sin.
1) To reveal sin. Rom. 7:7.
2) To increase sin.
"The Law came in so that the transgression would increase" – 5:20
"The sinful passions which were aroused by the Law" – Rom. 7:5
"But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead" – Rom. 7:8
"When the commandment came, sin became alive and I died" – Rom. 7:9
"The power of sin is the law" – 1 Cor. 15:56
Like a mirror the Law reveals sin but cannot heal sin; it stimulates sin but cannot subdue sin.
II. THE TRIUMPH OF GRACE
v. 20 "grace superabounds" - The word translated "abounded all the more", means an excessive abundance of something. Thus, there is an incredibly excessive amount of grace compared to sin.
Grace is continually cleaning up after sin.
v. 21 brings another contrast. As sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life.
And how does this sin-conquering grace come into the world? "through Jesus Christ our Lord." Christ is the fountain of this abounding grace.
1) Sin is a necessary evil in order to display God’s glory.
2) This is a firm foundation for a confident, joyous assurance of salvation.
3) There is abundant grace to overcome sin.
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, deeper than the mighty rolling sea,
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain, all sufficient grace for even me; Broader than the scope of my transgressions, greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name.
Haldor Lilenas, Wonderful Grace of Jesus
TESTIMONY OF JOHN BUNYAN –
Jesus is worth knowing. He alone can fulfill the law’s demands and give us a righteousness worthy of heaven. He is the fountain of grace, amazing grace, abundant grace, abounding grace. DO YOU KNOW THIS GRACIOUS SAVIOR? ARE YOU WASHED IN HIS BLOOD?