Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Romans 5:13, 18-21 (ESV)
13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today and tomorrow we will look at the passages that immediately preceded the passage I preached on last Sunday. They help us to more fully understand the relationship between God’s law and God’s grace. Today’s section from Romans 5 explains that before God gave the law, we still disobeyed God, and that led to death. However, after God gave us the law, sin increased, because we now knew what was right and wrong, and we chose the wrong anyway. In this way, God is using the law to make us aware of our sinfulness. In fact, as we mature in faith, and trust Christ’s salvation, we actually feel more sinful, because we are much more aware of our sins, and more honest about facing them.